He was only a few days old and as contented as can be.
I strolled around the shopping centre, hoping for opportunities to tell anyone who would listen, all about the most perfect baby in the world. Actually I didn’t wait for the opportunities – I just told anyone who was foolish enough to get too close!
I’m sure I must have looked the typical proud new dad, but no one knew about the utter chaos of actually getting my baby ready to go. My wife was in bed, so I had to figure it out by myself. Probably best that no one was watching. It was a classic case of new baby but no instruction manual!
For some reason we always feel that no one else has ever experienced the joys and challenges of a new baby, but I’m sure it’s the same for everyone.
We’ll always remember the story told to us by a customer with tiny twins. It took her just over 3 hours to get them prepared and into the double-buggy for the first time. And the day before, the buggy and her husband had a fight which took him 8 hours to win! But the fact is, she pulled it off and arrived at the booking, even if it was 3 hours late.
You just make it up as you go along in the early days, and probably every other day too. There’s no other good way to learn about your own baby.
Not that I didn’t read the advice – there’s always plenty of advice around for new parents! Organise yourself, put baby in layers of clothing, pack the wet wipes, take more nappies than you need (is that possible?), don’t be over-ambitious on your first outing etc etc.
But I must admit, I was never one for reading the books and making lists. I just wanted to be out with my son and have a little adventure. Just him and me, discovering a new life together. A life that had completely changed a few days earlier, and now held more wonder and beauty than ever before.
That’s what I remember from my first outing with my baby boy. And for the record, I forgot to pack the wet wipes, the nappies and an extra bib! But you can’t really go far wrong when there’s a Boots down the road.