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So this is Parenthood...

It's now been 4 months since Benjamin was born. I realised the other day that many things were happening. Each day there are changes; every morning something is different. And so I wanted to note down where we are, what's happened, how we feel, what it's been like.First let's take a look at the little man: Now I know I'm biased but isn't he gorgeous? I think it's safe to say that Lisette and I have become that which we despised: parents that dote on their progeny. We're wondering if he might have ginger hair. Looks a bit that way. And do notice his tongue. That tongue was the cause of a lot of trouble. The Breast Things in Life are FreeAfter the lad was born we'd been told by other parents that the first 3 days can be quite tough. Or rather that after 3 days you've run out of adrenalin and you'll be running on empty. We were. Feeding was not going well at this point. Lisette was absolutely shattered and Benjamin was pretty demandi…

Unto us a son is given...

... and this is him!



It took longer than expected When Lisette's contractions started on June 14th I assumed that the birth would be taking place in pretty short order after that. I was wrong. It all started out pretty easily I'd say. Lisette was having contractions about every 5 minutes and they weren't enormously painful. This may have been helped by Lisette plugging herself into a "tens" machine. (I know; I'd never heard of one either.) A tens machine is a small device which has extrudes pads which are attached to the small of the back (of the woman in labour) and deliver electrical pulses which sooth the contraction pain. It's supposed to be similar to the effect of rubbing your leg after you've knocked it. Maybe it's hocus pocus; I don't know.

But once plugged into the machine Lisette seemed pretty much okay. And it was a beautiful day on June 14th so we did what any self-respecting Brit would have done in the circumstances; we sa…

Incoming!

It's the morning of June 14th 2012. Lisette is 9 months pregnant. Well 9 months and a day; she was due to give birth yesterday.

I've attended the classes and so I know that kids aren't like microwave meals. They don't click and ding in exactly 3 minutes. They can come at any time. So for the last month that's pretty much what I've been expecting. Imminent arrival. It hasn't happened. But something's happening now...

Lisette woke in the night. This isn't unusual at all. Since Lisette started on maternity leave she's pretty much adopted (the cat) Maggie's lifestyle. That is to say, she has about 3 or 4 sleeps a day and prowls the house during the night. Though thankfully she hasn't yet tried to use the catflap.

But last night was different. When Lisette woke she felt a little strange. Not "I'm going into labour" strange; more "I've eaten a hot Thai curry" strange. As it happened she had eaten a ho…

The Rules Exist for a Reason

It was now evening in Sicily and the sun was beginning to set. Lisette and I found ourselves in a cafe 5 miles from where we were lodging. The cafe was filled with about 40 elderly men; all drinking coffee and talking loudly. I tried addressing the man behind the counter:

"Scusi Signore" I ventured (my Italian is not fantastic), "uhmmm, taxi... Scopello... Per favore?" The barman frowned. "Non. No taxis in Castellammare." And there he left it.

It had, all told, been a very long day indeed. Lisette and I had arrived the previous night in Scopello a town that sits roughly halfway between Palermo and Trapani on the West side of Sicily. We first visited Scopello the year before and liked what we saw. It was a magical, though undeniably tiny, place packed with restaurants and cafes and situated next to the Zingaro - a massive nature reserve. We only stayed there for a day on that occasion, and we loved it.

Lisette and I have rules when it comes to tr…

Keeping Schtum

We found out Lisette was pregnant at about 2 weeks. A combination of common sense and tradition meant we decided to keep the news pretty much to ourselves to start with. And it's undeniable that we were shocked enough with the news as is without having to deal with other peoples reactions as well.

However, keeping the news of Lisette's pregnancy quiet up until this point has proved somewhat challenging. Lisette stopped drinking when she found out and to her surprise a friend, let's call him Chris for now, clearly noticed straightaway (what this says about Lisette I couldn't possibly comment). For Chris truly hates not to know a secret. Subsequently any time we met up with him we would be entertained by the ways in which he sought to know for sure. Various approaches were taken. There were the random questions:

- "Are you okay Lisette?"
- "Yes I am Chris."
- "You're well?"
- "Oh yes!"
- "So... you're good"