Dude appeared at 3.15pm, all 10lbs 5.5ozs of him and our lives changed in that instant. He had a very low blood sugar reading so was transfered to the Special Care Unit, whilst Alison was sent back up to the maternity ward to recuperate. I got to give him his first feed and stayed with him for most of the afternoon and early evening, taking plenty of digital pictures and reporting his progress back to Mummy, who was laid up in bed.
He stayed in the SCU for a few days - his room-mate was a three-month old called Angel, who fitted into the palm of my hand, whilst Dude was a little sumo who filled his incubator - before we were allowed to take him home.
I was ready to be a Dad (ha, as ready as anyone ever can be), I was looking forward to that new role and it has been a never-ending learning experience since then, that has made me laugh and cry but never been less than wonderful. Throughout Alison's pregnancy we called him nugget (because that's what I thought he looked like on the scan pictures) but that name didn't stick once he was in the world. I can't remember when I started to call him Dude but it stuck and now, when I call him Matthew, he complains (unless he's in trouble, when we both understand why I use his given name...)
He's grown up to be a wonderful kid, who's kind and attentive and exasperating, occasionally stroppy, always funny and quite opinionated, who makes me laugh and makes me think and asks me questions because I'm Dad and know everything, who loves 80s music and going on adventures and snuggling in the chair with me to watch TV.
Ten years. Quite possibly the best ten years of my life.
|Rude Dude - 2011|
|Photo-bombing Alison - 2013|