One night, a few days after Jamie had been born, I was on my way to the hospital to visit him in intensive care, I stopped at some traffic lights on the outskirts of the town, and looked up to my left to see a giant advertising billboard. The advert on the poster was for a particular brand of baby milk that claimed to make your child more intelligent. It featured a young baby, about six months old, wearing a nappy. The baby had been playing with alphabet blocks, and had rearranged them to form a word. The word was "PAEDIATRICIAN".
As I looked at the poster I felt a small stab of anguish; I knew that Jamie was never going to be one of these children. He was never going to grow up to be a paediatrician. He was never even going to be able to spell the word.
As the poignancy of the situation dawned on me, a song started playing on the radio - a sad 80s power ballad - and I became aware of how I would appear to an observer at that point. I imagined myself as a character in a movie - a tear jerking drama in which I was played by some brooding hunk - Robert Pattinson perhaps. His life had fallen apart, and the universe seemed to be mocking him; all the while the movie soundtrack reverberated around the cinema. It was even raining.
The traffic light changed to green. I decided to wait a little longer. I carried on sitting there, listening to the music, gazing forlornly at the giant super-baby that filled my field of vision, and properly feeling sorry for myself until the traffic light changed back to red again.
After a few minutes, I decided that I had sat and felt sorry for myself for long enough, and it was time to carry on with my journey. The song had ended, and an annoying local DJ was spoiling the mood by prattling on about petrol prices. The only problem was that the traffic light was still red. A few more minutes passed, and the light was still red; I was starting to feel a little awkward. I had always assumed that the traffic lights were in some sort of timed rotation, and they went from red to amber to green, and back, all day and all night. However, as the light in front of me refused to turn green, it occurred to me that perhaps the change was initiated by some sort of sensor that detected a car approaching. If this was the case, it was never going to turn green for me, because it had already detected my approach and, quite reasonably, assumed that I would have gone by now. I was going to have to sit there until another car arrived behind me and got picked up by the sensor. The only problem was, it was the middle of the night on a quiet road, and it could be half an hour before another car arrived. Even then, would the sensor detect it or would my own car block it?
Eventually, I put the car into gear, and jumped the red light. As I continued on my journey, I realized a few things for the first time. The first was that I had been a ridiculous boob ten minutes earlier. The second was that life is not like the movies; perhaps this is just as well otherwise there would have been a cop car that saw me jump the red light, and there would have been a car chase possibly culminating in a shoot-out ending in tragedy and Jamie would have had to grow up without a father. The third realization is that if they ever did make a movie of my life, it would be a comedy. I would not be played by Robert Pattinson, it would be Seth Grogan.