No, not a baby or anything, but Victor - Victor the Third. Almost as hard work to keep alive as a real baby.
For his birthday back in April, the only thing that Son wanted, was a Venus Fly Trap plant. Who wouldn't?
Not being an expert in such matters, where else was I to turn but eBay? I was seduced by what I thought was a verdant, bushy (as much as Venus Fly Trap plants can be bushy) Venus Fly Trap plant, for the princely sum of £14.99. I know, but it was the only thing that Son wanted, after all, so no stinting. Really - a relatively modest, frugal desire, compared to the things that a twenty-first century 12 year old boy might crave for his birthday.
It arrived in a tiny plastic bag nestling in some damp kitchen roll, all four leaves of it. You might still be thinking I was ripped off, but you haven't seen the encyclopaedic VFT handbook to download, included with the purchase. This was when we realised it wasn't as simple as leaving it on a window sill to catch a few flies. Oh no.
They are bog plants requiring rain water to drink and special compost. And they are difficult to keep alive. Or so it seems to us.
Victor the First survived a month, until we went on holiday in May, and then despite copious instructions for our cat/chicken/Victor sitters, we returned to him looking brown and sulky. All his leaves dropped off.
Not to worry, Victor the Second began growing from this miraculous compost, and he looked very healthy, until someone accidentally knocked him and he also turned brown and died.
Third time round, we are being extra careful. Regular feeding. Paranoia about running out of rainwater. (It has been an unpredictable summer after all). A paper clip to support his one feeble leaf in order to prevent it from drooping onto the compost and rotting. And now, just when he's starting to flourish, the dilemma of whether to leave him on his own at home, to possibly suffer the fate of Victor the First, or whether to take him on holiday with us...