I would like to point out, before alarm bells ring inside your head, and to prevent any doubt that you should inform social services of my behaviour, that I do not think of my son as an animal, i.e. a dog.
However, whilst heavily pregnant I must confess to admitting I was a little apprehensive regarding the responsibility and care of my unborn child. Yes, ahem, several jokes were cracked to colleagues and friends that I'd twice owned a dog and perhaps the upbringing was similar.
Of course I am fully aware babies and dogs are not quite the same. Babies should never, under any circumstances, eat Pedigree Chum, or any other form of dog food. Babies should also never be taken out for a walk on a lead. Reins are fine, but please, no leads attached to collars, this would be totally unacceptable.
But dogs, particularly puppies, rely on first their mother, and then us human beings to feed and protect them. And it's the same for babies.
I will never, ever, forget the first time I looked at and held my tiny son, Tommy.
"Hello, I'm your mummy," I said.
He immediately stopped crying and peered at me in a somewhat bewildered manner. This look continued during our first night together at the hospital, and all the way through to the next morning, our car journey home, and carrying him through the front door to our front room.
He still looked bewildered, and now it was time for myself and hubby to feel the same.
Mark and I stared at each other and both thought, so now what do we do?
It was then we realised there was no instruction manual, batteries were not included. There was no permanent helper by our side, explaining what each cry meant and how we should be reacting.
It was just us, and him.
Somehow we survived those first, incredibiliy exciting but exhausting and frightening, few days. Instinct really does take over, and you learn from your innocent mistakes. Google is also a godsend.
We didn't even have to resort to a squeaky toy, or a dog bone.
Don't worry, I'm joking with you!