A wise man (or quite possibly woman) once said that practice makes perfect, and I tend to agree. The more you do something the better you get at it. There are some things however, which are so difficult (or incredibly boring) to practice, and so it is perhaps easier to suppose that we are simply no good at them.
For instance, I am not the tidiest of people. At times I am shocked at how messy my side of the bed has become, and so hurriedly tackle the mass of dirty boxer shorts and lone socks. This can take on the same sort of excitement as a particularly interesting archaeological dig. Admittedly I have yet to find the lost tomb of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh under my bed, but I have discovered missing library books, a set of keys, and a sizeable collection of assorted knick knacks during these infrequent forays into the mouth of Hades.
Unfortunately, due to Mrs L.’s similar lack of tidiness, the mess is rarely confined to my side of the bed, and this has resulted in some problems. Not only have we mislaid important documents, but I recently confiscated Fraboo’s “Frozen Uno”; her favourite game. She had committed some misdemeanour or other and had been warned that she would lose the cards if she persisted with her errant behaviour, which of course she did. I am a great believer in not making threats to your children unless you plan to carry them out, and so took the cards and hid them in a safe place from which she could claim them after the prescribed period of time.
So safe was their hideyhole, that they have now been missing in action for approximately three months, and after many attempted rescue missions (think the Matt Damon of the family game world) I am still clueless as to where they might be!
Another of the things which I am not very good at is planning. This may be a rather poor example, but in the past, whenever we’ve been on holiday, about an hour or so before we leave, I’ll throw an assortment of garments into a holdall. If I remember, I will also pack my tooth brush. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, holidays for the Longdon’s are only occasionally romantic affairs.
Fortunately whilst Mrs L.’s tidiness is similar to mine, her forward thinking is not. She is generally pretty good at making a plan and sticking to it.
Now this may seem somewhat unrelated but you may recall that I am the eldest of four siblings. I have a brother and two sisters, each of whom I hold in exceedingly high regard. I have (almost) always treasured their presence in my life and as a result have been eager to replicate the happy upbringing I had with my own children. Prior to starting our family we had agreed that we would either have two children or four but such was the impact that our youngest that a rapid rethink was called for. We reached a compromise and decided together that three would be it.
For many reasons this is a very sensible idea, and although I wasn’t in total agreement, I felt that given my wife’s greater sense, it was probably for the best. Sensible and I are however, very uneasy bed fellows and I am also an exceptionally gifted lover (only one of these statements is true, I’ll let you guess which one). So a month or so ago when I was rudely awoken at 5am by Mrs L. telling me that she was pregnant again, I was over the moon.
For me, this has been the best news I have had in a long time (about 2 years and 9 months to be exact), and for those of you with children, you should take some heart too. You see this just goes to show, that it is entirely possible to have that “special cuddle” with your partner even if you do have a hoard of interfering kids to worry about.
The more I have thought about it the more frightened I have become though. The prospect of having to provide another mouth with food is terrifying. Even now I get my children’s names muddled up, how is having another one going to make things any easier?
The fact of the matter is it won’t. Life may (in fact almost certainly will) become hard(er).
But for all my many fault there are one or two things that I can do well. I am happy, at least most of the time, and I am optimistic. And I am lucky. I share my life with four people I couldn’t have chosen better had I tried. Mrs L, Fraboo, Boy-Boy and Jojo are my favourite people in the world, and we are all so excited to be having a new member of Team Fun.