In a word . . .

. . . Baby

Hello dear, sweet baby 2017 and are we happy to see you.

Hello dear, sweet baby 2017 and are we happy to see you.

 

Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo . . .

Hello dear, sweet baby 2017 and are we happy to see you and those darling red, cherubic, seven-day-old cheeks! Not least because your predecessor was such an outrageous, unruly, unpredictable, contrary brat.

How, at times in 2016, we longed for such as Aristotle who “played the taws/ Upon the bottom of the king of kings”. And that’s being kind.

I thought we’d mark your welcome, joyful arrival with the quote above from the opening of James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, published just 100 years ago last week, on December 29th, 1916.

There now, nicens little boy. Baby tuckoo.

But you’re too young to appreciate that. Yet.

We have such hopes for you. Rarely has a January baby, even January itself, been greeted as wholeheartedly by so many of us, the dejected ones. Here, as near Naples.

But we do worry. It’s your parents. Theresa started out so well last year but then turned Brexit, stage right. Maybe she is just being clever. Maybe when the three stooges – Boris, Davis and the not-so-clever Fox – fail, maybe then she will rediscover the remains in her soul.

There is your father, Donald. His progeny promises to include your to-be siblings 2018, 2019,2020, 2021. You are his eldest. We trust, as is so frequently the case, that as such, son, you will be a thorn in his side. It is tradition. Pretend you’re Irish. Be our Playboy of the Western World, so to speak. Really, so.

We just hope and pray you are not your father’s son. But, rather, that you will always be our “nicens little boy”, our very own “baby tuckoo”. Forever and ever.

Now. Lie back there. And be warm. And comfortable. As we sing:

Let there be you,/Let there be me./Let there be oysters/Under the sea./

Let there be wind,/An occasional rain./Chilli con carne,/Sparkling champagne/Let there be birds/To sing in the trees,/Someone to bless me/

Whenever I sneeze./Let there be cuckoos,/A lark and a dove,/But first of all, please/ Let there be love.”

Baby from late 14th-century Middle English babi, diminutive of baban

inaword@irishtimes.com

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