Today I met my friend’s baby daughter for the very first time. Well, that is unless you count the 9 months that baby Matilda was in my friend Lizzie’s womb (some say “tummy” but they’re silly and clearly didn’t pay attention at school). It was a good day and, yet again, it has left me feeling a bit broody.
In September I shall become a Godfather for the third time. Each time I have been asked I have felt it an enormous honour, each time I have shed a little tear (or many) of joy and each time I have tried not to ask the question, “why have they chosen me?”. By my own admission, I am not a religious person – although I am a great believer in faith and spirituality, I am certainly not “renowned” for being a religious person – so I’m not sure that is the reason I was asked. Part of me assumes I have been asked as a role model – in the sense of, “Look at Al… don’t be like him!” The only thing I know for sure is that, of anything that I have achieved or that has happened in my life, being a Godparent is, without a doubt, the thing I am most proud of and that I take most seriously.
So today wasn’t the first time I have held a baby. I have often held friend’s babies. I have never held stranger’s babies. I think this would just be odd. I have been at parties where I have offered a stranger a sausage roll and, I remember, I once gave the time to a stranger in the street. Both of these things felt perfectly acceptable things to do. If, however, I’d gone to a party and started holding the baby of someone I didn’t know, or I started holding the baby of a time consumed passer-by in the street, it would be frowned upon. Rightly so, because that would be weird. No, I only ever hold the babies of my friends and as I have got older, I have noticed something.
Whenever I have met my friend’s child for the first time and they have said, “Would you like to hold him/her?” I have always thought three things. 1) “Shouldn’t you really know if it’s a him or a her by now!??!” 2) “Please don’t let me drop them” and 3) “If an attractive girl goes by and sees me holding a baby, she’s going to fall for me instantly” I no longer think about the third option. Here’s why:
If you go for a drink with a member of the opposite sex who is simply a platonic friend, you both know that is all it is. If someone of the opposite sex walks past, sees you and you smile at them or flirt with your eyes, you may think nothing of it. Why would you? You’re single and you’re just out with your friend. However, that member of the opposite sex who is walking by sees you and assumes that you are with your partner and in a relationship. Therefore, they don’t see you as the cheeky/charming person you are hoping to portray but as a smarmy little toad who is blatantly giving another woman the eye. So, if you are out with your friend for lunch, and your friend has a baby with them, the attractive member of the opposite sex will probably think you are a doting family man which, I believe, is quite a sexy thing. However, if you are as they believe you to be, a doting family man with a newborn baby who is obviously making eyes at them and trying to flirt in front of his “wife and child”, you are the lowest of the low. Therefore I learnt a few years ago that holding a friend’s baby is not a girl getter. This is a good thing because if a girl wants me purely because I am holding a child, I find that odd. After all, she’s a stranger.
So, what have I learnt today? Well, I have learnt that I think it would be ace to have my very own baby child. I think, if I had a baby, I would just stare at their fingers all day long because they are just so small. Like actual, grown up fingers but if you were looking at them through binoculars the wrong way.
Also, I have learnt that teeny babies are fun. I know people say that babies are boring until they’re a few months old and have formed their own personalities but I disagree. Today, Tilly started having a little cry (I put this down to hunger, once her Mum had told me that she was crying because she was hungry) and so I thought I’d soothe her with my voice. However, rather than sing or “shush” her, something odd happened to me. I began to read out an imaginary Thanksgiving menu in the style of the housekeeper from the Tom & Jerry cartoons. “We’re going to have us some greens and some sweet potato and yams…”. At this point – I imagine it was down to incredulity which is the first reaction babies develop – Tilly ceased crying. I then handed her to her Mum who had earlier expressed a desire to feed her (actually, she had just expressed. Which reminds me, when people say “expresso”, is it because they’re mispronouncing “espresso” or is it a special latte made in a special way?).
Broodiness is sweeping over me and with two friends due to give birth in the next couple of months, I can’t see it getting any better. I feel this is a shame because not only do I really like Farley’s Rusks, I have already chosen the names of my children. Barney for a boy, Daisy for a girl and Charlie if I have a third child. I like Charlie because it works for both boys and girls. So, say I have a son, if he’s at a party and he sees someone he likes, he can say, “If I was a girl, I was going to be called Charlie”. When the object of his desire asks what his actual name is and he replies, “Charlie!”, much hilarity will ensue, the ice will be broken and they will be well on their way to having children of their own.
Incidentally, if I was born a girl I was going to be called “Kimberley”. My actual name is Alistair. See, doesn’t work, does it? Which is the entire reason I don’t have a baby and am feeling broody…