Since the boy arrived, an abundance of delightful people have stopped me to ask after him and to offer a word or two of encouragement, a soupcon of advice and, on one very odd occasion, I had to flee from a visceral warning about the perils of mollycoddling from a distraught mother at the end of her tether, writes Ben Keenan.
Parents from all generations have launched their own unique brands of wisdom my way and the results have been fascinating and quite often hilarious. The gem I hear most often is that old chestnut ‘Cherish every moment’. It always brings a smile to my face when I think about the thousands of memorable moments I’ve already stored away thanks to Thomas. It’s only been 11 weeks since we brought him home and my brain has already prepared itself for these memories by making me forget most of the stuff I’d remembered before his birth. The other one I hear often is ‘Don’t they grow up so quickly’, which is a hard thing to argue against when you look at the Everest-sized pile of clothes that no longer fit my son. Last weekend, my family held a wonderful tea party for the boy at which he arrived in his Sunday best of Jasper Conran striped polo shirt, stone washed denim jeans and size one Converse All-Stars. Staring at him as I do (constantly), I was struck by the thought that my baby boy now resembled a baby man and I didn’t like it one bit. Without a doubt they grow up quickly but I refuse to speed up the process in the name of fashion and am making a stand on his behalf against anything that isn’t an all-in-one babygrow. But I’ll admit that he does look adorable in his tuxedo, bow tie and monocle. Only joking dear readers…they won’t fit him for another three months!