Monday, April 13, 2009

I can't get used to this.

For the past thirty years years I have been the only male in any house that I have lived in. Since my just after my post student days (and we are talking days not years) I have lived by myself or with women. For the past thirteen years it has been with Merriol for the past seven it has been Merriol, Holly, and Daisy - all female, all 'she's. Now Eben is here there's another male in the house. And it's very disconcerting. Several times a day I think people are talking about me when they're not. They're talking about him.

Since we bought him home my kitchen has been full of people. Every woman of child-bearing age, and older, within a five mile radius has called by, bringing us presents for the baby, little cards to remind us what sex he is, and staying for endless cups of tea and a cuddle of my small, hairy, very orange son and heir. "Hasn't he got a lot of hair?" they all ask, and "Oh he's a bit jaundiced isn't he?" I've been waiting for someone to say he looks like an Orang Outang for days. The jaundice is fading now and he's looking more babylike pink, so they've missed their oportunity.

I've had the same three conversations about the birth of, and relative sizes of, every baby born around here in the last 25 years and explained my shock / horror / bemusement at coping with someone else's tiny willy several hundred times. I'll be glad when we can get back to normal. Whatever that turns out to be.

Sometimes, as I'm automatically making yet another pot of tea for the assembled multidudes*, I hear Merriol say something like: "He did [whatever] this morning..." and for a moment I think "Oh no I didn't! I've never peed on the backs of my knees in my life! (Not that I remember anyway.)" It takes a moment for me to realise she is talking about my son.

After thirty years, it is very disconcerting to suddenly have to share a pronoun with someone else.

*The collective noun for a assembly of American surfers.

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