Mackindergarten: The baby who loved me – The Post

Mackindergarten: The baby who loved me

“Never mind your fingers, has anyone seen my wife?” (photo: Flickr/Matt Brown)
May 4th, 2019 6:00 am| by Adrian Mackinder

Okay, I realise I’m fast running out of James Bond titles to convert into puns for the benefit of this column. And that some of these are a bit of a stretch. Don’t blame me. Blame Ian Fleming for not writing more 007 adventures on account of being dead. Selfish really.

You can also blame Ben here at the Post. He started it and now we’re all locked in. So let’s just plough on, shall we?

Daughters are forever
Soon I will become a father. Again. We are welcoming a girl into the family.

Our son is three and a half. He can now amuse himself, enjoy TV, have and play with friends, and not need constant surveillance. My wife and I have increasingly enjoyed more freedom to do things for us.

Naturally it made sense, then, to shut down these growing windows of opportunity and return to the eye of the storm by having another baby. To paraphrase someone much better at the guitar than me: it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of my tunnel is just a freight train heading my way.

Am I ready? Yes and no. First time around, it was easier to prepare. There was nothing else to do but anticipate the life-changing, seismic life event of becoming a parent. Everything was ready: the pristine new cot; the carefully-prepared changing area; and the neatly-folded baby clothes. The whole place was spotless.

View to the swill
This time around, after much fumbling around in the basement to retrieve all our old newborn stuff, now more than a little battle-damaged, I cannot see the cot, changing area or indeed my wife because everything is covered with bits of Lego and half-eaten biscuits.

I think we’re ready, but I won’t lie: we’re bringing this one into a daily tsunami of chaos. I guess this is what all parents having a second kid go through, but we haven’t, and it’s carnage.

It does, however, bring about a strange sense of calm. When she comes, she comes. We’ll deal with it, just like we deal with everything else – as best we can.

You only spawn twice
Actually, I’m much more relaxed about this second coming. First-time parenting is a real white-knuckle ride. You’re always in the moment, flying blind with no frame of reference. Now we have the benefits of hindsight, experience and perspective. It’s reassuring to know that if I see our newborn juggling flamethrowers while gargling gin, I will now see this just as a phase and not panic.

I’m also looking forward to having a daughter. One of each. Perfect. No need to roll the dice a third time. And if either decide to choose their gender down the line, that’s fine too.

But having a son brought with it lots of unexpected emotional issues for me. Second time, I have no hang-ups. I’m excited about the prospect of having a girl that will break my heart on a daily basis. Bring it on.

As I write this, she has yet to arrive. As you read this, she’ll hopefully be here. Another triumph for Anglo-Danish relations! Wish me luck. See you on the other side.

Adrian Mackinder


British writer and performer Adrian Mackinder (adrianmackinder.co.uk) and his pregnant Danish wife moved from London to Copenhagen in September 2015. He now spends all his time wrestling with fatherhood, the unexpected culture clash and being an Englishman abroad.