The year was 2014, my trainers were a little whiter, my hair a little less grey and my car didn’t have scuffs on the bumpers or a broken indicator (mainly because I was the only one driving it)
As we lay in bed one evening I blurted out “let’s pull the goalie.” Tash just presumed it was another one of my sleep talking episodes which I was prone to, as the night before I’d asked her if she’d care to join me for a bowl of Frosties – at 3am. (I didn’t even have any Frosties, and to be honest I don’t even think we had any milk left.)
As you get a little older and you feel settled into a relationship, starting a family slowly starts to creep into your mind, joining other topics such as ‘will our hydrangeas ever blossom’ and ‘those net curtains could do with a wash.’
Of course, we had discussed ‘the baby’ on a number of occasions, but I was riddled with those questions I think every man asks himself: ‘Do I earn enough money?’ ‘Will I be good dad?’ ‘Am I ready?’ ‘Will the new Star Wars live up to the hype?’ (Don’t get me wrong, I know you ladies also think about the same, excerpt maybe Star Wars!) The more I thought about it though, the more I thought maybe I didn’t earn enough, maybe I’d be a rubbish dad, maybe I wasn’t ready for such a massive life change and maybe they would pull it off now the original cast are back in it.
On the plus side, we had successfully looked after Poppy, our dog, for four years with no incident (if you don’t count her needing to have all her front teeth taken out with a face resembling an old person trying to eat a fruit pastille) and I have managed to keep two fish tanks, one of which was a beautiful marine tank. (For the record there is no truth in my friends calling it a euthanasia tank.)
The discussions continued and we decided actually there is never a right time. We were ready!
I presumed once that big decision had been made and my star players had left the changing room that a goal was imminent. Especially as I considered them to be more excited having not been restricted by protective clothing. I don’t know what happened though. Had they accidentally locked themselves in the changing room? Were they still warming up? Or were they running round like idiots? Whatever the case, they weren’t scoring.
The months rolled past, friends were announcing they were expecting, social media was flooded with scan pictures, yet nothing… and secretly I was starting to feel frustrated as you hear stories of couples doing the horizontal mambo just once and pow, pregnant.
The pressure began, after all they say the more you want something the less it was likely to happen, well that’s what my mum would tell me to explain for being single all those years as a youngster.
Charts were being drawn, gold stars purchased and Apps were being downloaded – mainly for me because I’ve always liked Monopoly, then someone told me there was an app version.
There were bicycle legs and head balancing, and if anyone walked in they would have thought it was some kind of training schedule for a weird naked circus. Her phone beeping telling me when I had to spring into action like some kind of Mission Impossible device, (Mission Impossible, how very fitting). There were even smilie faces she entered afterwards, I continue to keep telling myself these were not based on my performance.
Ladies, as a side note it’s not that easy for us guys. We have to, well you know, get the mouse out the house without even as much a candle, cuddle or RnB slow jam CD insight. My sensual fiancé had been replaced with a task master, it was like something from a bootcamp – we’re not pieces of meat damn it!
It was now a mission (not to be confused with missionary) with the little + sign on the piss stick as our goal!
Nothing…… Tash was starting to get upset. The months continued.
Short of dropping off a sample of Ransome’s Finest we had ticked quite a few of the boxes. Then we took a step back from the situation and made a decision that changed everything (no, before you say it I didn’t let one of my friends come round with proven history to have a go – although that would explain the ginger hair).
We removed all the pressure and expectations because by now it seemed to be the main talking point at home and was very much at the forefront of our minds – the stress of the situation was clearly having an impact. We just went back to how we were and just accepted that actually it would happen when it happened, it felt like a weight had been lifted. (Yeah she still used the app – but after the event, like opening an advent calendar….but one where I got the little chocolate prize!)
The road to Rafferty had begun…..