Then a second one is on the way, and you start to panic. Will they get half the love each? Will you ever feel the same about the first one again?
The second one arrives and you realise that parental love will stretch forever, that what you had thought was all the love in the world has now been doubled.
I’m sure that is true if you go on to have ten children, although I have no intention of testing that theory.
Anyway, Tinson2 is sixteen today. His sister Tingirl will not thank me for the chubby-baby picture half appearing above him on the left, but the one of him, taken when he was about two, sums him up as a baby – earnest, intent, always finding something of his own to do.
Tilly Bud’s eldest son was 21 during the week, and she congratulated him on surviving her inept parenting. I feel the same about Tinson1, who had to endure all the mistakes of two people doing absolutely everything parental for the very first time. But Tinson2 survived something even harder – two parents who were three years older and an awful lot tireder.
If Tinson1 dropped his soother it would be whipped away from him, sterilised and placed in quarantine for a month or so, and replaced with a brand-new one taken from its box using surgical gloves and tweezers. If Tinson2 dropped his it would be picked up, wiped on his shirt and stuck back in his mouth.
He disliked all foods other than bread rolls and jam, so we fed him on these (we called them Jam-dogs) for the first ten years of his life. He has rewarded us for this by growing taller than either of us, and is rapidly overtaking his older, sensibly-fed brother.
He has rewarded us further by growing into a clever, pleasant, funny teenager, great company, very caring and a downright nice person. He was a huge hit in the office during his work experience last week, and they have actually asked him would he be available for the occasional day’s work during the summer.
It is 11.14 am as I write this and needless to say there is no sign of him. He is still the indestructible sleeper. But his cards are ready, his presents are ready and when he does eventually get up he will be sung at, fussed over and hugged until he flees back to his room.
We love him and are proud of him.
Happy birthday, my son.