Saturday, 4 February 2012

Expanding The Franchise The Old-Fashioned Way

Do you guys remember my mate Awesome?

Well she and her fella have been married for about a year and a half now and towards the end of last year she told me that the two of them were trying for a baby.

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

Awesome has never been that interested in kids and had always said she was going to have dogs instead.

Of course that was before we met our friend Inky*.

Inky has three little boys.
When we first started hanging out with her they were 0, 2, and 4.
They're now 2, 4, and 6.

Over the last two years Awesome's time with Inky's kids has obviously convinced her that tinier humans are not in fact the devil's spawn that she thought they were and that having one of her own might not be such a terrible thing.

And now Awesome and her husband are expecting.

So having been informed I am going to be an auntie, I immediately starting thinking of ways I could help out.

For starters I've been reminding everyone that as a metal-head couple, Awesome and her fella are not going to be wanting any gifts in pastel.
They've already bought Awesome Junior this here jumpsuit...

...and most of the baby's other clothes are likely to be fairly similar in nature.

The other thing I started doing was research.

This is what I do.

I read up on stuff and just have it sitting in my head in case it becomes useful.
It's how I helped my sister and Awesome plan for their respective weddings and it has served me well in a lot of other situations.

So I did a bit of generalised reading here, a bit of asking all my kid-having relatives and coworkers what are the most useful things you can do to help out a new set of parents there, a bit of looking a baby paraphernalia when out and about.

Over Christmas I spent about four days getting some hands on experience with my cousin's 4 month old and 20 month old so that when Awesome is all sleep-deprived and serial-killer-looking I can pop over for a bit and wrangle the child as she has a shower and/or a nap and gets out of the house for a bit.

Two tips I learned from that particular experience:
  1. Don't wear necklaces around babies and toddlers. Not because they will get a hold of them - though they will - but because they have this disconcerting habit of flinging their heads against your chest and you don't want to have to explain a Celtic cross shaped bruise on their soft head bits**.
  2. If you've got a voice you use for telling your dogs or cats off it works perfectly with kids. You say 'put that down' in the 'no' voice you use for dogs and they put that right down. So useful!
Somehow I managed to not actually be in charge of said kids any time they needed their nappies changed which I just put down to being further proof that the universe loves me.

Awesome isn't quite ready to actually think about the Baby Exit Strategy just yet so I figured I'd have a look into it for her so that when she is ready to start planning I can have the information on hand.

So I started watching this documentary One Born Every Minute and Oh My Lord.

Apparently having babies can be somewhat painful!
I mean obviously it would be considering what has to come out where but until I watched this show I didn't fully comprehend how long labour went on and some of things that can happen during it.
Bloody amazing.

And some people's partners are completely [redacted] useless!
They just sit there looking fed up and making snide comments whilst their lady writhes around in agony.
I know you're only seeing a slice of their life and it's at quite a stressful time but you'd think that during labour would be the one time you'd manage to reign in your jackassery and be supportive!
Even if just to look good for the cameras!

But overall it's a fascinating series.

You get to see a snapshot of people's family situations, their circumstances, their personalities and witness an important moment in their lives.

It does make you think the human body is somewhat bodged together as it seems to take an absurd amount of effort to eject a fresh human being from the slot.

Inky is going to be Awesome's other birth partner (along with Awesome's husband) as she's had several children and is a registered nurse so I won't actually be there but knowing what is coming up is both incredibly interesting and rather daunting.

Both from a logistics point of view and from a 'holy crap, we're adults now' viewpoint.

Obviously we have been for a while, we're all about 28, but the events of the last few years have really driven it home.

Awesome has gotten married and is expecting a baby.

Eep has built a house with her fella and they're getting married at the end of this year.

I have a credit card and have used it to book international flights and hotel rooms like a real grown up and am routinely taken seriously despite constantly feeling like I'm play acting.

We've all had cars, had jobs, paid taxes, organised all sorts of weird and woolly grown up things and after Awesome Junior pops out of the chute everything is going to be different from then on.

Awesome will be the first of my friends to have a baby*** and even with all the reading I've done I don't think I'll be ready for how much that's going to change our lives and the nature of our friendships.

If nothing else it's going to be educational.

*She has tattoos. Lovely tattoos.

**This didn't happen but it was close, oh so close!

***Inky has babies but I didn't know here when she was having them. They came as part of the package with our friendship. Awesome is the first of my school friends to have a baby.

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