Monday, 22 January 2018

Will he or won’t he be on time?




Debbie Boitoult


espresso 


‘Hello it’s me.    Is anyone out there listening to me?
 Of course you’re not. You never do unless I do something to attract your attention.   Perhaps I’ll stick a foot out to kick you, that might make you take notice of me.  
Oh no not again, they are at it again, it is all they talk about these days.    Hey Chaps, what about me?    I’m the key player around here.    Without me nothing is going to happen.
I’ll tell you what; it’s certainly getting a bit cramped in here.   I need to shuffle round to get comfortable.  Whoops she felt that one, sorry Mummy.    That’s better, now where was I?
I don’t think they realise that I can hear what they are saying.   If they had read the books properly they would have known, but oh no, all they do is talk about needing to get me out of here early.   What do they think I am,  a bar of chocolate in one of those machines, put the money in, push a button and out I pop.
Serves them right if I mess up their plans.   I can do it you know, I’m the one in charge of when it happens, not her.   If I don’t want to come out I won’t.   They have even had the cheek to discuss how to get me out if I don’t appear in time.    There is no chance I’m going to let that happen.
I think need to have a little nap, I’ll be back soon to tell you what this is all about.’
************
‘Hello are you still there?    Oh good, do you want to know what this is all about?    It’s about money, yes that’s right money.   Not about me.
Grandmamma, Lady Elizabeth Saunders is the one who is to blame for all of this trouble.   Yes her, the posh one with the loud voice.   Apparently she made a grand announcement on New Year’s Day 2016.  They were all there, her three daughters and their partners.   She announced that whichever one of her children produced a boy before midnight on the 31st December 2017 would inherit the Saunders family pile.   If not she was leaving it to a Cats Home.   Cats indeed, that’s rubbish, she’s nearly as allergic to cats as she is to her family. 
Obviously I’ve never seen her, but I’ve heard her.  Oh boy have I heard her!   When she comes into the room everything goes quiet. Everyone is waiting for her to speak, even I’m quiet just waiting to hear what she’s got to say this time.  This morning when she visited she said that she hoped that all the money she was paying for this private hospital was going to be worth it.   She keeps reminding my Mummy that she has to give birth before midnight or everything goes to the Cat’s Home.   What a cheek, who does she think she is?
 When I am born I will be the first boy in the Saunders family for four generations. Ok I know that I have to pop out in time if I am to save the family fortune.  Don’t get me wrong I want a life of luxury as much as the next baby, but I don’t like being told what to do so early on in my life, after all I’m not even born yet.   If she is like this now, what is she going to be like all though my life?
I’m very happy in here. It’s warm and it’s safe. I’m not ready to be poked and prodded and have stupid noises made to my face.  I’m not a pigeon, I won’t respond to coo, coo, coo.   I know I am gorgeous; I don’t need to be woken up every time I want to sleep with someone telling me how gorgeous I am.  I bet you are wondering how I know about all these things.  
 You think us babies don’t talk to each other, well you are wrong.  All those posh antenatal classes we went to weren’t just for you. You don’t really think that we just sat around in here while you did that yoga and floated around in that hydro thingy.  Of course we didn’t, we babies had a chance to talk to each other. You would be amazed at what we discussed.   I told them about Grandmamma Lady Elizabeth and her diabolical announcement.  They were horrified, all apart from that silly baby that your best friend is having.  She thought it was a fun idea and that she wished that it was her instead of me.  It took me ages to explain that the whole thing was about there had not been a boy born into the Saunders family for 4 generations and that I was a boy. I then explained to her yet again that I had to be born by midnight on the 31st December 2014 if my Mummy and Daddy were going to inherit all the Saunders estate and money from Grandmamma.  If I was born later than midnight, she would leave it all the Cats Home.  The silly little girl thought that was a fun idea as well.  I tell you how stupid, I hope I don’t have any sisters if they are like her.
