Preparations have begun to shift into a new gear as we near ever closer to Hadley’s December arrival. The weekend past, my wife was fortunate enough to share a day with family and friends for her baby shower. It was a truly wonderful experience and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them for their kindness and generosity. Because of these individuals I was able to enjoy an entirely uninterrupted weekend of football and motor racing as I blissfully consumed my way into a Doritos fuelled coma. This will not be forgotten. I have it on good authority that my wife also enjoyed her special day, so there’s that too.

With the due date fast approaching, there is a mountain of work still to be done. The car seat, the stroller, the Xbox One. If anything the list seems to be getting longer. With this complete lack of organisation we would barely scrape into the final of The Apprentice. It’s safe to say that this pregnancy has seen a far more relaxed approach, despite my wife not quite being on the same page with her daily probing about various purchases still to be made.

“Honey, I’m due in eight weeks. I’d like to get these things sooner rather than later,” She’ll press me.

“It’s okay,” I’ll her dismiss her with a nonchalant wave of the hand “We’ve still got time,”

Until one day there is no time. No time at all.

“My contractions are three minutes apart,” She’ll pant at me like an old sheep dog.

“Wow, babe,” I’ll scoff “Way to give me the heads up!”

I blame the education system and their attempts to teach us the importance of deadlines. Each school subject would include at least one module of coursework with our teacher stressing to us the importance of handing in our final piece on time. It didn’t work.

“Listen, Alan. May I call you Alan? We both know you have a two week cushion built into that deadline of yours. So if it’s all the same to you, I’m just going to take the week, work on my drive down at the range, maybe loiter around town and adhere to a few teenage stereotypes, and I’ll have this on your desk come Monday. Cool?” I’m only kidding. I went sick and spent the rest of the week avoiding eye contact whenever we crossed in the hall. Is childbirth really that dissimilar? I can already hear my wife screaming the answer in my ear.

On a more positive note, I have at least begun to consider gift options for the expectant mother. I didn’t even realise this was a thing the first time around. I’d already given her my seed, what exactly could I get for a woman who already had everything? According to Amazon; copious amounts of alcohol. Deeming this option as far too inappropriate, I refined my search (price: low-high) and found a delightful idea that really captured the essence of everything I wanted to say. How could I not express a little love and gratification as my wife brings our second daughter into this world.

As we now enter the remaining eight weeks before the due date, faced with an entire list of preparations still to be made, we receive the news that Hadley is measuring four weeks ahead of schedule. What could possibly go wrong?