It was a normal day of mundane chores and I had been going through the weekly shopping routine when my phone rang. It was Kate. “Hi, are you okay” I said.
Shock quickly gripped me and a stunned look shrouded my face. Cold panic ensued freezing me to the spot.
“I need to talk to you. Something has happened”. Her voice was serious yet showed a hint of apprehension.
“Okay, what is it”? She had my attention.
“I can’t tell you over the phone. Just come home as soon as you can”. And with that the call ended.
I finished my shopping but with a constant nagging sense of dread in the back of my mind that was about to be revealed like a Jack-in-the-box.
I got home and then Kate looked at me. “I’m pregnant”!
That was the Mike Tyson knock out punch. Shock quickly gripped me and a stunned look shrouded my face. Cold panic ensued, freezing me to the spot. I had metaphorically, had an out of body experience. Then when the realisation took back control returning me back from the brink of an abyss I smiled at her and we hugged.
“Christ…four kids and two adults in a three bedroom house. It’s going to be crowded; things need doing, DIY, getting baby stuff, and baby proofing the house”. I was in overdrive.
Television is for entertainment, keep your hands in your pockets…
Several weeks later and I’m still reeling from the news. We decided to tell the children. My daughters were on board with the news straight away. My son however, being the youngest at first rejected the idea. “Why did you tell me now” he protested.
“Well when did you want us to tell you”? I said
With all seriousness he responded “Not for a few years at least”!
I couldn’t help but try to hold in my laughter. “I think you would notice by then”.
“How long have you known”? he quizzed.
“Oh, for a few weeks but we don’t tell anybody until 12 weeks” Kate said
“Oh no”! he cried “You knew and you didn’t tell me”? he cried even more contradicting his earlier statement “You lied to me”!
My eldest daughter interjected “Think of the baby as a gift from God”.
“Well, God can have his gift right back, I don’t want it!”. He curled up in a foetal position, his hand shielding his face and wept.
He cried and protested for about two hours, which I guessed would be his reaction. His fear of not being the baby of the family and he said he wouldn’t be loved as much anymore. It was upsetting to watch him going through all the emotions and to come to grips with the news that in his eyes had “ruined his life”. But we reassured him and now he can’t wait to tell everybody he’s going to be a big brother. My agreement with him is that anytime he feels left out, feeling sad or unloved in any way, he can come to us and we will be there. It seemed a turning point for him. He wants to be part of the whole process now.
I guess without the crying my initial reaction was a similar version of his; shock and awe. A child has no previous experience of handling this and either he was going to implode or explode as his mind tried to rationalise the concept of a new baby in the family.
As I recall we are still at a stage of “ooo, that’s nice news” later the “oh what a lovely baby” before we get to a later stage of everyone sending us glares of contempt at us in a shop because we have the uncontrollable screaming baby throwing a screaming fit. As Jeff Goldblum said “Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and um, screaming”. For now we will enjoy the “ooo, that’s nice news” stage and roll with the punches as they come.
So I’ve got busy times ahead of me. Financially, I will just need to be a bit more thrifty. The news is still fresh and planning needs to be a fun part of the experience. The hospital class Kate as a geriatric mum to be. Something she doesn’t like. She’s 41 and there are risks in “older” women having children. I’m hoping everything goes smoothly and as one person has said to me. “Television is for entertainment, keep your hands in your pockets from now on”. Damn right!