Anyway as I was saying, we all agreed that it wasn’t right to make me pop out at a certain time. I should be allowed to do it when I want. They also didn’t think it was right that Daddy should be trying to persuade Mummy to hurry thing up.  I mean to say, he even gave her some orange juice and castor oil to drink the other day to make things happen quicker.  I didn’t think she should drink it, but she did.  I really had to hold on tight that time.  Things were getting a bit serious.
Like I was saying the other babies didn’t think that I should give in, even if it did mean not having a big house to live in, nice gardens to be pushed round in a comfortable pram.   Lots of toys to play with and a pony when I got a little bigger.  We all agreed that I wouldn’t do it, but at times it has been a struggle for me to stay where I am.
It’s like when her waters broke, oh boy that was no fun.  Panic stations all round.  Phone calls to the hospital.  Rushing outside to the car and then that manic race to the hospital.  I had to remind them , excuse me don’t forget that I’m in here and I’m holding on as tight as I can, there is no way that I am having the indignity of being born in the back seat of this car.
All that panic for nothing, I am still in here.   Wow that was a close thing, I nearly had to give in, but I managed to stay where I was.   I’ll make them wait for a bit longer.
Hang on, is that my Mummy speaking?  I do wish she would speak up, doesn’t she realise that I’ve only got tiny ears.  What’s she saying? Oh do stop crying, I can’t understand what you are saying. Wait a moment, did I hear that right.  She doesn’t care about the inheritance any more, she just wants me to be born safe and well. That I mean more to her than all the money in the world and she knows that I will come when I am ready, not when they want me to. It doesn’t matter that it is five to midnight and I still haven’t been born as long as I am healthy when I do arrive.
What a time to tell me this. This changes everything.  I’ve got to get a move on, push Mummy, push.   Where is that orange juice and castor oil when you really need it?    
Will you please stop telling her to breathe slowly, we haven’t got time for that. Just push Mummy I’m doing my bit, I’m almost there.
Oh my goodness, is this the outside world, it’s cold out here.  Hey will you stop rubbing and patting my back, I’m not a pet dog you know. I’ve had enough of this, perhaps if I start crying you might leave me alone.  Oh hello Mummy so that what you look like, well I think it’s you.   You’re a bit fuzzy, ah that better I can see you now.  I suppose you must be Daddy. Why are you crying? I’m the one who should be doing that.
Oh my goodness I know that voice, it’s the scary one Grandmamma Lady Elizabeth.   I don’t think I like the look of her.  No don’t come any closer and don’t you dare kiss me, I’m not ready for all that yet.   
Roberta Saunders and Jeremy Matterson
are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their son
Justin Peter MATTERSON
Born 31.12.2017
23.58hrs       7lbs 2oz.
Hello it’s me again.  As you know I’m out.  Mind you it was a bit close on time, I nearly left it too late.  Mummy is very happy I’m here, Daddy is very happy I’m here but I think that he is even happier now we’ve inherited the family fortune.    
Me, well I’m not very happy, look what they have called me.   Just because both of them said that I had arrived just in time, I’m stuck with a first name of Justin.’


