We have had wonderful news. My wife is pregnant.
“This is amazing!” I say, delighted, though it’s only a bit amazing, because I suspect I know how it happened.
“This is brilliant,” I add, as we gently touch her tummy.
“God…” she replies. “Our second child…”
She’s absolutely right – this will be our second child. One thing about my wife, you can’t fault her maths. I tell her that once a day, a dozen times a week.
And I’m delighted because this new baby will make a fantastic follow-up to our critically acclaimed first release. You don’t want people to think that you’ve only got one hit in you.
I tell her this, because she’s literally got another one in her right now.
“You need to not call it a release, though,” she says, and she’s right: ‘release’ sounds a little clinical, like saying the doctor lanced the baby, thereby draining the mum.
Either way – we’re expecting.
“Maybe this is why you needed that fry-up yesterday. Hey – it could be a craving!” I suggest, exactly the way someone with years of medical training might, and at this, her beautiful eyes light up.
“Actually, I could go a fry-up right now!” she says, punching the air.
She looks less alluring now, and more like someone you’d see yelling madly in some kind of advert for fry-ups.
So she has a fry-up while I watch proudly from the other side of the table. She should enjoy this fry-up. She should have as many fry-ups as she craves.
But an hour later, around 10am, I am surprised when she says, “Are you popping out?”
“Popping out?” I say.
Instinctively I check my flies.
“I mean, are you planning on going out, only I really feel like something from Greggs. And nachos.”
“I’m not sure Greggs does nachos,” I say. “Gregg is one of the least Mexican names out there.”
Others include Stuart.
“No, but, like, you could pick up some nachos too, I was thinking. Only if you were popping out.”
I was clearly not popping out.
I just put the kettle on. But I will do this. For I am a hunter-gatherer, with a growing family to fend for, and today Greggs will be my Saharan plains.
So I pop out and I get a Greggs sausage roll and a packet of Doritos from the corner shop to give to my wife.
“Amazing,” she says, when I get home, tearing the sausage roll from my hands and undressing the Doritos with her eyes.
Well, why not? She’s just having cravings for fry-ups, sausage rolls and crisps, that’s all.
I notice she’s changed back into her pyjamas.
Still, now we can simply bask in our news, lying down on the sofa and thinking about how life’s about to change.
“Can I ask you something?” she says, clasping my hand.
“Anything,” I say, very sincerely. “You can ask me anything.”
She pauses. “Do you fancy McDonald’s for lunch?”
I’m starting to think my wife is not having cravings, but that I have given her the idea of having cravings by mentioning that fry-up. Because these cravings seem to have come on pretty quickly. Presumably she was pregnant last night as well, but she seemed happy enough with cous cous then.
“Are you saying you want me to get you a McDonald’s?” I say, keen to ensure she knows this is her decision.
“Ooh, quarter pounder with cheese,” she says, like it was my idea.
“And we should get some nuggets to share. And fries. Large. And a chocolate milkshake. And whatever you want.”
Well, thank you, Mother Teresa.
And as I put my shoes on again...
“Actually, could you get a spare cheeseburger? Just in case? Thanks, love.”
At the drive-through, tapping my steering wheel in thequeue, rain starting to pepper the windscreen, I stare at the text I’ve just received.
“Just remembered it’s Friday!” it says. “Friday night curry! So forget the extra cheeseburger. But bring cash for the delivery guy, yeah?”
I consider my life and how it’s changed in one morning, as I desperately check if there’s a cashpoint near McDonald’s.
I don’t think my wife sees me as a hunter-gatherer any more. I think she sees me as more of an executive assistant with special responsibility for food.
But you know what? She’s growing a human. I must allow her these days of burgers and fries, before we see something on the news about how you’re only supposed to eat kale.
My phone beeps again.
“Actually,” says the text. “Get the cheeseburger anyway.”
This better be a bloody good release.
Everyone loves a (nice) surprise…
Nick Coxon is always on the lookout for the perfect wedding, birthday or Valentine’s Day gift for that someone special. And now he’s found it! A £10 Caffe Nero gift card. “It would certainly be a surprise!” he says. And a delight, Nick. And a delight.
Mixer messages in Belgium
Ped McKinstry was in Brussels recently where he discovered the bars and pubs there have taken a very head-on and sensible approach to the very real perils of underage drinking.
There’ll certainly certainly be no confusion now!