I always expected Marty to change - after all, a complete failure to grow-up and develop would have condemned the poor boy to a career in politics. What has been a surprise though have been the changes in me.
Of course you’re told by everyone who’s ever had a kid that “You'll change” but they usually mean the trivial things like looking as if you've had a good eight hours sleep, or possessing the ability to leave your home in under an hour, or popping out to the pub for a beer, or basically doing anything on an impulse. I’ll grant you that at 4 in the morning ‘sleep’ doesn’t feel like a trivial matter but, when you think about it, feeling knackered is hardly the stuff of philosophers and poets.
No, what I’ve noticed are things like going “Ah!” when I hold up my boys tiny little coat, or suddenly finding myself smiling in that vacant parental fashion when I see other young children. In other words, I have gone surprisingly - and slightly worryingly - gooey.
I hadn’t really realised this until I was actually putting some of Marty’s clothes into his draw and finding that I couldn’t even get my hand down the leg of a pair of his trousers to turn them right-side out. I knew he was vertically challenged but I hadn’t realised just how astonishingly small he was. It was at that point that I actually heard myself saying “Arh! He’s soo cute!”... I was shocked I can tell you!
Then I thought about it. Over the last year or so I’ve found myself feeling tearful listening to things on the news that involved small children and getting positively lachrymous at the sort of films I used to scoff at.
Before Marty arrived I’d always regarded small children with supreme indifference or, if that wasn’t possible, then with extreme reluctance. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them it was just that, at best, I couldn’t see much point in them and at worse they were rather annoying, irrational and noisy little things that I just didn’t understand. These days I seem to find all little kids delightful. I dare say I’ll discover some exceptions to this new rule but so far all kids suddenly seem to be cute.
I suspect part of this new found gooeyness is because Marty is at a perfect age; he’s learning to talk but hasn’t learnt to answer back, he knows how to cry but has yet to learn the full on tantrum. Even his walk is part locomotion and part comedy routine, in other words he’s just plain gorgeous at the moment.
I have a horrible feeling that this will all change in the coming months – he’s already using the cry to get an awful lot of what he wants and, if he’s anything like his dad, he’ll soon have an answer for absolutely bloody everything... so I may soon be looking at all children with a feeling of dread before the years out.