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Changing a nappy is simple, Simon – wait for the real dirty work

I HAD to laugh when I heard Simon Cowell had said that having a baby wouldn't change his life. I wonder if he feels the same way now, 48 hours after seeing his first son Eric enter the world?

The music mogul rushed to girlfriend Lauren Silverman's side and, like many a new dad before him, was reportedly seen pacing outside the hospital with a cigarette in hand.

However, declaring that he has never changed a nappy and never intends to does make me wonder if he's slightly deluded about what being a parent involves.

How can be be alone with the child if he isn't prepared to muck in? Round-the-clock nannies aside, babies are inconvenient in lots of different ways. Trying to get them to fit into a hectic schedule, especially in the early days, just wont work.

Like a lot of first-time parents, I think Simon might be in denial. I know when my daughter was born, I was a little shell-shocked. I'd done my best to prepare and, like most mums-to-be, thought I was ready to deal with what was coming. And yet, when the fateful day arrived, it still came to me as a massive shock.

I may have read all the books and attended all the antenatal classes, but when I held my baby girl in my arms, I was swamped with a feeling – that I hadn't a clue what to do next.

She was gorgeous and I was mad about her, of course, but how could I be responsible for this tiny screaming bundle? It was a ludicrous idea and I felt like a big fraud.

And yet somehow, like all new parents, my husband and I muddled through.

We walked the floors with her at night, praying that she would drop off to sleep. When she did get to sleep, we hung over the side of her cot, worried that she was doing okay.

Every gurgle was analysed and every little movement clocked. We were on tenterhooks.

And then, after a while, we began to relax . Things started to come more naturally and we began to enjoy her. She was thriving, which meant we were doing something right, right?

If she was happy, then we were too, and the reverse was also true. But having to deal with the first time she became ill was a day I will never forget. The worry was all-consuming, not least when I realised that no matter how big she grew, I would never stop worrying about her.

You see there's no 'off' button with children Mr Cowell – this is forever. That idea was terrifying for us – that we were going to be on this roller coaster of exhilaration and exhaustion for the rest of our lives.

Simon may have enough wealth to never have to get up in the middle of the night to tend to his child – he could have a team of nannies on standby to deal with the mess and inconvenience.

But I suspect that he is a softie at heart, so chances are that he may well be walking the floors with his baby, just like we all have.

And maybe one night as he does that he'll realise that all the money in the world will not immunise him from the worry that goes hand-in-hand with being a parent.

He too will find himself on the roller coaster. He'll toss and turn, fretting about his child's health, friendships and future, I can guarantee it.

And that's the thing that may surprise Simon the most – changing dirty nappies really is the easy part.


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