March 1993 – The clear spring sky grants unhindered visual access to the Piscean constellation lording it above a Bedfordshire hospital. A celestial display festooned majestically overhead; the new day only minutes old as it witnesses the girl child’s arrival. The babe’s advent seven days earlier than anticipated, catching her twenty-something parents on the hop.
The root cause of the babe’s previous arrival unknown. However, subsequent analysis by yours truly discounts impatience at witnessing my whispy moustache, or hearing mum’s ‘fascinating’ anecdote about a meal consumed during 1989’s family holiday in Cyprus.
Minutes after the delivery, a heavy handed midwife passes the new-born to me with the grace of a fly-half despatching a rugby ball to a fleet footed centre. Thankfully, though, I suppressed an impulse to drop kick my daughter. Instead, in an act of paternal love and protection, I held her with a vicelike hug; my eyes welling up with salted tears whilst holding my offspring for the first time. To clarify, these tears weren’t from the emotion of the occasion, moreover from pain inflicted by the midwife treading on my foot….. The flaming clumsy mare!
At this juncture, my wife and I exchanged smiles; in Karen’s case probably through relief her daughter didn’t appear to have inherited her dad’s colossal proboscis. My inane grin from relief at the relatively short labour, meaning I’d probably be back home in time to watch Mr Motivator’s exercise routine on breakfast TV.
Choosing not to know the sex of our child prior to the baby’s birth, if blessed with another son, Karen and I’d prepared the name Philip – The moniker Rachel our favoured moniker should my spouse bear a daughter.
With Karen enjoyed a well-earned post-delivery sleep, I ‘entertained’ my new daughter with a medley of off-key Frank Sinatra laments. Or I did until it resulted in the probable cause of Rachel’s inaugural sob.
Her apparent disenchantment at my lack of melody displayed alongside early signs of an incredibly strong pincer movement by snagging my unconvincing moustache……. My yelp at almost having facial hair pulled out at the root consequently waking Karen from her slumber.
With my wife awake, I gently handed her our tiny daughter. Cuddling her second child, who’d she’d been carrying for the previous nine months, resulting in the young County Durham lass starting to cry. Tears of genuine emotion, not the consequence of a cloddish midwife standing on her foot, as I’d experienced earlier.
During her embrace with her second child, Karen fed the new arrival. With Rachel suckling, GJ Strachan recommenced his ‘Sinatra Sings The Wheels On The Bus’ act. This time causing my missus to stretch out her arm and grab my moustache; prior to admonishing me with the words “Don’t upset her again!”
Perturbed at having my tash pulled twice in such close proximity, and with Mr Motivator only an hour away from performing his over-excitable exercise routines on GMTV, I bode my wife and newly born daughter a temporary farewell. Allowing them both a well-deserved rest and no doubt welcome freedom from my crooning. Me returning home to inform my two year old son Jonny of the family’s new addition.
After a few hours sleep, I returned to the L&D hospital with Jonny who was very giddy about seeing the new addition to the family. Or he was until he discovered the new addition was a baby sister and not Captain Scarlet! … Yes I know you shouldn’t lie to your kids, but hey I had to get him to the hospital somehow!