Monday, February 14, 2005


The news has been broken to the grandparents to be.

Well, all except my Dad as he seems not to have returned from his latest jaunt to the continent in his ongoing attempt to holiday his way to a Ph.D in Hedonism.

Yesterday was one of those rare occasions in ones life: and not just because I managed to gather most of my family into one room without them leaving, cooking or answering the phone. So after they had been seated for a while and had sampled the dips and snacks that Hayley and Julia had so carefully prepared, we "decided" to play charades.

We quickly navigated South Pacific before struggling through Hayley's Guys and Dolls to get to my turn.

So after communicating that my chosen subject was not a play, movie, book or show, I managed to convey that the first three (of the four) words were "Steve and Hayley's...". It's hard to convey how I felt at this point. All I had to do now was rock my arms like I was rocking a baby and all would be clear. It was like standing one step from the summit of Everest knowing with absolute certainty that you were about to reach your goal. I paused to milk the moment and then made the rocking motion...

Totally blank faces. And silence.

"Baby?" said Julia. I pointed at her, nodding, with a big grin, still mute in best charades fashion.

More blank looks.

"She's preggers?" queried Del. More grinning and nodding from me.

"Hang on," interjected my Mum, looking as confused, ironically, as I imagine I probably did when she explained to me why our rabbit Snowy was always giving Peter rabbit piggy backs and never the other way round. "Are you serious?" Yet more nodding.

At this point Robbie at least managed to rise above the state of shock that seemed to have engulfed the room to step forward with a smile to say "Congratulations" and shake my hand. This moved things on somewhat, but even when the party broke up a little later (as my 93 year old Grandmother needed to go home) I knew that the news was still very new indeed and not even close to having sunk in.

By contrast, when we told Hayley's Mum the shock seemed to last only about 30 seconds, after which she completely got the measure of the situation: by the end of the evening she knew exactly when she was coming up to stay and was ready to video the birth! (This latter plan had to be gently vetoed later.)

The day before we told Hayley's Dad. He seemed very pleased and proud. His partner, Nancy, was over the moon and made the first offer to babysit!

So that's that. Seconds out, round 2.... friends!