Week 39 — Son in the Sun


Week 39 — Son In The Sun

Oh Satan, what did we do to unleash such unrelenting wrath down upon us! We repent as sinners, for this heat may yet take us all!

The last week has been quite something for the weather, right? It’s not just me and my northern sensibilities? Because I’m used to a colder climate, with snow, scarves on birds, and White Walkers trying to murder us. Well it turns out that my son, despite the Southern part of his DNA, seems to take after my tolerance of freezing temperatures and utter hatred for any thermometer reading above 10 degrees C. And so, with the planet now 3km from the sun this week, it’s been rather disastrously hot for everybody, including our little munchkin and his semi-inability to regulate his own body heat.

Getting him to sleep, and maintaining said state of snooze-ment, was the hardest part. Sweaty, exhausted, rubbing his eyes, and just generally unable to comprehend anything coherently: I soldiered on like a hero. My son was much the same, not to mention my wife, who I’m fairly sure considered living in the freezer at several points during the week. The real bugger of it was that the baby finds it difficult to sleep without his grow-bag (a sort of sleeping bag designed for babies, not hippies) but that, of course, adds another layer. In the end, we just stripped him down to a nappy to counteract the grow-bag. He had to sleep in our room because his personal quarters were one step away from a steam room; if there had been smouldering coals and Romans in togas in there I wouldn’t have been surprised. Actually I would, anachronistically speaking they would have been wildly misplaced in time.

During the daylight hours — or “Open Hell — we attempted sunscreen on the little cherub. Have you ever tried applying a cream-like substance to a micro-human that tries to eat everything without actually letting them eat it? Plus the fact that he flails around like an ignorant drunk, it’s a wonder he didn’t get any in his eyes, mouth, ears, or nappy. My wife has just informed me that he DID get it in his ears. Whoops. However, we filled a flexi-bucket with H2O and plonked him in it with a parasol overhead, because we’re amazing thinkers. Guess what? He ate the flexi-bucket.

My son also spent a lot of time naked on the grass with towels and plastic coverings to catch the inevitable urine, rendering the entire event as “Piss-Gate”. But I think most people, regardless of burdenment of children, will understand the concept of just generally trying to find the coldest part of the house and making that your base until the clouds come back and shield us from the wrath of Lucifer’s Lightbulb above.

But I get to help out as a dad by doing more manly things around the house as my wife and child catch up on sleep during the day. I decided not to wake the Mrs up as I attacked the garden with that lawn-hoover thing that makes grass shorter, and de-weeded the back yard by almost completely guessing what plants weren’t the ones we wanted. My wife woke up an hour and a half later, deposited the still-sleeping tiddler in his own bed, and promptly accused me of lying when I told her all the gardening that she had wanted to do with me was already done. That, my dear friends, has earned me some serious dad-points; I think I’m going to spend them on a new coffee machine and a night of relentless computer gaming.

As a dad, I got the honour of witnessing mums and their friends in their natural, conversational habitat: the coffee shop. It’s where they spend their time obsessing over the baby, their ovaries practically humming, and and swapping stories about other people’s business over large lattes. The poor baby was handed from mum to friend like a football trophy, admired from every angle as his squashed squirrel cheeks got mushed and smushed in feminine admiration. When I left with a male friend for a pint of liquid man juice (beer) the kid looked at me helplessly as if to say ’Don’t leave me, Dad. Please. Take me with you, I’m old enough to drink beer now!’

As a last little send-off for this chapter, I’d like to point out that our son is 39 weeks old, the exact age he was when he was born.

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