Monday, 28 October 2013

Week 112- decaf tea, resting your eyes and eating your body weight in Twirls...

Being pregnant again is not how I imagined it to be.

Actually I'm not sure what I thought it would be like.

But not like this anyhow.

One the one hand I've totally embraced the idea, having all but entirely stopped going to the gym the moment the baby was confirmed.

I can't believe how massive I am already.

I know this probably isn't helped by mainlining Twirls after most meals, but this can't all be chocolate.

Bodies must remember and just pop out. I think possibly more so with the unfit body variety where tummy muscles aren't so evident.

After my 12 week scan someone asked me if I'd just had the 20 week one. I was delighted. Obviously.

I'm out of breath all the time. I only need to walk up a very slight incline and I'm wheezing like a pervy crank caller.

And as if that's not enough, I'm more tired than I've been in living memory. This is the kind of tired where I could rest my eyes 'for a moment' on the bus to work and wake up at the depo.

But the flip side of it is there's no time to really think about being pregnant, or consider that there's someone in there.

In fact Nancy probably talks about the baby more than us.

She likes to pull up my top and kiss my tummy and tell the baby she's its big sister.

She also likes to smack my stomach as hard as she can, whilst pre-empting the apology she'll have to give by saying 'it's not funny, is it mummy?', mid wallop.

When I was pregnant with Nancy, she had a name. Pootle.

We talked about 'it' most nights. How our life would change. What kind of parents we might be. What it might look like.

I religiously watched 'One Born Every Minute', trying to imagine what it would be like when it was my turn, while crying my face off every time a new mum was passed her newborn.

But this time, and I feel dreadful saying this, I sometimes forget I'm pregnant.

Not entirely, obviously.

There's no way you can ignore a gut this massive.

I mean I forget there's something actually growing in there.

A baby.

My baby.

I guess this is what happens after your first child. Life continues. And you just get on with it.

But I'm going to try and make space in my head to think about this little guy and how the three of us are going to become four.

Maybe while having another cup of bloody decaf tea, and my third Twirl of the day.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Week 111- gender specific clothes, pink feathers and red Y-fronts...

Nancy and I had an important trip into town the other day with only one thing on the shopping list.

Nancy was going to choose some big girls pants before we begin the challenging process of potty training. (WHY didn’t we start this in the summer when it’s standard to run round the garden with no clothes on, instead of watching endless episodes of Peppa Pig freezing your bits off sat on a potty during winter...)

Nancy was very clear about what she wanted. Yellow, green and red pants.
My sister had given her some vouchers for GAP so I thought that would be a good place to start.
Her first pair of pants would cost the same as the autumn coat I’d just bought on E-bay.

And then she’d be in Asda pants like the rest of her family.
Now, I wasn’t expecting to be overwhelmed with choice.

But for about the millionth time since having Nancy, we’re faced with yet another example of gender specific clothes.
Nancy is two years old.

She fluctuates on a daily basis from describing herself as a little girl to a big boy. She thinks the only difference between mummy and daddy is that daddy’s got a ‘tail.’
She does NOT need her first pair of pants to say petit princess on the front.

The only GAP kids shop in Brighton had a small but insulting range of pastel coloured underwear plastered with pictures of ballet dancers, sparkles, or princess related paraphernalia.

Whereas for the boys, there were bold coloured (yellow, green and red, as requested by Nancy) underwear with the days of the week written on the bum.
Fun clothes. Durable clothes.

Things that gave the message that you can get grubby in them. You can play.
Not that you’re a precious, fragile creature who needs to keep clean and wear glitter.
If Nancy wants to dress head-to-toe in pink feathers and sparkles. Fine. Absolutely fine.

But give her a choice. It’s that simple. Choice.

Don’t make me as her mother have to make a pitiful decision between violet or dusty pink.
Her clothes only get filthy within moments of stepping outside.

I don’t know whether such a company exists but I think a manufacturer somewhere must be producing clothes that are non-gender specific for under 3’s that don't cost the earth.
If not, there is a clear gap in the market.

In fact, I feel so strongly about this that if there aren’t companies producing fun clothes which can be worn by young children of both sexes then a campaign should be started.

I want Nancy to have choice. A proper choice.
Not just in what she wears, but in every aspect for of her life.
But for now, I will start with her choice to wear yellow, green and red pants from a mainstream high street shop that aren’t a pair of bloody Y-fronts.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Week 110- keeping schtum, eating beige and having another baby...

You know when you really want to talk about something so much it aches a bit?

But you know you can't.

