Amongst all the excitement over the birth of Prince George, I thought, wouldn’t it be funny if my son Lukas had a direct line to him so he could share all his newborn wisdom? Not that Lukas could write at the time or George can read for that matter, but just the same… here are a few of those letters.
July 22, 2013
What’s all the fuss?
Dear Little Prince,
My Mum kept talking about Kate and William having a baby today. I didn’t really know who she was talking about. My mum was trying to get me to sleep tonight when my dad came in and pretended to play a trumpet. I didn’t know what he was doing but mum said, “Do you have an announcement or something? Was the baby born?” Dad said yes. You were a boy (welcome to the club, mate), weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces – a pound heavier than me, thank you very much – and you were born at 4:24pm.
Seeing that I fight sleep until at least 8:30, good on you to have a solid few hours to adjust to the lights, listen to yourself squawk, and work those 10 (I’m assuming) digits.
Tips for your first night? I hope you get the hang of breastfeeding and that your mum doesn’t forget to burp you (ahem) after a feed. I slept best in my mum’s arms and not in some plastic drinks cart. Lucky for you, you’re in a private room so you can’t play “pass the crying fit” like I did with my new roommate.
I can’t wait to see what (and who) you look like.
All I can say is, I’m glad I grew into my newborn nose.
July 23, 2013
No Place Like Home
How was your first night in the hospital, by the way? Did you get the hang of breastfeeding? I don’t even want to go there. On TV, your dad said you had a good set of lungs on you. I’m assuming you did a fair bit of screaming. I did too. I didn’t want to be anywhere but in my mummy’s arms. I slept when she held me, but when she put me back in the drinks cart, I didn’t want any part of it.
Did you have your first messy poo? It’s like swamp muck. Like the scene in “Room on the Broom” with the swamp creature… wait, I don’t want to give that away because when your mum or dad get around to reading it I don’t want to be blamed when you say, “Wait, I know how this ends!”
Your dad said he changed your first nappy. You’re lucky, he got to stay in the hospital overnight with you. I was born at about 10pm and my dad was sent home by 1am, leaving my mum all alone with me. That doesn’t really seem fair, does it? It’s not like mum got any rest whatsoever, she mostly just stared at me all night long. Did your parents have a good look at you? A full examination of all your bits and bops? (I know it’s bobs but I like to say bops).
My dad dressed me first. While my mum got her act together and had a bath, dad got me into my first little onesie. It was from the States (Grammy!), white with a yellow duck on the front. Instead of legs it just flowed down like a dress with elastic at the bottom for easy nappy changes, so they say, all I knew was that it was so easy to curl my legs up into a little ball within. I was so used to that position “on the inside” that stretching my legs out straight didn’t seem like the right thing to do. And even though it was a size tiny, I could have eaten about 20 Happy Meals and still fit in it. Even with all the toys shoved inside.
It was really sweet seeing you for the first time, snuggled in your mum’s arms (then your dad). Precious cargo. Support the head! Everyone says that. Your mum gently rocking you and tapping your nappy covered bum, reassuring you she had you and was there to keep you calm.
I think I had more hair than you (see my Benjamin Button photo) but the hairline of a 75 year old. Your face all quite wrinkly and red and puffy. It’ll get better, trust me. And your frail little fingers sticking out, occasionally in your mouth with a, “Ooh, what’s this?” So fresh and pink and alive. You’ll lose all that newborn hair, be totally bald for a while, then start growing in the good stuff.
Your dad also joked about your having more hair than him. No comment.
Oh, LP, swaddled and swimming in your brand new car seat, you went into the back with mum and away to home where you were most likely placed on a bunch of cushions and once again stared at for a long time with one or all of the following exclaimed, severity depending upon how much crying and wailing you have done up to this point:
- “We did a good job, didn’t we?”
- “Will? Will. Look at him. He looks like your father.” (That’s all my mum could say after she got past the Benjamin Button looky likey business. Then I started looking like my auntie.)
- “Does he want a feed AGAIN? It’s been 10 minutes!”
- “Check his nappy. I know I asked you five minutes ago. Check again.”
- “Will. I’m starving. Can we get a pizza? Make that 2.”
- “Don’t forget to support his head!”
- “Now he needs a new outfit. I told you to check his nappy.”
All in all, it was best just to get home and get on with it. As much as my parents wanted me to sleep in my rickety Moses basket, I ended up in between them in their bed, on top of a cushion (gosh, don’t tell anyone that), where we all finally, blissfully slept.
For a short while, anyway.
July 24, 2013
Isla, Giorgio, George
Day 3 and not named until the end of the day – go on you! I loved the mystery. The guessing. What’s the hurry? Your parents want to get to know you a bit first, look at you and say, “He’s so not a Derek. And definitely not a Sam. Too common.
Did your parents know what they were having? My parents didn’t. I was always going to be a Lukas, even after they saw me, there was no changing of minds. I like it. Lukas with a k. I’ll probably have to say that for the rest of my life but as my Grandma likes to say, nevermind. Does your Grandma say that? If I were a girl, I would have been Myah. Pretty but, again, I would most certainly have been spelling that for the rest of my life.
My first choice for you was the boy version of Isla. I had to ask my mum how to spell that one. I’ve named a buffalo at the zoo Isla, I have a cousin named Isla (girl), and I’ve probably named a couple of my stuffed animals Isla as well. Giorgio is a boy at my nursery. He’s Italian. I’m half Italian. I don’t think you’re Italian at all.
You know, I think my name started as Luka but with my Italian surname, my mum didn’t want me sounding too Italian. Being American, she’s come to terms with my British accent. Herbs with an h. Tomato with a short a. Garage with the emphasis on the ga. Zed. Zebra with a short a. Oh, I could go on. Mum and I sing “Let’s call the whole thing off” to joke about how we speak differently. She’s not picked up much of the accent though.
My third choice of name for you was George. Solid. One syllable. Old school. I’m assuming, being a future king, your parents didn’t have a run of the A to Z of baby names to choose from. Prince Caleb. Prince Jenson.
Prince Zeeebra, just to be different.
Nope. Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.
My mum thinks you should be called Alex until the time comes you need to take on the kingdom. Not a bad idea, actually. My favorite Alex is Alex Winters on CBeebies. He’s energetic, fun, and when I once went to hear him read stories in Manchester he called me (ME!) handsome. I’ll never forget it.
But, I’ll call you George until further notice.
So, George, where did you sleep last night? Moses basket? Mum and dad’s bed? On Mum’s shoulder? Did you wake up 10 times or, like me, not really fall asleep at all until like 7 in the morning? I saw that you and your parents drove off to visit your grandparents – maybe you didn’t truly sleep until you were back in your car seat?
You were probably thinking, where are we going now?
You know, my mum, being from America, didn’t have her mum close by, so I think she envies her relationship with your grandma. Oh well.
Everything will be all so upside down and backward for a while.
All I can say is, go with the flow.
Good night, George. Wherever you are, sleep like a baby. Which, when you think about it, is the opposite of what parents want. What baby in their first few days, in their right mind, sleeps all night long when you’ve got a warm, cuddly mum to snuggle into?
Certainly not I.