Today is the very first day of January. On the very last day of December (seems like just yesterday) I vowed to my wife, with great vodka-induced solemnity, that January for me would be a WHOLE MONTH of zero booze and plentiful yoga. This is essential I feel, as on my last attempt at a forward-fold, I emitted noises and smells that frankly terrified me as I headed towards, but fell well short of, my toes. Furthermore, my battered and savaged liver feels like burned toast wrapped in tinfoil, and makes crinkling noises whenever I try to move. Now is the time. New year, new start and all that jazz.
No time at all.
However, it would seem already that I am a pathetic, turncoat of a man. A figure to be but ridiculed. It is ONLY 11.05 am on January 1st and I have just had a very illuminating conversation with my wife, in which I gave a splendidly in-denial presentation as to why throwing away two half bottles of expensive red wine and one half bottle of cheap-ass imitation champagne was terribly, terribly wasteful.
I just can’t justify pouring away perfectly good toxins when there are children starving in Africa. It’s not right. It’s not what baby Jesus would want, of that I am sure.
And thus I am now drinking cheap champers with a ginger wine chaser and welcoming alcoholism to 2015 with open arms, whilst my willpower is tied up in the dark; half-heartedly restrained in the pantry with bald tinsel and recycled sellotape. It whimpers pathetically but accepts its fate.
The time will come
And hence I set the tone for MIHP in 2015, and reaffirm my commitment to you to chart my hapless abilities to be a bit of nob despite my best efforts. But afore we get into the box of frogs that is the future, and the many ways I will most likely annoy and embarrass the ones I love the most, I shall endeavour to round up the past. The past and last main event worthy of mention. A glimmer of significance in a deuce of months of the usual MIHP fodder. The birth of the boy.
As the door bell rang I exhaled the words thank f*ck and temporarily left my wife mooing like a demented herd on the couch. The third baby it would seem was intending to wait for no-one and I REALLY didn’t want to get my hands dirty. I opened the door with distinct gusto, all sweaty and terrified, only to find a very heavily pregnant woman standing on my doorstep breathing deeply. I was confused? Was this the Twilight Zone?
As I fought the overwhelming desire to have a mini-stroke, I could only assume that my wife had forgotten to tell me that she’d rented the lounge out as a drop-in birthing centre? There was another woman standing behind the pregnant woman on my doorstep, I prayed she wasn’t with child. I have never wished a woman barren before. I am not proud.
It turned out that only the first midwife was pregnant. Small mercies. The trainee midwife at the back of the line, joked that at 36 weeks, her boss could in essence go into labour at any moment and that we might have to deliver one baby each.
She was ruffling my bloody feathers I can tell you.
She proceeded to jibe that as I already had two children ‘I must be a bit of a pro now‘ and therefore in the event of both women going into labour simultaneously, I would be in charge, as she was still unqualified.
I wanted to punch the pretend midwife in the underpants.
I glanced at the real midwife, expecting her to reprimand her trainee for her piss poor bedside manner, but she was too busy NEEDING TO SIT DOWN BECAUSE SHE WAS HEAVILY PREGNANT. My blood pressure I would estimate was now 200 over 200 and rising…..
I stood on the threshold. I looked up and down the road hoping to see the ghost of tiny handed Jeremy Beadle dressed as a Paediatrician. But no. Arse. I welcomed into my home the waddling midwife and the pretend midwife and could only wonder what I had done to upset the Almighty?
The two fat ladies sat-side-by side on the couch whilst the gobby student unpacked her bag and came perilously close to a significant muff punch. God help me. I paced and paced and paced. I unpacked 9 shower curtains with my teeth as the heavily pregnant midwife, huffed and puffed and got down on the floor to listen to the baby’s heart beat.
I stood there and listened to a tinny, crackly heartbeat thumping its rhythm of life. It was both beautiful and terrifying. I’d have been moved to tears had I not been stood there draped in 9 unfolded shower curtains like a proper nobhead. I looked like a gay sheikh, dressed by Gok Wan, all robed in pink dotted gowns, standing motionless and petrified next to a birthing woman. I tried not to look out of place.
I stood waiting, poised, ready to slide my robes under my wife, before she exploded all over our cream couch. I didn’t want to interrupt, but I did want to save my couch. But I REALLY didn’t want to interrupt. How would THAT sound?
Sorry, can you just remove your fingers from my wife’s cervix whilst I slide this poker dot shower curtain underneath you like a magician doing a reverse table cloth trick?
Even I know that sounds weird. So I just stood there. Hovering over them. Like a FABULOUS Grim Reaper. Because THAT’s not weird……
I think I stood there for about 10 minutes before any of the three ladies in the room sensed my impatience and got out of the ******* way so I could protect my soft furnishings.
And then it’s all a bit of a blur? Things took on their own pace. It all happened very quickly in the scheme of things. 45 minutes I am told. But let me tell you, when you are kneeling with bad knees on a wooden floor, at the side of your couch, whilst your wife luxuriates ON the couch, time slows down to a snail’s pace. 45 minutes and then some….
