Maybe my biological clock hasn’t started ticking yet

Clive Smith says he would not like to arm wrestle athlete Caster Semenya 		Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

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They say that when a woman reaches a certain age, the old biological clock kicks in. That maternal instinct that exists in all us ladies (apparently) goes into overdrive and we become all ‘clucky’ and ‘motherly’.

I’ve read that this often happens around the late 20s, early 30s. Well, I hate to admit it, but I’m rapidly approaching 30 and I’m starting to question all this body clock business, because it isn’t quite happening for me yet. Is there something wrong with my inner machine?

To test this theory, I am taking part in an experiment this weekend but I’ve got a sneaky feeling I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.

The ‘experiment’ is to look after my eight-month-old niece – overnight. Just typing these words is enough to get my heart pounding and make my throat go dry.

Yes, folks, I’m panicking about it! What on earth have I done?

Nobody could deny what a fantastic auntie I am. Forgive the arrogance, but its true.

I’m fun, I keep them safe, I spoil them (occasionally) and I discipline them when needed (trust me I have a firm tone if necessary).

But having an eight-month-old overnight requires a whole new set of skills – including, I fear, the ability to function with as little sleep as possible.

Well, I’ll find out soon enough. Despite the panic, part of me is looking forward to ‘trialling’ what it would feel like to be a parent, if only for 24 hours.

But how I’ll feel when I wake up on Sunday morning after doing overnight feeds and cuddles and nappy changes (not particularly looking forward to that element) is another matter.

Plus I’m already perspiring over safety issues and am busy working out the quickest routes to a doctor and the hospital and sorting out emergency speed dial numbers on my phone.

How will I cope? You’ll find out in next week’s column!

Please wish me luck and keep your fingers, toes and any other body parts capable of being crossed, well, crossed.

I have a feeling I’m going to need all the help and support going to get through this.