I picked up my friend D just after 6:30 on Friday night - we were headed to dinner to celebrate the birthday of another friend (all friends I picked up when in my previous longterm relationship that I still keep in touch with).
We arrived a little after 7, meeting up with one of D's exes who also penetrated the group to some degree, and took our seats at the table. A quick look around relaxed me to some degree - my ex had not yet arrived.
I was sitting two seats away from Mrs Batman - looking tired and desperate for another glass of soft drink to replace the one she had just finished. "You know I'm knocked up again, right?". Her bluntness, although a little disarming, was pretty indicative of the fact she was not yet at the glowing stage. As I congratulated her she explained that the child was due in October, that Mr Batman had told the majority of people at the table some of his friends after growing tired of their ribbing him for piking on a lot of events and spilled the beans he was caring for a pregnant wife, and that she hadn't yet told the other group of mutual friends that we share.
I looked across the table and saw one of our friends holding his 3 month old son - a gorgeous little boy, dressed tidily and alert, his almond eyes happy. I commented to D on just how cute the boy was, as Mr Batman walked past behind them, holding the hand of his 13 month son.
"D... we are those people. We are the table of people at the restaurant holding babies, drinking wine, splitting the bill evenly."
I think all people at our age are a-feeling it at the moment. I've been through these stages before - the 18ths, the 21sts, the graduations, the moving out, the engagements, the homeowners, the weddings and now the babies.
One of my martial arts students fiancee's gave birth to their son almost a month ago. The Hun's best friends wife will be having their second in June. My pretty much best friend from High school is having her second son at the end of this month. The girl I was good friends with in school who totally transformed into a stranger is pregnant. Babies, babies, babies.
We went to a christening a few weeks ago, for yet another set of friends with yet another baby - a happy, boofy headed baby boy. "The Hun, when do I get to have one of my own?"
"What? By the time you're thirty, that's what you want."
"I want one now. Noooooooooow."
"Huh? You won't even hold a baby! What would you do with it?"
"Surely that comes with it? The hormones... it all works itself out. I can stay home and clean and try to promise myself to walk it an hour a day to shift the baby weight.... What if I hold one, how long?"
"How long...? Two years."
"Ok.... two years after I hold one I can have on my own...? That sounds about right... we can get married in a year and then three months later - IT'S ON."
It's true. I don't like to hold them. They're small and their brains show through their sculls and they're likely to cry when the see I'm not their parent and then everyone will look at me and I will have no idea what to do. The one time I did hold a baby (that I can remember) I felt, smelt and heard the little guy crapping himself. It was not pleasant.
I mentioned this to magf the other week and she slyly organised the other martial arts student that has a child to bring his daughter to training.
So I did it.
They put the giant 9 month old into my arms and I held her chubby thighs while she looked around confused as my face contorted due to the shock of her dense weight and the unsettling feeling of massive amounts of gas vibrating through her nappy.
I reckon I could do it. It would be hard, I don't doubt it, but I reckon I could at least get used to holding it. Baby steps, people, baby steps.