I’ve just dropped Lewis off at kinder and I’m hightailing it towards Archie’s primary school. Because I’m feeling stressed I start listening to my self titled playlist Reservoir Dad and the first song is the dreamy 80s-hits classic ‘It’s My Life’ by Talk Talk. Within seconds Archie and Tyson’s chitter-chatter becomes background noise and my mind meanders on over to lala-land. I’m drawn to re-live this very recent memory by powers beyond my control –
I’m filling out Archie’s book diary and telling him he needs to have his bag packed, shoes on and teeth cleaned before eight o’clock, and I’m just about to scream out to stop Lewis from trapping a mostly nude Tyson in the washing basket when Reservoir Mum bends down to close the dishwasher.
Her recently expanded cleavage sucks the light from the universe, eclipses all thought and gives me tunnel vision. The dishwasher shuts with a loud click and when I lift my vision Reservoir Mum is staring at me, eyebrows raised. Her smile is slightly pursed. She’s accusing me of something, thanking me and laughing with me all at the same time.
I try to control my breathing but it’s beyond me. She’s semi-heavy with child and look at the luster it builds in her full-bodied hair! My eyes are only coerced from her radiant face and lips to find the sweet curve of her hips and when she speaks to me I am unable to process the words because the trip north causes me to stumble again at her wonderful breasts. She’s a twenty-one week pregnant fox – a vixen – and her allure has transformed me into the male fox equivalent; I am a raging red reynard and I have to use all my reserves of inner strength to stop myself from biting the back of her neck and mounting her. When she claps her hands in front of my face I whisper, ‘I think I’m going to have a seizure….’
I am shocked back into the present when Archie leans forward in his booster seat and yells, ‘Dad, what’s this song?’
‘This is a hit from 1982 titled ‘1999’. It was performed by the artist formerly known as Prince,’ I answer.
‘What does that mean?’ Archie says, as my mobile phone rings.
The mobile display panel signals ‘The Wife’ and as I switch it to hands free my mind goes rapid-fire in search of an appropriate and romantic way to tell her how I love the way her body is changing.
“Anyone there?’ she says.
My chest almost collapses as the air spills from my lungs, ‘Your cans looked so awesome this morning.’
There’s a pause and then, ‘Are the kids with you?’
‘Yes, Archie and Tyson,’ I say. ‘But they don’t know what cans are yet.’
‘True,’ she says. ‘And I know you think they’re awesome. You’ve been telling me that since we first met.’
I breath in as she continues, ‘I forgot to tell you something in the morning craziness. At the pool yesterday a boy in Lewis’s swimming class ran up to me and said “is the baby out yet?” and I said “no he won’t be out for a long time” and the boy said, “Aww. Can he please just come out to play for a little while?”
“Ha!’ I laugh. ‘Classic.’
‘You should put that in your blog.’
‘I don’t know…’ I say, ‘It might not carry over so well. I might just mention it on the Facebook page or something. But hey, while you’re here… the name you suggested for the baby… Zeke? Well, last night I couldn’t sleep and I was running the name over in my head and I got an image of a little boy with a Collingwood jumper on. He had a massive mullet… and he was perming it. Then I saw him being used to advertise that TV show where they send the really, really bad kids away to a military camp, and he kept telling the hardcore youth workers that I was a fucking stupid idiot and that nothing was his fault because you and I were siblings. There was lots of footage of me crying. So, I don’t know… but basically I think Zeke is out.’
‘Okay. Fair enough,’ she says.
‘Dad,’ Archie interrupts. ‘You just said an adult word.’
‘Good boy Archie,’ Reservoir Mum says, over the speaker phone. ‘Well, I had another name idea. How about ****?
Suddenly everything seems quiet. The name resonates with me. ‘****?’ I say. ‘That’s not bad… I really like it!’
Archie’s school comes into view. I’ve beaten the bell by five minutes. ‘God, I’d love to be able to discuss this on the blog.’
‘No, I think we should keep the name a secret,’ she says, as Archie scrambles over to the front passenger seat, gives me a hug and opens the door.
‘Love ya, mate,’ I say, waving him goodbye. ‘Well, what if I use a symbol? Like the artist formerly known as Prince?’
‘I don’t know. How aboutf?’
‘Hmm. Not sure. I mean it’s nice but…’
‘Okay, then… just hear me out. What if I use the code name Rick Astley… just until he’s born?’
Reservoir Mum sighs. I imagine her taking my face in her hands and staring directly into my eyes. ‘Okay,’ she says, resigned, ‘For the next twenty or so weeks, whenever you blog, you can call our unborn baby Rick Astley.’
My eyes sting as I fight back tears, ‘I never thought this day would come.’
‘It’s here. Don’t cry,’ she whispers, as I watch Archie wander safely inside the school gates.
When I adjust the rear vision mirror, Tyson looks at me, giggles and opens and closes both hands playfully. ‘There’s only one more thing that could make this more…’
‘I know,’ Reservoir Mum says, ‘You want to wear a cape’
‘Just… one photo?’
‘One photo then. But only for the blog.’
‘Deal,’ I say.
I am overwhelmed. The world seems to be turning perfectly. ‘Okay, my love. Tys and I are heading to the supermarket.’
‘You haven’t got a pregnancy tip for me this week?’
‘Oh yeah. Thanks for the reminder. I’ve read over Kaz Kooke’s Up The Duff and the Huggies online pregnancy guide and I just want to let you know that you may get very hot at night. You may find it difficult to sleep. It’s okay to use a sheet only and, if clothes feel too uncomfortable, to sleep nude.’
‘Wow,’ she says. ‘Earth shattering. I’m sure you’ll help thousands of pregnant women with that one…’
(note – If you are twenty one weeks pregnant and are sleeping nude to prevent over-heating your partner may take this as a sign that you are keen for some action. It’s okay to let him know that this is for your benefit, not his. For more info on week 21 visit the Huggies website)