But just as dawn was breaking, things happened.
And those things were announced to the world just 1 hour and 59 minutes later:
Kaylin Elizabeth born at 5.50 am!
This, of course, is what little children do. They mess with your inner clock. They tug on your internal hour hand. Without the intervention of modern science, you can be assured that babies will be born in the early hours of the morning or during the penalty shootout at the end of a really exciting FA Cup semi-final replay.
It is great training for the months and – dare I say years? (yes, I dare) – years that follow. At no point in its first 5 years of life does a child wake up, check the clock (and for clock, read presence of daylight) and think “Hmm – maybe it’s still a bit early. I’ll turn over and go back to sleep”.
No. They wander into your room and demand entertainment and food. And if they are too young to wander into your room, they stay where they are and demand entertainment and food. Each night, we line the route between Alex’s room and ours with rusks. Our landing is now an Ouminefield. (Note: that joke only works if you’re South African and you have consumed a bottle of red wine before reading it, sorry).
But no. In he comes and before I know it, Handy Manny and his seven trusty tools are singing their half-English, half-Spanish songs about fixing Mrs Portillo’s stove while the boy spreads crumbs across the bed. So I head to the kitchen in search of coffee and end up crunching a roomful of breakfast biscuits down the stairs. And then people wonder why I’m grumpy in the mornings.
These are the challenges that Mr & Mrs Ordinary Life have to face in the coming years. They are fortunate to have me doing reccies for them 4 and 1½ years ahead. Indeed, the only bad news for them is that I will be telling the truth.
But for the moment, many congratulations to Pammie and her husband.
And welcome Kaylin Elizabeth.
I told you it was going to be a boy.