The stuffy atmosphere makes me sneeze.  A delicate little sneeze but it shocks me all the same and everyone laughs which I find incredulous.  What is so funny about a sneeze?

It may be stuffy but it is very cold in this vast expanse of a room.  I can smell the wooden benches and am close enough to reach out and touch the concrete walls.  But they look so cold, so I keep my arm tucked away in the warmth of my dress.

I can’t quite believe I am wearing a dress.  It is what some might call beautiful, all satin and lace but it is not my usual style and if I’d been given the choice I would of opted for my comfortable tracksuit bottoms and snugly jumper.  But I never get given the choice.

I am told what to wear and told what to eat.  It is a bit tiring and annoying for me but I am sure things will change one day.

I am drawn into a big embrace.  Strong arms holding me tight and big yellow teeth grinning at me behind thin dry lips.  Yuk!  I hate all this hugging and kissing, it is so pointless.  But once one starts with the hugging it becomes a steady stream of relatives all either hugging me, kissing me or talking at me.

What is it with these people?  Why do they have to talk at me?  They know I have nothing to say to them so why they bother I do not know.

I hear soft music start playing and all the relatives fritter away.  All dressed in their finery, some even with hats.  This music is beastly, a steady drone of notes seemingly playing over and over.  Although the repetitiveness is actually quite soothing.  I feel myself falling asleep. 

The next thing I know, I can hear a wailing and realise it is coming from me.  I feel water on my face and still that dreadful music.  My arms are caught in my dress and it takes me forever to free them so I can flail at the thin air.  There are people oohing and aahing and I am sure I can hear some people say ‘bless’. 

I don’t like this cold water.  It has awoken me from my slumber and I am none to happy to be staring into a face I have only seen once before.  Another set of teeth smiling down at me.  A funny smell has come up and I know that I do not smell that sweet.  It is clogging my dainty nose and I can’t stand it anymore, I let out another wail entwined with another sneeze.

And then amid the clapping and oohs and ahhs I see my Mummy and Daddy smiling at me.  These are nice smiles, full of love and happiness.  They stand together, each one holding a part of me.  The three of us, stood with the Vicar behind us, the cross bearing Jesus on the wall.  And I even manage a little smile as the cameras flash, capturing the happy moment of my Baptism.