Me and my mother, 1983
Today is my mother's birthday, I'm not sure how many candles she'll have on her cake that my dad will have lovingly made for her, but it's probably almost 30.  Again.
It always makes me think, what was I like as a baby?
Well, apparently, I was not the best of babies.  Constantly hungry, always needing things, perpetually destroying stuff...  And when I did relax, it was often a bit of a quest to find where I was - I'd often sneak off somewhere incredibly strange to have a nap.  My parents keep a photo album (remember those?) of the awkward places & positions they'd found me snoozing.  
For my mother, it meant giving up any vices she might've had (I'm pretty sure she was fairly clean before I came along, anyway).  No more late nights, no more parties...  For my father, it meant another hungry, crying, whining mouth to feed, much less sleep, much less fun with his mates, etc.  
It was probably also quite scary, without much information at hand - back in the early '80s, computers were confined to the office, and the internet was a distant dream...  But in that, it probably saved them a little.  With all the scary stories that are just a click away these days, and news channels that thrive on scaremongering, today's baby-raising environment is a mixed bag of help & hindrance.  
Still, though, there I was, becoming more of a pain in my parent's side, snapping up their final years of youth with my enormous appetite for wanton destruction.  How they survived, I've no idea.  Somehow they did it, and people seem to still be doing it all over the world.  

What does all this mean for us now?  Well, clearly, our lives are over, as much as we try to live neck-deep in denial.  We can probably scrape out a couple more nights here & there before the baby gets too big, but all the wine dinners & balls that we'd planned on going to - well I guess all that money we've now saved will go straight into a savings account that I'm going to call "Prepayments For Stuff That The Baby Destroys".  It also means that it'll be another 20 years before we have a year like our last one - and that's if we're lucky.  I've been told, though, that it's all worth it in the end.  For my parents, I hope so.

To the woman who's life I destroyed, happy birthday.


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