Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The scale of it

Age milestones are often reason for moments of reflection and sometimes moments of realisation. Sometimes these moments also strike when you least expect them.
Ka's brother hit the big 3 - 0 yesterday and we celebrated over a slap up meal in Angels, the local hotel/restaurant. Colin, with two birthday badges pinned to his shirt at each nipple region, done his best to avoid the cameras after, what must have been, the thirtieth pose under his big helium balloon. Back at the McGarva house afterwards, for cake and coffee, we all participated in the usual game of pass the parcel, presided over, as ever, by Morgan.
When I say 'usual', no game in the McGarva house is ever usual. This one in particular was no exception. Instead of passing the usual layered up present it was decided that in this game we were to pass a near deflated balloon, the size of a disected kidney, around the room, to the gawd awful sounds of the latest 'Glee' album. Whenever the music stopped, a moment that was all too brief in my meagre opinion, the person with the balloon was out and whoever was left at the end of the game was named winner with a present. The presents varied in quality from a can of deoderant to the more substantial clothing or candles bought in the recent Next sale.
Ka, for instance, won a small sleep suit. Grace quickly pointed out the prize was not specifically for her, which was just as well as the label read for a size of 3 to 6 months. Ka, with her sister, Angela, immediately started awing over the suit.
Letting me view her win, I held it up before me, holding it by the shoulders. A small, pale brown felt giraffe looked back at me from the front of the suit's chest and the scale of it hit me. Not the scale of the giraffe, although it was very small, this wasn't the scale factor hitting me. This small suit was for a small person, the same small person growing inside KA as we passed a stupid little balloon around the room. That small instant turned into another of those worryingly giant, earth spinning moments in which you give an internal shout in the great David Byrne tradition, "My god, what have I done?!"
As Byrne's crazed, panic stricken hollers faded in my head it once more gave way to quiet, curiousity and excitement. Just as I started to relax again and the world settled back into normality around me I was sure the small giraffe winked at me knowingly from the sleep suit. Blinking hard, I hurriedly returned the small piece of clothing to Ka and ran off to the kitchen, for a strong cup of tea. I would have loved to had something a tad stronger, like the Glenmorangie Colin was dishing out, but I was driving home. Behind the wheel of a large automobile, to my beautiful house, with my beautiful wife.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Sarah scream and teddy bear violence

Mum and Dad hosted another BBQ on Saturday and this time invited the entirety of the family, including the McGarvas, Symingtons, Taylors and all. Not to be put off by the worse weather thus far this summer, Dad erected two large tents and a gazebo in the garden, fitting each of the tents out with carpets, comfy chairs and tables.
The BBQ was also the perfect opportunity to tell everyone of Baby Reid. Mum and Ka were especially looking forward to hearing the 'Sarah Scream' when my cousin heard the news. Cousin Sarah is renowned for her scream when either something really exciting, shocking or hilairious happens. In this case it could probably be described as a case of all of the above as, true to form, when Ka told Sarah in the conservatory, she let out a belter. The birds of Chapelton abandoned their branches in fright, the sheep and cows in the surrounding fields faltered in their grass munching, looking up with curiousity and Myra the hairdresser accidentally chopped someone's fringe off next door.
Needless to say, most people had a few beers through the afternoon and enjoyed the BBQ spread along with Grace's lasagne and Linda's traditional trifle. Whilst people's bellies digested the veritable onslaught, the rain kept falling but failed to put a dampener on things. In early evening most of the the blokes retreated into the living room for the World Cup runners up game whilst the kids presented various puppet shows emotionally blackmailing or forcibly bullying us into attending (I was probably one of the latter). These often descended into teddy bear violence with various Princess dolls squaring up to large teddy dogs all eventually transforming into a spinning cloud of felt and fur, whilst us viewers politely watched struggling to keep up with the show's plot. None of the performers were even puppets?! I bet Auntie Tricia preferred the puppet shows of old... When Baby Reid grows up a bit, he or she will be taught how to perform a proper puppet show.
Everyone has been great on hearing the Baby Reid news (apart from Myra's customer). Facebook has even proven itself to be almost useful in aiding with this. We did get one complaint from someone finding out on facebook, but to be fair to us, it was not actually on facebook, it was my blog at Reidnet, so there! -)
Anyway, thanks everyone for your well wishes. They're all greatly appreciated. Excitement and joy is now officially over - let the stress and panicking commence!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

The scarey and fantastic

We're sitting in a small white room. A feint humming ringing through the air under the large, square tile like lighting. Agitated, I wait. The computer opposite me stares out blankly before the operator steps up to her console. Following a tap on a monitor key pad the operator adjusts the screen to suit her eyeline and settles down to input the vital information. Tapping gently on the keypad I grow impatient, waiting. Reaching the end of her inputting the operator switches the monitor to a blank, black screen, her palm rolling over the cursor ball on the right of her console. Then, taking control of the controls with her left hand a blurring vision sweeps through the blackness on screen. A grey cloud swerves through the black. Then it appeared. Through the blackness an image materialized. A small, fuzzy image formed in greys and blacks of a small rounded form. A head, large and round, curved down over a body, identifiable by the rivets of a small spine. The surrounding oval of blackness shimmers as the body moves, as if sensing the scanner. A baby. A Reid baby.
Ka smiled at me from the medical bed as the radiographer moved the ultrasound scanner over her lower half of her tummy. Ka is pregnant. 13 weeks and five days to be precise.
Obviously we've known for at least a few months now, but seeing the moving image on screen makes it all real. Properly real! After our first anniversary at the weekend, relaxing in Troon, we began to get a little nervous as the week went on knowing we had the hospital appointment on the Thursday.
As Ka sat and watched the images I questioned the radiographer about the baby's movements and it's body parts, identifying one from the other. Parts of the live image remain dark and cloudy making it difficult to make out some of the features. Baby Reid even stretched as we watched. It's arms lifting up as it tilted it's head back and seemed to straighten his back. I say 'his', but, of course, we don't know the sex yet. As we talked I tried to suss the radiographer out as to the gender but she wasn't giving anything away. Apparently one of a babies first senses to develop is it's hearing so its now time to give up the swearing. Ka had been talking to her belly occasionally in the past few months, using emotional blackmail to clinch the last magnum from the freezer and such like. While I had been previously dismissing the idea I should maybe now start talking too. Introduce myself. Time to start getting used to the idea of being a father?! Scarey. But fantastic!