I have been thinking/worrying a lot about the effects the new baby will have on Betty, but also how lovely it will be for her to have a younger sibling to play with, or torment in the case of me and my poor younger brother.
Some of the incidents that spring to mind…
• When I was nine years old my dad said he'd give me £50 if I ate a worm. I ate the worm and got my £50, but my mum (who was pretty annoyed with my dad for encouraging me to do such a stupid thing) made me split the money with my younger brother. I was livid and thought it only fair to force him into eating a worm to earn his half.
• During the school holidays (shortly after the worm incident) I locked my brother in a cupboard for three hours while my mum was at work. Just before she was due to come home I let him out again. He cried and wailed and told mum what I had done but I convinced her that he was making it up.
• I used to pick flowers out of peoples’ gardens, and then hand them to my brother and tell him to go and knock on the door and try to sell them to the owner.
• And I would often suck the chocolate off Maltesers and then hide them all over our house. When my brother came across them and asked me what they were I would scare the life out of him and tell him that it was alien poo.
I keep hearing from friends and from celebrity mums in Heat magazine that when pregnant with the second child, the older sibling affectionately strokes and kisses their mummy’s tummy, talks or sings to the unborn baby, or tries to look at it through mummy’s belly button.
Betty has shown absolutely no interest in my expanding stomach. When I dare mention to her that there is a baby in there, she gives me a filthy look, turns her back on me, and starts singing ‘The wheels on the bus…’ very loudly.
This could mean that either she thinks I am completely deluded for talking about such absurdities (especially as she regularly witnesses me downing entire Chocolate Oranges, and often refers to me as ‘Daddy Pig’), or she knows full well what is going on and doesn’t want to think ab0ut the fact that she soon has to share her home and parents with another little Button.