On the 18 November 2012 our little lady arrived and the world changed, as I'm sure it does for all new parents. Whilst it was always our plan to have a second child, for four years we have been a trio: Mummy, the little lady, and me. Coming from a family of mainly males, adapting to being the only boy in our house wasn’t too bad. You quickly learn the art of dolly dressing, hair combing, ponytail creating (there is some work to do with plaiting) and what sparkly tops go with the correct skirts.
Four years have gone by in a flash and the little lady is at school and loving life. Then in July last year we found out that another little person would be joining us, and everything changed again. It might be the second time round, but that same sense of excitement and anticipation returns. The little lady is beside herself at the thought of her new playmate ('when can it have sweets and when can it walk and play on my bike?') and Mummy begins planning and working out what “kit” we need to get out of storage, what new kit we need (evidently lots as we have to treat them both equally) and all the other hundreds of things that Mummies have to do.
We’ve done this once already, the little lady is healthy and a joy, so what’s to worry about? Surely it’s just a case of repeating what happened first time?
Well, this time we are in a different country - how is that going to work? How will it compare to back in the UK; what does it mean for things like birth certificates, passports... crikey are there restrictions on names?!
Oh yes, names. The challenge of finding a name that we both agree on and like. A boys list and a girls list, first and second choices, a quick scan around friends and families to see if there are clashes and what names are trending globally! As a Daddy you know one thing for certain. The final decision on this is definitely resting with Mummy!
As the weeks tick by Mummy feels rubbish and sick and I worry constantly if she’s OK. You worry at the strange pains and twinges and want to know that everything is alright. You feel a little useless but can help by fixing the late night ice cream cravings, made easier this time round with the amazing food delivery network Dubai benefits from! Is the bump OK, is the little lady OK and feeling OK with everything?
So to the big question. Is it different second time around and what will it be like as a four?
The weeks turn to months and the countdown really gets going along with the anticipation that grows as do more, new questions. The little lady is a daddy's girl; what will the new arrival be like and will they like me as much as the first one and will we get along? What changes as a four and how do we manage school, work and everything else?
On 15 March 2017 the world changed once again. Mummy, as before, was amazing and our new team member arrived healthy and well. Is it different the second time round? Yes, of course it is as all experiences are different. But it’s a great different and I had nothing to worry about. The littlest one and I are getting on great and loving this one as much as the first one was easy. In fact, when you see them together with Mummy the multiplier effect (not like when Gremlins multiply if you get them wet, although on occasion bathtime chaos does seem very familiar to this!) means I find myself loving them all more than before and feeling the proudest Daddy around.
In case you are wondering. The little lady is a proud big sister to our littlest lady so Daddy is well and truly outnumbered – the quest for the perfect plait and half up and half down hair continues.