Funny how things change

It’s strange how your concept of what is acceptable in life changes as you grow older. When I was an eighteen year old, there would have been more chance of me running through the streets of my home town sporting nothing more than one fluorescent sock and a smile, than – say – wearing a cardigan in public. Fast forward twelve years, and I found myself in a store pondering whether I should buy the aforementioned woollen item in black or in grey. Needless to say, I bought both and wore them with pride. 

Similarly, I spent the first thirty two years of my life steadfastly avoiding any piece of music that could in any sense be termed as ‘worthy’. While rock, pop, alternative and metal could all find a home in my extensive collection, there was no space for classical, opera or – shudder at the thought – modern jazz. Then with no warning I suddenly found that listening opera was a perfectly pleasant accompaniment to coffee and croissants on a Sunday morning, and suddenly the flood gates were opened. I still draw the line at modern jazz, you’ll be pleased to know.

Things change. Perceptions change, and so do our priorities. So when The Special One burst into our bedroom in floods of joyful tears, and then dragged me into the bathroom to show me a pregnancy test, I was almost shocked to realise quite how happy I actually was.

After all, for thirty years I’d lived in abject fear of being ushered into a bathroom and having a positive pregnancy test thrust into my sweaty shaking palm. Let’s be honest here. When you’re a bachelor, being shown a pregnancy test could potentially feel like the visual equivalent of having a cell door slam shut behind you. When you’re a man who has found their partner, the news opens the door of life, from behind which the high-kicking Rockettes emerge to perform an octane-fuelled number entitled ‘The Start of a Whole New Dynasty’.

Of course, having successfully managed to avoid the dreaded positive test for so long, my success suddenly counted against me. After all, I had no frame of reference to tell me what the piece of strange looking plastic I was looking at actually meant. All I had to go on was that there was a line in the clear window, and that my wife was crying. With evidence like that, even Hercule Poirot himself would throw his hands up in the air and claim that there was nothing he could do.

So many questions run through your head at this point. Was The Special One crying because she had thought she was pregnant but wasn’t? Were her tears a reflection of the fact that she had changed her mind about having a child after all, and the thought of continuing my gene line filled her with a sense of unutterable dread and foreboding? And why on earth has technology not developed to a point where a pregnancy test can have a little thumbs up sign to indicate that your little general has successfully delivered its payload to the required destination? Even a written sign that says ‘you’d better start saving, mate’ would be better than a non-descriptive line.

Thankfully she doesn’t seem to mind too much when I ask what the hell is going on, and happily tells me that I should probably not make any plans for September. I hug her and tell her that it’s all going to be OK. For some reason it feels like it should be her who’s reassuring me though.

After all, it seems like I’m going to be a dad. 

35 thoughts on “Funny how things change

  1. IanB

    When The Special One delivers the goods in the form of The Tiny One and you hold her/him for the first time I can tell you, from experience, it’s like being told all the secrets of the Grown Up World. Nobody can properly enlighten you to this until it actually happens, for real, to yourself no matter how lucid or rich their description.

    I’m so happy for you and the Mrs.


  2. Brooklyn

    Mazel tov.

    You will find parenting is like mountain climbing: the highs are very high, but do not underestimate the amount of crying, screaming and whining ahead for you and Mrs. Britoutofwater, and that’s just the parents.

  3. Brooklyn

    “Congrats! Make sure you start BabyBritOutofWater on marmite at an early age would be my tip =)”

    Aha. In 2-3 years, when BabyBritOutofWater becomes ToddlerBritOutofWater the Marmite/Peanut butter wars begin.

    Dylan: Considering the state of US TV, I think you have a new reality show in the making. Move in with mixed French/Japanese family and an Indian/Brazilian family, and you’ll have a hit: “International Parenting War”

    (Condidering the recent Jon and Kate developments, if the inter-cultural child raising angle doesn’t click, you’ll have the ability to switch to a spouse swapping angle as Plan B.)

  4. Stephaniehc

    Yay! Congratulations sweetie. So happy for you and your family. Always thinking about you, paths to cross soon. love shcx

  5. Silverback

    Congrats, Dylan. A congratulatory Cumberland sausage would be on it’s way to you but I think The Special One might faint when you slapped it down on the kitchen table……again !

  6. Apsidal

    I notice you’ve filed under “children”. Is there something you’ve not told us? Whatever, many, many congratulations. I wish you as much joy from yours as I have had from mine, and – should you ever doubt it – having grandchildren is an even greater joy. In fact, IMHO, it’s the whole point of the exercise!

  7. Expat Mum

    Oh wow! That’s brilliant. We’ll have to start suggesting terribly British names for you! Well done that boy! (And his missus of course.)

  8. jinksy

    Aren’t you the lucky one? You don’t have to produce the end result! And, by the by, you can get tests in England that DO say PREGNANT! Congrats to all three of you….

  9. Almost American

    Congratulations! You’ve obviously been keeping very quiet about that as June to September = a very short pregnancy! I hope that means the Mrs has had an easy time of it so far if there hasn’t been anything worth blogging about!

    Oh, and the child will be entitled to British citizenship without being born in the UK.

  10. Amanda

    Heard a while back of course but was waiting for the ‘official’ announcement!
    Off to B’Mouth soon for week with Brit Snr and Wicked Stepmom…. Many congratulations to you both x

  11. Josephine

    Congratulations to you both ! I assume this is your ‘first”…hehhhe tighten your seat belt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride ;0

  12. Brookllyn

    Josephine, if you’re quoting All About Eve, the line is “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night”

  13. Alasdair

    Congrats ! Any ideas if you’re getting a singleton ? Or a ready-made set ? (grin)

    The phrase “Control is an Illusion” is about to make more and more sense to you …

    Another way to look at it is this … you are embarking upon something for which there is no manual, no handbook, and you’ll find out which of your decisions were correct about 18 years AFTER you made ’em …

    A Tip: When you decide that sleeping through the night is important, remember two words – “Double-strength formula” … a definitive sanity-saver … (and very effective for long (cross the Pond) plane trips) …

  14. That Girl

    Wow… congratulations to you and The Special One on starting the most amazing journey you’ll ever take!! Hope all is going well and that the sickness is limited and the cravings plentiful!

  15. Josephine

    Brooklyn, no I meant to say, it’s going to be a bumpy ride..
    Not quoting “All about Eve”, quoting me, it’s a bumpy ride having been there.

  16. Iota

    Congratulations! Very exciting news.

    You know how parents-to-be pick a cute little pet name for the growing foetus? I think you should call yours Pretzel.

  17. Brooklyn


    I’ve been there too, and I respectfully suggest you and Bette Davis are both right; it’s a bumpy ride and a bumpy night; as well as a bumpy day and a bumpy everything else.

  18. Dylan Post author

    Thanks so much, one and all. I am fortunate enough to have two stepchildren who have given me full training (more like an army assault course) in the 9-15 year old age bracket, but I feel like I’m about to get the gaps in my knowledge well and truly filled in…

    I laugh in the face of sleep. Mwahahahahahah…

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