Psychologists have missed the nuttiness of men as birth of baby approaches. With a random sample n=1 let me plug the gap. Men have an overwhelming urge to feather and prepare the nest. It's a deep, biological drive.

I wasn't aware of this with the birth of Liberty, now 3. Back then I was a politician and not so handy. The less kind would say I was useless.

It's different now. Waiting for Grace, now 22 months, I couldn't help myself. I got up early and ripped up the veranda. It was old and creaky. I had a vision of mum and baby sitting in the sun on a sparkling new veranda.

The reality was heavily pregnant wife with a toddler climbing a metre off the front step. She then had to negotiate mud, tools, 4x2s and piles. It wasn't easy. But I felt the need to be industrious. The nest needed feathering.


Luckily Grace was eight days late. She arrived home to a flash new veranda.

My mistake back then had been the car. It wouldn't start. I had everything planned. I had tested the route. I knew the way. It was time to go. I was doing the man panic. The car wouldn't fire. I had to ring AA. I didn't feel too good about that.

With number three on the way we needed a larger car. The less sophisticated would say our new car is old. I say she's a classic. I rescued her from the wreckers. A bit of love and a can of carb clean and she was good to go.

So this week waiting for number three the urge hit again. What to do? I know. I will run a few checks on the car. Be good to make sure she'll go. I had variously the wheels off, the wiring pulled, the seats out and the fuel system in bits. I wasn't unmindful of my responsibilities. I reckoned on the signal I could get her back together in time.

The fuel system proved problematic. I ended up with bits spread all over the dining table.

My wife, bless her, said she had faith. I was frenetic. I was googling how to put the fuel distributor back together. There were bits that I didn't know where to put. I overheard my wife telling her mum she may need a lift.

But what could I do? I was under the sway of a deep biological force. It's Hide's first law of psychology: men's obsessiveness geometrically increases as due date approaches.

In the event, our boy was late too. It was just as well. I needed the extra time.

When the time came she roared into life with just a touch on the starter. We travelled home all eight cylinders purring, resprung seats, and fresh fluid. Her paint was polished; her chrome shone. Erisson was safe and snug inside. That's my boy. And that's how he travels.