Tuesday 23 June 2009

Swings and roundabouts

14st 9½lb, 2.5 units. A day of mixed fortunes: The Baby is getting better, but Mrs H is patently going off her chump. She rang me before 7 in a tearful condition because, although The Baby’s blood tests showed an improving trend, they still wanted to give him another six-hour blast on the UV machine. She is clearly very demoralized by it all, and particularly by the thought that their return home might be delayed. “Why does it all have to happen to him?” she asked, plaintively; not a question to which I could immediately think of any intelligent reply.

I got up and made myself a cup of tea, and offered The Dog a delicious Pedigree Rancho chew in place of his usual Schmacko, the supply of which he exhausted yesterday. He dropped it on the kitchen floor and looked at me accusingly, as though I were a potential dog killer. This, I reflected, from an animal whose idea of a tasty treat is cat shit. Perhaps Messrs Pedigree need to rethink their recipe and focus on some cheaper and nastier ingredients.

At noon I took The Dog for a walk, turning around on the return leg to see what he had stopped to sniff for so long, only to find him sitting determinedly still in the middle of the pavement, with a facial expression clearly indicating that it was too hot and he had done quite enough walking for one day. Also spotted shortly afterwards: a pair of well-shitted scratter tracksuit bottoms, discarded by the side of the path near the Scratters’ Academy. This area just goes on getting classier and classier.

By the time I reached the hospital Mrs H was displaying all the symptoms of going stir crazy, a condition clearly not helped by the fact that it was inhumanely hot in her room. The Baby was still inside the incubator-like UV machine, with his eyes shaded as though on a tanning bed, though the machine was now turned off. Mrs H seemed to find the eyeshade particularly depressing for some reason. I could not quite work out why.

Luckily her mood improved steadily during my stay; I have no idea how I work my special brand of magic, but for some strange reason my presence clearly cheered her up. It is just as well I married her, since in my experience I have precisely the opposite effect on everyone else. She is also beginning to reflect on her good fortune in the manner in which The Baby arrived, noting that many of the other women in the maternity unit can hardly walk; indeed the one in the room next door is on crutches. It seemed needlessly cruel to press the deflating observation that she was probably also on crutches before she gave birth.

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