Which makes you want to say it more.

Well that's what the last three months have been like.

Keeping schtum when really I wanted to just blurt out like a post-curry burp, 'I'M PREGNANT!'

Right. I've said it. It's out there. It's definitely happening.

I've always wanted a brother or sister for Nancy.

I don't know how I would have survived the long camping trips in France looking at ANOTHER glacier with my geographer parents if it wasn't for my sister. I speak to her everyday, and although she drove me nuts at times when we were little, she's now one of my bestest friends.

I want that for Nancy.

The thing is, I've totally forgotten what it's like to have a tiny baby.

I know what a two year old does. I just about know how to do that.

But a baby?

It's like my brain's systematically filtered out everything pre 24 months.

I can't remember how often I used to feed Nancy. When she started rolling. I don't know how old she was when she could sit up. When her first tooth came through. I literally can't remember any of the key moments.

I thought second time round would be easy. Well. Not easy exactly, but less surprises.
Turns out that might not be the case.
Turns out I might to have to read back my own bloody blog to find out what I did!

I can't quite believe it.
Well, I can.
The fact that everything has smelt absolutely grim for the last 12 weeks and I haven't been able to eat anything other than beige bland food.

But it's the practicality that in six months time we'll have a teeny, mewing little person, who's little fingers furl and unfurl. Who will sleep on my chest like a mini hot water bottle with frog-like legs curled tight up to it's chest.

I haven't even begun to think about how you survive with two children.

I know it can be done.
Of course.
But how does it work on a day-to-day basis?
How do you do it and get everyone dressed? How do you practically leave the house? How do you entertain a two year old when you've got to feed a newborn?
I've got so used to sleeping again that I can't really remember what it's like to feel like you're going totally mental from sleep deprivation. For your body to not feel like your own. For your boobs to swing between looking like Jordan's tits to old socks on a feed-by-feed basis.

I guess we'll work it out as we go along.

Or better still, Ulrika is also having a baby in 7 weeks, so my master plan is to see how they do it and work it out from there... 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Week 109- the Twits, Wentworth Prison and growing up fast...

I’ve been having a bit of a clear out as I realised that Nancy was going to the childminder’s in clothes that are over a year too small for her and she was looking a bit like one of the Twits.

It was time to face the fact that she is quite a little girl now, and can no longer squeeze into the baby gros she used to wear.

Well she can, but I think if she continues to sleep in them, they might stunt her growth.

As I sat in her room surrounded by piles of stuff, I suddenly got lost in it all.
I know this is the ultimate cliché, but I don’t know where the time has gone.

I’m looking at these titchy gros and teeny booties that an army of mum’s friends knitted for her.
And I can’t imagine that she was ever tiny enough to fit into any of them.

But at the same time, it only feels like yesterday that Ben was spoon feeding me carbs, as I rode out another wave of contraction, while intermittently watching the boxette of Prisoner Cell Block H which I’d purchased from a closing down Blockbuster, as a labour distraction.
(Disclaimer- I used to watch Prisoner Cell Block H with a group of friends when we were in our early teens so I’d bought it for one of them as a joke birthday present. Then thought I’d have a quick watch first. Then totally got into it. Then went into labour. Saying that, have you SEEN Wentworth Prison? If you thought Cell Block H was good...)

I have a daughter. With an opinion. And a clear idea of what she does and doesn’t like.
Like’s include Peppa Pig, picking her nose and wiping it on my trousers, playing/ squabbling with her best friend Ebba and cold baked beans.

Dislikes include tomatoes, sleeping in her own bed, wearing her shoes on the correct feet and warm baked beans.
At what point do our babies become ‘people’?

When do they start making decisions?
I naively assumed it was when she had a good enough vocabulary, but really, that was just the point when she could articulate what she wanted.
She’s been forming opinions about things since she could fit into those tiny baby gros.

I guess what I’m trying to say in a roundabout, tired Sunday-night kind of way, is that I need to listen to her more.
To hear her stories about which toy she’s putting to bed, and why the others have been banished to the sofa.

To sit with her and eat imaginary cake and drink  pretend tea.

To play hide and seek, where I close my eyes, count to ten and then when I open them she hasn’t moved so I have to pretend I can’t see her.

Because, for now anyway, Ben and I are her world.
She wants to tell us what’s going on in her head, because we’re  not only her parents, but also her mates.

But this isn’t going to last.
And before I know if, I’ll be sitting on her bedroom floor packing up the clothes she’s wearing now.

As she insists we go and see her friends as I’m no fun to play with anymore.