Thursday, February 14, 2008

You're Not the Only One

War Child

Monday, February 04, 2008

It Might As Well Rain Until September

My girlfriend and I have been feeling very smug. Not only is our baby LOVELY, but he is a September baby. September babies, as any parent will tell you, have an advantage throughout school by being the oldest in their year. On average they will always be more advanced than their peers academically and emotionally, and there is a strong correlation between sporting success and birth month (the theory being that the oldest kids in each year will tend to be the biggest and best at sport, so will like it more and be encouraged to play it more). Of course, our baby is already showing great sporting prowess, and with my footballing genes he will be playing at Wembley in no time.

We have just found a slight flaw in this plan though: we’re going to have to pay for an extra twelve months’ childcare than if my girlfriend had managed to pop him out three weeks earlier. OK, he might have had to go into a premature baby unit, but we are talking thousands of pounds here.

From smug to mugs in one fell swoop.

I actually made an Excel spreadsheet of our childcare options – they’re quite complicated and involve a subsidised crèche that only takes kids from the age of two, a childminder, a nursery at three days a week all year, a nursery every day but only in the term time, and emotionally blackmailing our mums into spending more time with their grandson.

We then talked about if and when we might possibly have (if we were able to) another baby. I very nearly cried when I then saw cell E15 – the cost of each year that they would both be in full-time childcare.

“The next one’s going to be an August baby”, I told my girlfriend. “Sod the fact that all his mates will be on holiday when it’s his birthday, and that he’ll be the runty kid in the class who is crap at sport, wears glasses, plays the violin and is only good at maths.”

My girlfriend looked at me a bit funnily.

“I just made that mental image out of nowhere”, I said. “As a hypothetical example of a child born near the end of the academic year. He is nothing like me. I wear contact lenses now for a start.”

Perhaps an adversarial start is character-building in the long run. Do any of those people who bullied me have an internet weblog that is read every week by literally half-dozens of people? No. And I know they don’t because I Google their names every week to see what they are doing. So who is the loser now, eh?

So I went back to my spreadsheet and factored in the maximum lengths of maternity leave and pay, pro-rata part-time salaries, interest rates, housing market predictions, fertility rates and ovulation cycles. Intimate relations are next scheduled for November 14th 2009. Wish us luck. Though if it’s twins we'll need more than just a new spreadsheet.