As she screams like a runaway train, squeezes BOTH your hands and yanks on BOTH your arms; arms and hands that are beginning to go blue and numb, what with all the squeezing and yanking, 45 minutes will take on a whole new meaning. 45 minutes will begin to make no sense, it will become meaningless, like saying a word over and over again. 45 minutes and THE REST OF YOUR ******LIFE will become indistinguishable.
Pass the time
Your wife will pass the time by paying particular attention to crushing your left hand with her new found super human strength, just for fun. She will absent-mindedly dig your wedding ring in to your neighbouring fingers in an attempt to render you permanently disfigured. In fairness, the pain will help you while away the hours. You will contemplate, in all that available free time, asking her to PLEASE LET GO OF MY *******HAND but you will be far too scared to say it out loud, so you will bury your head in the arm of the couch and try not to scream. You will rue your penis in the ever lasting three-quarters of an hour that has now become your life.
And then, about 20 minutes in, your wife will literally hoist you off the cold, hard floor like an industrial crane, such will be her maternal force and your pathetic lack of body weight. You will worry that she is going to pull you on top of her, and that it will appear to everyone as if you are trying to dry hump your wife as she gives birth. This will be a real and genuine worry.
(I am assuming all men worry about being accused of sexual harassment during the birth of their children?)
But don’t worry, just as you are virtually airborne, with just your tippy-toes touching the floor; with your body too far over the arm of the couch for you to be able to control the fulcrum point, the heavily pregnant midwife will say ‘Stop pushing’ and your wife will instantly release. You will come crashing down onto your knees with a clatter. The relief of having your hands and arms unviced will be immediately assuaged by the searing pain of your knee bones splintering, as they make contact once again with the wooden floor.
Trust me, 45 minutes will last FOREVER as you are squeezed, viced, hoisted and dropped, in a vicious and relentless cycle of hate, all to the soundtrack of a woman trying to scream the paint off the walls. At every lift you will fear the fulcrum and the possibility of impropriety. They do not cover this at anti-natal……
Such was the tension during the ‘stop pushing breaks’ that I was as behind-the-couch as it is possible to be without actually being behind the couch. I was terrified. I buried my head in my chest and turned my back to proceedings, so as not to actually witness the final destruction of my wife’s lady pocket.
There are some things I just do not want to see, EVER. I have very fond memories of my wife’s lady bits and was worried that watching them being devastated by a person climbing out of them, would perchance sully any future rendezvous? I have high hopes you see. Futile hopes, but high none-the-less.
At one point, in a bid to occupy my mind and avert my gaze, I got myself into a little bit of trouble. For all of you future dads out there, here’s some sage advice. It would seem that when your wife has a person’s head sticking out of her vagina, glancing up to see you cleaning the radiator with spit, and one of your socks, will result in her having a stern word with you. Furthermore, beware; as she begins to PUSH and wants your hand once more to try and snap it off in absolute fury, asking her to hang on whilst you put your sock back on, will see you publicly labelled ‘a wanker’. This will make any other adults in the room snigger.
You my friend at this moment, in this time and space, are a square peg in a round hole. You are surplus to requirements, however, you must NOT engage in spring cleaning none-the-less. Dumb-ass.
The next thing I know, I am making tea and toast for three women sitting in my lounge chatting. They are surrounded by bloody destruction and 9 soiled shower curtains, BUT SPOTLESS FLOORS. I can hear my son gently crying. I felt amazing in my kitchen waiting for the toast to pop.
All was well once more. Huzzah. And then I inadvertently witnessed the birth of the afterbirth, which I was a bit bloody annoyed about to be honest. I’d only popped back in to ask if they wanted marmalade or Marmite, and unexpectedly came face to face with what can only be described as a surging blob of bleurgh plopping out of my wife and onto a poker dot shower curtain. A shower curtain expertly placed. DAMN IT. It looked like B-Movie character. All wobbling and dastardly by the hearth.
I’d managed up until then to avoid witnessing any blood and gore. The student had shouted me whilst I was putting the kettle on and asked whether I wanted to cut the chord? I declined thank you very much, but agreed to bravely watch my wife cutting it herself. I watched from the hallway, that was close enough for me.
Wifey looked like she was performing self-surgery. With a fresh piping hot baby all purple and scrunched on her bosom, she brushed aside her sweaty brow, took hold of the scissors and cut a bit of herself off. Separating mother from child with one symbolic snip. I had to admire her. Amazing woman.
And then I burned the toast because my bloody wife had turned the toaster up to 9 to defrost a bagel that morning and hadn’t turned it back down again. She does this A LOT. Divorce was back on the cards.
The last time
And so on that Sunday Axl was born. 8 pounds and 11 ounces of baby number three. The final chapter. He represents the end of my seed sowing. He is my swan song. My final hurrah. My penis is now in exile. Heading for the hills to live a hermit’s life. The life of one no longer required. His memory will fade from existence. He has gone the way of my willpower. A ghost with no real purpose. A caricature of a once-was-but-is-no-more. He can hang up his boots, put on his pyjamas, blow out his candle and retire.
Nighty nighty sweet prince.
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