D’ya hear yer man

Baby’s first TV appearance

We had our 20-week baby scan at the Ulster Hospital on Monday. It was a momentous occasion. My generation has a lot to thank technology for.

When my mum was pregnant with me she never got to see what I looked like when I was in the womb. Although she had regular check-ups with the midwife there was nothing as revealing as an ultrasound scan to show her what was going on inside her growing stomach.

My grandparents’ generation were at even more of a technological disadvantage. After pregnancy was confirmed by regular vomiting and the presence of a bump, mums of that era were basically told to turn up at the hospital when they saw a head.

That’s not to say babies will be any smarter, faster or healthier because of the advances in technology, but I make no apologies for basking in the glory of seeing my offspring dance a merry jig for the first time.

Karen is like the old woman who swallowed a spider - she has something wiggling and jiggling and tickling inside her. The little ‘un was full of beans and looked like it was doing a full-on exercise work out which involved a couple of dance moves that would put its dad to shame and a spot of kickboxing with mummy’s bladder as its practice bag.

We’ve been reading a host of pregnancy books and websites. One of them describes your baby as a different piece of fruit or veg depending on what week you’re at. For example at week nine it’s a cherry tomato, at week 13 it’s a nectarine and at week 19 it’s a coconut.

It was quite a relief to see a human being in Karen’s womb because for a while I feared she would give birth to a honeydew melon.

The radiographer was very thorough with the scan Karen got on Monday. She checked its head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes. I asked her why she checked the knees and toes twice, but she shushed me and went on checking its eyes and ears and mouth and nose.

It was amazing the amount of things the ultrasound was able to pick up. I could see everything from the four quadrants of its heart to its five toes on each foot. If Karen and the radiographer had looked hard enough they might even have been able to see a little tear in daddy’s eye.

They don’t tell you the sex of the baby. I’m guessing boy, Karen is going for girl. At least this way one of us is guaranteed to be right.

Watching the ultrasound was a bit like watching an episode of Big Brother where your child is the only housemate.

Week 19 in the womb. Coconut has come to the diary room. He’s asking daddy to stop writing lies about him in the media.

More woodstain woes

Summer returned for a few hours this week and I took advantage of the good weather by finishing off the staining of the garden furniture which began on the last dry day we had. 2003 I think it might have been. Alright, so I’m exaggerating.

You may remember me telling you that the last time I applied dark oak woodstain to the garden furniture I ended up with it all over my fingers and subsequently got a few funny looks when I went out to the shops.

I ended up with the brown paint all over my fingers again, and as fate would have it, no sooner had I finished the painting of the garden furniture than I was required to go shopping.

I filled my basket, proceeded to the check out and paid for my purchases, however, this time I didn’t get a single funny look because of my dirty digits.

You may be wondering how I did it. The answer is simple. I went shopping online.

Now I just have to work out a way of removing the dark oak woodstain from my computer keyboard.

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teaser was: the letter ‘N’ can be seen in London, France and New York. Alternatively, you could have said the sun or the moon.

Here’s this week’s teaser: A woman divorces her husband of 25 years and moves in with another man, who has also filed for divorce from a long-term partner. They love each other very much, but sleep in separate beds. The law in their country states that they can never marry. What is the obstacle which prevents them from getting wed?