The newest addition to our family is now a little over 48 hours old and doing ok considering she is 4 weeks early. With mum and baby still in the hospital it is down to me to hold the fort with our eldest, just trying to keep the place tidy and entertain, then entice food down a picky toddler is proving a challenge.
It is very different the second time around, still wonderful just different. I think this is because having one prepared me for the wave of love I experienced, that rush of oxytocin can’t be as unexpected the second time and is therefore somewhat less intense than the first hit. Another difference is that over the last 20 months I have got used to loving someone more than anything else in the world, initially this feeling is rather bewildering, liberating and unfamiliar as it is not like the love for your own parents, siblings or partner. It is instinctive love; you’re not obliged to feel it, there is no personality to work around, there is no baggage or history and no wish for them to be different in any way and there is no desire for love to be reciprocated and no fear of rejection – you are free to just love, love, love.
I’m looking forward to the girls coming home so life can return to something that resembles normality. Our eldest has taken it all in her stride (her stride of choice is a lob sided goose step which she has been practising up and down the maternity ward) and doesn’t seem at all fazed, she may not realise the baby is coming out of the hospital to live with us and will want to play with her toys, but early reactions to baby are good. I think this may be attributed to my wife’s cunning plan that involved buying a smaller, identical version of her favourite soft toy, a monkey, and giving it to her a few days before the birth of our new monkey.
I didn’t care about gender before the birth and I am just delighted to have a healthy one, a boy would have been nice but not nicer, in many ways it is better for the my daughters this way, they will hopefully have lots in common and be very close. That said, I expect them to ski and ride mountain bikes as well as any son, I will allow protection to prevent scuffed knees, I know girls care about how their legs look. My one regret is that I doubt I will get to use the name we’d picked out for our daughter had she been a boy – Edward D Tyler. Now that is a strong name.
“What does the D stand for?” I hear you say. Danger was to be his middle name.