The neonatal unit at Addenbrookes hospital is rather like a space station, the incubators look just like teeny spacecraft parked in a row waiting for teeny spacemen to come and get in. And the teeny babies who get to spend their first rather too early weeks there are all legs and arms which wave from time to time just to show they are in there doing their bit for growing. Nothing on but a nappy and occasionally a hat to keep their heads warm and to make a slight bow to fashion, they make small but just noticeable movements.
The nurses and doctors and the mums and dads all know what they are doing when they look after these teeny tiny babies in the spaceship incubators and somehow they seem to be dressed just right. They all seem to be in pyjamas!
Maybe this is why Grandpa in his country green rather tweedy outfit with country going crocs looks and feels a little out of place. He, like me, wonders if you have to get the babies out of the holes on the side because it seems to be the only way out but then suddenly at the push of a button, the top of the spacecraft lifts up by itself and the teeny tiny space baby is lifted out all attached to the home station with tiny thin wires and an air pipe. Really she is just like a spaceman making a first step on the moon, all surprised by the light and the new gravity of the situation.
When we visit, the new mum says to Grandpa, "would you like to put your hands in and just hold the tiny baby in the comfort position?" Mmmmmhhhh says he, a bit uncertain and pushes his hands through the holes in the side of spaceship. Having been shown how to do it, he lays one huge hand gently on her head and cups the other one round her teeny bottom and long spidery legs. He says "now look here baby ours, we are praying for you and you must get bigger and stronger and then we will bring you home." We know that as she is the smallest person in the family, she will be able to find the best hiding places in the house and that her cousins will find it hard to find where she is because she will be able to get into the smallest places and they may not be able to follow her in.