Dave the Dad 32 - Baby Squared

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Harry James Fouracre
Harry James Fouracre
Where to start? It's been a busy old time this last year, what with so many great films coming out, the Olympics, Euro 2008 and what-not.

The 'what-not' in particular has taken up a great deal of time, ensuring in fact that we missed loads of great films, much of the Olympics and most of Euro 2008. Our what-not in question is called Harry James Fouracre and is now four weeks old. I wanted to call him Harry Alexander initially until a friend helpfully pointed out that it all sounded a bit too presidential. Nothing wrong with that, I thought, then saw old Dubya gleefully smacking a volley-ball player on the bum in Beijing and re-considered. So Harry James it was.

Four weeks last Sunday we were set in place, awaiting the joyous miracle that is childbirth. Perhaps I'm odd but I don't seem to relish the whole birth malarkey as much as some men. Now don't get me wrong; I'm willing, even eager, to be present at the birth of my progeny so that I can lend support to my partner through a trying time and be there when my child finally emerges into the world. It's just that the whole hilarity of trying the gas and air, the solemnity of cutting the cord and the practicality of turning my partner's placenta into a nice pate appears to have passed me by.

My priorities are very simple: 1) that my partner is as relaxed as possible and 2) we have a nice, healthy surprise at the end of it all. And Harry was beautiful from the moment he was born, with a shock of brown hair that allayed his mum's immediate concern that my rogue ginger gene might be coursing through his tiny veins. There's time, I thought, still time. My niece was born with the most amazing sheer blonde hair and when this went black several months later she looked like a fashion challenged panda. Bring on the orange I say!

The most fun bit for me came once the shouting had descended into cooing as the midwives fell over themselves to praise how alert young Harry was. It was amusing how uncomfortable they became moments later when I tried to get them to admit his piercing eyes and thoughtful demeanour was 'borderline genius': they tactfully withdrew and you could see them wondering if I might return to haunt them with a lawsuit 18 years down the line time once Harry has become a plasterer.

Twenty four hours later we were home and introducing the newest
Big Brother Tom
member. Some people might recall that I already have one son, Tom, careering towards his third birthday in a whirlwind of arms, legs and questions. His reaction towards Harry has been that of an fascinated by-stander, a little like someone witnessing a cow throwing up in their flower-beds. He does enjoy looking down on Harry to monitor certain aspects. 'Your baby is smiling at me,' he titters and who is to say he isn't? In any case it would be churlish to point out that in fact Harry is smiling through blue lips and could, just could, barf all over the sofa any second. Other than that the only other area of interest is feeding time and I'm sure Tom only feigns interest here so that he can legitimately use the word 'boobies'. I have noticed that he is still referring to Harry as 'your baby', which tends to give the impression that this new addition is a passing fad which will probably be soon discarded, like a new MP3 player or an interest in the Liberal Democrats.

As for Harry, he is a gorgeous baby. Tom was the same. Good genes you see, and aided considerably by the fact that neither appears to look anything like me. Another lack of similarity comes in his ceaseless and rather wild activity. He is an incredibly active baby, forever bucking, pawing, flapping, kicking,
A Sleepy Harry
wriggling and generally making a nuisance of himself when you are trying to show him off. In fact holding him at times resembles the task of trying to post an octopus through a letterbox, an activity that seems manageable on paper and yet appears increasingly illogical as the minutes tick by. Alright, so he is four limbs short of Octopal but he does possess very long limbs and very long fingers. It's pretty clear to me he's either going to be a pianist or an extraterrestrial.

Gangly limbs aside Harry seems to have all the usual accoutrements although times have changed since Tom was born three years ago. In a world where a newly bought computer can become obsolete by the time you get it out of the box at home it was inescapable that babies would change too. Whenever Harry starts kicking off all we have to do is locate the On/Off button he has in his mouth. You pop your finger in and Hey Presto! he stops crying and falls asleep. Brilliant. What will they think of next? A baby with a replaceable bum? Now that would be useful. Right up until the time you go to Aldi's for a spare and find that the only one in stock is for a thirteen month old. Now his bum would look big in that!

by

Dave Fouracre aka "Dave the Dad" is a regular feature writer & blogger for TheBabyWebsite and is Dad to two sons and a daughter!
August 2008
©David Fouracre

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