15



‘Hello it’s me.    Is anyone out there listening to me?
 Of course you’re not. You never do unless I do something to attract your attention.   Perhaps I’ll stick a foot out to kick you, that might make you take notice of me.  
Oh no not again, they are at it again, it is all they talk about these days.    Hey Chaps, what about me?    I’m the key player around here.    Without me nothing is going to happen.
I’ll tell you what; it’s certainly getting a bit cramped in here.   I need to shuffle round to get comfortable.  Whoops she felt that one, sorry Mummy.    That’s better, now where was I?
I don’t think they realise that I can hear what they are saying.   If they had read the books properly they would have known, but oh no, all they do is talk about needing to get me out of here early.   What do they think I am,  a bar of chocolate in one of those machines, put the money in, push a button and out I pop.
Serves them right if I mess up their plans.   I can do it you know, I’m the one in charge of when it happens, not her.   If I don’t want to come out I won’t.   They have even had the cheek to discuss how to get me out if I don’t appear in time.    There is no chance I’m going to let that happen.
I think need to have a little nap, I’ll be back soon to tell you what this is all about.’
************
‘Hello are you still there?    Oh good, do you want to know what this is all about?    It’s about money, yes that’s right money.   Not about me.
Grandmamma, Lady Elizabeth Saunders is the one who is to blame for all of this trouble.   Yes her, the posh one with the loud voice.   Apparently she made a grand announcement on New Year’s Day 2016.  They were all there, her three daughters and their partners.   She announced that whichever one of her children produced a boy before midnight on the 31st December 2017 would inherit the Saunders family pile.   If not she was leaving it to a Cats Home.   Cats indeed, that’s rubbish, she’s nearly as allergic to cats as she is to her family. 
Obviously I’ve never seen her, but I’ve heard her.  Oh boy have I heard her!   When she comes into the room everything goes quiet. Everyone is waiting for her to speak, even I’m quiet just waiting to hear what she’s got to say this time.  This morning when she visited she said that she hoped that all the money she was paying for this private hospital was going to be worth it.   She keeps reminding my Mummy that she has to give birth before midnight or everything goes to the Cat’s Home.   What a cheek, who does she think she is?
 When I am born I will be the first boy in the Saunders family for four generations. Ok I know that I have to pop out in time if I am to save the family fortune.  Don’t get me wrong I want a life of luxury as much as the next baby, but I don’t like being told what to do so early on in my life, after all I’m not even born yet.   If she is like this now, what is she going to be like all though my life?
I’m very happy in here. It’s warm and it’s safe. I’m not ready to be poked and prodded and have stupid noises made to my face.  I’m not a pigeon, I won’t respond to coo, coo, coo.   I know I am gorgeous; I don’t need to be woken up every time I want to sleep with someone telling me how gorgeous I am.  I bet you are wondering how I know about all these things.  
 You think us babies don’t talk to each other, well you are wrong.  All those posh antenatal classes we went to weren’t just for you. You don’t really think that we just sat around in here while you did that yoga and floated around in that hydro thingy.  Of course we didn’t, we babies had a chance to talk to each other. You would be amazed at what we discussed.   I told them about Grandmamma Lady Elizabeth and her diabolical announcement.  They were horrified, all apart from that silly baby that your best friend is having.  She thought it was a fun idea and that she wished that it was her instead of me.  It took me ages to explain that the whole thing was about there had not been a boy born into the Saunders family for 4 generations and that I was a boy. I then explained to her yet again that I had to be born by midnight on the 31st December 2014 if my Mummy and Daddy were going to inherit all the Saunders estate and money from Grandmamma.  If I was born later than midnight, she would leave it all the Cats Home.  The silly little girl thought that was a fun idea as well.  I tell you how stupid, I hope I don’t have any sisters if they are like her.
Anyway as I was saying, we all agreed that it wasn’t right to make me pop out at a certain time. I should be allowed to do it when I want. They also didn’t think it was right that Daddy should be trying to persuade Mummy to hurry thing up.  I mean to say, he even gave her some orange juice and castor oil to drink the other day to make things happen quicker.  I didn’t think she should drink it, but she did.  I really had to hold on tight that time.  Things were getting a bit serious.
Like I was saying the other babies didn’t think that I should give in, even if it did mean not having a big house to live in, nice gardens to be pushed round in a comfortable pram.   Lots of toys to play with and a pony when I got a little bigger.  We all agreed that I wouldn’t do it, but at times it has been a struggle for me to stay where I am.
It’s like when her waters broke, oh boy that was no fun.  Panic stations all round.  Phone calls to the hospital.  Rushing outside to the car and then that manic race to the hospital.  I had to remind them , excuse me don’t forget that I’m in here and I’m holding on as tight as I can, there is no way that I am having the indignity of being born in the back seat of this car.
All that panic for nothing, I am still in here.   Wow that was a close thing, I nearly had to give in, but I managed to stay where I was.   I’ll make them wait for a bit longer.
Hang on, is that my Mummy speaking?  I do wish she would speak up, doesn’t she realise that I’ve only got tiny ears.  What’s she saying? Oh do stop crying, I can’t understand what you are saying. Wait a moment, did I hear that right.  She doesn’t care about the inheritance any more, she just wants me to be born safe and well. That I mean more to her than all the money in the world and she knows that I will come when I am ready, not when they want me to. It doesn’t matter that it is five to midnight and I still haven’t been born as long as I am healthy when I do arrive.
What a time to tell me this. This changes everything.  I’ve got to get a move on, push Mummy, push.   Where is that orange juice and castor oil when you really need it?    
Will you please stop telling her to breathe slowly, we haven’t got time for that. Just push Mummy I’m doing my bit, I’m almost there.
Oh my goodness, is this the outside world, it’s cold out here.  Hey will you stop rubbing and patting my back, I’m not a pet dog you know. I’ve had enough of this, perhaps if I start crying you might leave me alone.  Oh hello Mummy so that what you look like, well I think it’s you.   You’re a bit fuzzy, ah that better I can see you now.  I suppose you must be Daddy. Why are you crying? I’m the one who should be doing that.
Oh my goodness I know that voice, it’s the scary one Grandmamma Lady Elizabeth.   I don’t think I like the look of her.  No don’t come any closer and don’t you dare kiss me, I’m not ready for all that yet.   
Roberta Saunders and Jeremy Matterson
are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their son
Justin Peter MATTERSON
Born 31.12.2017
23.58hrs       7lbs 2oz.
Hello it’s me again.  As you know I’m out.  Mind you it was a bit close on time, I nearly left it too late.  Mummy is very happy I’m here, Daddy is very happy I’m here but I think that he is even happier now we’ve inherited the family fortune.    
Me, well I’m not very happy, look what they have called me.   Just because both of them said that I had arrived just in time, I’m stuck with a first name of Justin.’


15

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