It's nice when there's a new baby in the family. Everyone immediately goes onto the cooing register. There's cooing to be done, and the trick is to organise into suitable configurations so that the cooing is paced well and doesn't scare the baby off. There's no retreat when you're a baby. The world outside mummy's insides is cold, and bright, and loud and scary, and smelly, and boomy, and spacious, yet unbounded and unsecure. The last thing you want as a newborn is to be confused by too much cooing. But no cooing would be bad too.
So, that was the central mission of yesterday. At the end of the cooing there would be a house-warming party to go to too, but what happens in the house-warming stays in the house-warming. There's nothing to report on the subject of the house-warming, to be honest, so don't think I'm holding out on you.
Before the baby shower, at my girlfriend's parents' house, there was the morning in Cheltenham. My girlfriend had to go to work. She wasn't due back until lunchtime, so I had a choice. I could get up and do stuff, or I could lie in bed to be awoken by a post-work girlfriend slightly impatiently telling me that I'd frittered my time away in the land of nod... OR, I could get up and do stuff. Surprisingly, I chose the second option.
Step 1: watch a Doctor Who serial - Resurrection of the Daleks - it was ok, not a classic in my view (and ooh: the story continuity discrepancies with the previous serial I watch - Destiny of the Daleks).
Step 1b: go on eBay and try to buy loads more Doctor Who cheaply.
Step 2: Stop with the Who-ing
Step 3: Go into town for general doing of things - including buying supplies
Step 4: Sit on the steps of my girlfriend's work, with a magazine, and wait for her to emerge.
Step 5: Go to a nice lunch with the lady in question - drinking lemon juice and enjoying it.
This is not a bad start to any day. Then, to follow it up, there was some getting changed, and then some going to her parents' place to meet family and friends and generally celebrate a new person in the family. The new person in question is so new that she doesn't know how to do much more than be hugged, be fed, make excretions, or complain about the fact that she can't do one of the above. When she dreams, you can see she's dreaming about one of these things - she mimes being fed, or being hugged, or pooing. Babies are brilliant. They're like a summary of the human condition in one cute wide-eyed bundle.
There's a lot of pregnancy about, as far as I can tell. The world around me is due to be filled with more and more babies. One entire half of the office seemed to fall pregnant around the same time. I was tempted to put a note on the desk of the only woman in that part of the room not to be obviously pregnant which read "You're next". But that might have come across a bit weird, so I was probably wisest not to.
The problem with my solipsistic view of the universe (i.e. the very Ashley-centric view I have of everything) is that the only thing I can think of that all these pregnant women have in common, is me. Surely I'm not the reason that it's a baby boom? I hope not. I would have remembered if it was.