Whenever a new baby is part of the equation, New Year’s Eve is always going to be something of a non-event. It is impossible to go out as getting baby-sitter is unlikely for starters and unfair for all concerned even if one is found. This one therefore, had all the hallmarks of being a quiet one.
Ultimately, the evening was spent by whimpering pathetically on the sofa after being struck down by a severe case of man-flu which maybe something to scoff at as far as the ladies are concerned but to us men, it’s a matter of life or death. So the question of what to do for New Year turned out to be academic anyway and I rang in the New Year with a Lemsip and a few Night Nurse chasers rather than going out and spreading plague across the land like a pestilent serf from the Middle Ages.
Since there is little else to do, I lit a huge fire that tested the limits of the wood-burner to the extent that it soon resembled something normally seen in a cautionary public information film next to a disapproving fire-safety officer. Mercifully it didn’t ‘go nova’ and engulf the entire street which meant that I could just lay there feeling rubbish and watching Jools Holland who over the last couple of years, has really started to resemble a prohibition-era Chicago mobster. Subsequently, I was guessing that it would only be a matter of time until one of his guests said something to which he took unnecessary umbrage and they ended up being found dead after the cameras stop rolling, garrotted in an alley outside the back of BBC Television Centre.
The most surprising thing about the ‘Hootenanny’ show was Tom Jones, who lately has started to take on the appearance of a three-week old Satsuma that someone has etched a crude face onto before dipping it in creosote and inartistically sticking bits of cotton wool onto the top. It’s got to the point now that he actually looks like something that Jim Henson may have had a hand in creating and might otherwise be seen springing out of a dustbin on Sesame Street.
The upside to having a very young baby at New Year is that you don’t find yourself in the dilemma of trying to decide whether or not to wake them up for midnight and therefore struggling to get them to go back to sleep shortly afterwards. If they’re awake then great, but if not, then the likelihood of not being able to get them back to sleep afterwards should be more than enough to put you off waking them up. As it stands, the end of the late feed coincides quite nicely with ‘Auld Lang Syne’ so Ethan is already awake for midnight, not that he cared in the slightest.
As a result of the previous night’s comparative wholesomeness, it is the first New Year’s Day for years that I wake up and am not incapacitated by an all-encompassing apocalyptic hangover which is great news for Ethan in that his Dad is able to play with him as opposed to terrifying him by staggering about the house like a zombie, banging into things and groaning.
Despite being crippled by Man-Flu, I spent the day attempting to play with Ethan on his activity mat, desperately trying not to sneeze over his head whilst hoping he wouldn’t confuse my bright-red nose for one of his light-up interactive toys and start frantically swatting it in a bid to make it play ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’. My fragile state makes me a thoroughly unsuitable playmate but I think he managed to enjoy the day on the whole, bar an unpleasant five minute episode later in the day when he decided to besmirch his own bath water in the worst way imaginable.