Hmm babies; pregnancy; giving birth (in various ways all, it seems to me, rather painful); and ahh the ecstasy of first time mother/father/grandparent hood! The suspense of the gender; a boy (as an ardent feminist I secretly imagine momentary disappointment) or a girl (the two little ‘ladies’ currently a feature in my life both received their first pair of dungarees on their first birthday’s with accompanying card’s saying ‘it’s never too early to wear dungarees’ or similar sentiment to ensure their mother’s were in no doubt that further reinforcing feminist ‘material’ would surely follow)!
Having said all that I confess I am with the Queen’s 88 year old first cousin who, when interviewed by an American news channel about whether she was excited about the imminent birth of the Royal birth, said ‘Not terribly’. When the interviewer pointed out that this child could one day be king or queen Mrs Rhodes replied ‘Yes, all right. I’m prepared to be excited’. This Spinster is a bit non plussed by new babies; I don’t exactly think they all look like Winston Churchill but some years ago at a child free wedding I did say to the father of the only baby (a week old so too young to be farmed out for the day) that the child looked (and brace yerself) well fresh!
(As an aside since writing this the Duchess of Cambridge has gone into the early stages of labour; does this change anything? Urh no why would it? My favourite comment from an American reporter camped outside the front of the private London hospital where the monarch creating event is playing out was – referring to the legions of press waiting alongside her she said ‘this has to be the most watched place in the world; but as they say a watched pot never boils!’ Good luck Kate!)
I’ve never been one to get caught up with royal events; a tenuous connection surely simply requires one to afford a neutral degree of respect but nothing more? But maybe one should be a tad more excited, if not the frankly irritating bordering on intrusive interest of Auntie, when a reasonably close relative (first cousin) gives birth. The young woman in question is 31 (or possibly 30) and she has recently had a little boy. Don’t get me wrong I’ve already sent a card and accompanying presents for both her (a rather lovely necklace made by a jeweller whose work one has an affinity with) and her firstborn (a rather cute snuggle ‘thing’ (tiny blanket with a Dalmatian(ish)puppy in one corner).
But beyond being pleased all concerned are happy and thriving the spinster feels, well basically if one is being completely honest, fairly neutral! I know secretly at least a few of you will feel the same although you’d never actually say this! More significant is my young teenage recollections of when this same young woman was born I went to stay with her parents to help out. Her mother is my youngest Aunt; younger by 9 years than her nearest sibling she was always a little bit more fun to be around and motherhood thankfully didn’t change this. When, during my stay, I piled soft toys on her firstborn’s head whilst the tiny baby was sitting her bouncy chair my Aunt didn’t chastise me. Oh no we both dissolved into fits of giggles and she took a photo!
But bang goes another potential recipient for the Beatrix Potter ornament collection the Spinster built up during child/teenage hood! Of course said items need to be located first; precise details of which are yet to be crystallised. Encumbered as one is by crutches, albeit ‘stylish’ German ones, one is not permitted to the parental attic space as it is accessed by ladder. If only I’d thought of this when a friend and I were up there recently on the hunt for other childhood items. Seems a tad ridiculous that a 43 year old woman is denied this simple request; my activities are even risk assessed at her Ma and Pa’s! I shudder to think at how what one get’s up to one is unsupervised would be assessed!