27 July 2008

Kids, Kids, Kids

I’m into new territory here. In fact I’ve been in new territory for about 3 years since Kitty turned eight years old. I don’t have any experience of bringing up kids over the age of eight so it’s been a learning curve for all of us, Julie included. Sometimes it’s a nightmare, sometimes it’s a pleasure but it’s always challenging ……..and rewarding.

The first few years were great. A renewed romance, nice kids, family holidays, a new papa, the excitement of moving houses (albeit only next door) then the challenge of building our own house but of course eventually you get into undiscovered parental territory and it’s a struggle to know if you are doing the right thing. It’s even more of a struggle when there are another set of parents (Guy and Kitty’s dad, Clive and his wife Teresa) just down the coast who might have completely different values and disciplines.

Let me say here and now I love Guy and Kitty as if they were my own despite the things they shout at me as I refuse to let them have another tube of Pringles and more Coca Cola 5 minutes before they go to bed. They are wonderful children and complement my own three sons wonderfully in terms of temperament and character.

But I do worry about them – even the older ones. I will explain some of these worries in later blogs but not a day passes when I don’t think of them and wonder how they’re doing – this despite regular phone calls.

Stephen Scott (aged 34 this year) was brought screaming and kicking into this world at RottenRow hospital in Glasgow as his father and grandfather watched Rangers beat Celtic in a pub some 5 minutes away from the hospital, having been informed by the ward sister that the birth would be delayed for a short while. Returning to the hospital rather the worse for wear I was presented with a 3lb 14oz premature baby boy who was promptly given the name ‘Scott’ in honour of the Rangers player who scored the only goal in the game against our arch rivals Celtic. As Stephen was unfortunately to grow up to become a Celtic supporter, his middle name was the butt of quite a few jokes.

Ross Martin (aged 31 today 27th July) was also brought kicking and screaming into the world but fortunately I made this birth. I remember looking at the blood and guts all over the theatre floor whilst Fiona cuddled her second son and was then given toast and jam and a cup of tea by the auxiliary nurse. She could not understand why I did not eat or drink it ! The naming of Stephen obviously still rankled with Fiona as she insisted on calling this boy after her current TV heartthrob, Ross Poldark ! Martin, I presume also came from Fiona as her father had the name Martin, amongst quite a few others.

Timothy Lewis (aged 28 this year) also had a difficult birth. I cannot remember the exact details but he was hospitalised for over a month after his birth. I do recall however the sister asking every week or so if we’d like to take him home but by this time I’d worked out that the newly born Timothy was covered by the IBM Private Health Scheme which paid a daily rate for any family member who was hospitalised so when Timothy actually came out of hospital some 30 days after seeing the world for the first time, a brand new Vauxhall Cavalier, paid for by IBM’s insurance, was waiting to whisk him home. Fiona, by this time, had moved her romantic allegiances to the male leads of The Professionals and although Timothy must’ve had something to do with her Catholic faith the name Lewis undoubtedly came from Lewis Bodie whom she would sit and swoon over as she squeezed my blackheads.

Guy and Kitty’s births were unknown to me (another story) and I’m not aware of any real problems but I have to admit to thinking Kitty was not the most photogenic child I had ever seen (she was about 4 when I saw her for the first time) but it must’ve been a bad-hair day for her because she has blossomed into a very pretty young girl as the years have passed. Guy, on the other hand, was probably the cutest kid I’d ever seen. Sitting on the airport lounge floor pushing a toy car up and down, he looked every inch the sort of boy every father dreams of having.

So to summarise this blog, I am blessed. I have 5 wonderful children. I am immensely proud of my own 3 and watch with wonder, on a daily basis, as Guy and Kitty make their way through the world, eating Pringles and drinking Coke 5 minutes before they go to bed !
Picture is Stephen with Guy and Kitty

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