Sunday, 30 March 2014

Week 133- best friends, birthing balls and beautiful mums...

It's Mother's Day. 

I've been given a handmade card by Nancy/ the childminder. 

And Nancy's just whispered in my ear that I'm her best friend. 

I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself. 

A rare Waltons moment. 

Nancy, Ben and I head down to the park to have a quick play before going for lunch. 

I'm pushing Nancy on the swings, which is no mean feat with a bump the size of a birthing ball. 

And Nancy looks at the woman who's also pushing her daughter on the swing next to us.

She's titchy, in skinny jeans and super cool trainers. 

Her hair is piled up on her head in a, 'I threw it up while doing the washing up but try to copy it to go out and it'll take you all evening,' kind of way.

Her daughter is dressed equally coolly. 

And she's pushing her daughter higher than Nancy.

Nancy looks at her, strains round to face me and declares loudly, 'I'd like a mummy like that,' pointing at her, just to make totally sure we're all clear who she's talking about. 

Never let it be said that you will get above your station with a small person around.

Happy Mother's Day. x

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Week 132- chocolate fingers, One Tree Hill and sitting off in your pyjamas...

So that's it. Work- done. Telly- on.

Bring on 9 months of sitting round in my pyjamas, watching reruns of Poirot.

I even started to dream about who I might develop a daytime crush on this time.

When pregnant with Nancy, it was Luke from One Tree Hill.


But that was then.

He's so 2011.

I'm now ready for another mildly irritating, unobtainably attractive 20 something to entertain my hormone-addled brain on a daily basis on some weird digital plus one station.

As I was alphabeticalizing our DVD collection for viewing ease, it dawned on me.

I will also me looking after Nancy.

Those days drifting into nights, punctuated by breastfeeding and eating entire packets of chocolate fingers are a first child luxury.

Nancy isn't going to stop wanting to be fed, clothed or bathed, just because I've had another baby.

In fact, I can imagine that everything taking at least twice as long as normal to do, is going to be a cause of great friction.

The tantrums have already cranked up a notch in the last few weeks since I haven't been able to lift Nancy up or give her a piggy back.

They are of the kind you used to see pre-children and think, 'I'd NEVER let my child behave like that.'

Then suddenly that is you.

You're in the library with a small person lying down in the audio books aisle, beating tiny fists on the floor and screaming themselves purple and you're faced with the, 'shall I leave her there for a bit and pretend she's not mine or attempt to pick her up like a rugby ball' conundrum.

So. I've got to reassess my TV viewing/ lying in a bath until I look like I've been pickled/ relaxing time.

Because I've already earmarked several boxsets and recorded a load of stuff off the telly.

The baby's due in 4 weeks.

Nancy is still with the child minder 3 days a week.

Now, I'm no Carol Vorderman, but if I approach this with the commitment and hours of normal job, so 9-5 with a lunch break of about 30 minutes, I work that out as approximately 22.5 hours a week for the next four weeks.

Surely that's more than enough time to watch the last 2 series of House of Cards.

Just everything crossed that this little guy doesn't come early.

Because is would be AMAZING to squeeze in series three of a The Killing as well
if poss...

Monday, 17 March 2014

Week 131- breast pads, newborn nappies and having a breakdown in big Boots...

I'm standing in the big Boots in the centre of town, clutching a pack of newborn nappies, and I'm crying.

Proper, ugly-faced, nose-streaming sobs.

Because the penny has just dropped that a small person is going to be wearing the nappies sooner than some of the stuff in my fridge will go off.

And I'm shitting myself.

I know I thought I'd got a grip on proceedings a couple of weeks ago. 

But turned out that was phase one of general melt down.

That was the, 'you're not going to be working for the rest of the year and no one over the age of 3 will really be listening to what you have to say until at least 2015,' realisation.

The Boots breakdown, as it shall be known, came as I realised that this is all ACTUALLY going to be happening very soon. 

Like countable days away. 

And that I need to do some stuff before he comes.

So. I'm in Boots. 

Nancy is fast asleep. 

I've picked up some posh shampoo I neither need nor can afford, and think, right, now would be the perfect time to get some things for the new baby. 

I hop in the lift up to the baby floor, which I know aisle by aisle like the back of my hand. 

No problem. 

I'm cruising past the stretch mark cream. Easy. And I'm thinking I'll be out of here and home in time for a quick kip myself before Nancy wakes up. 

I put some breast pads in my basket and start to feel a tightening in my chest. 

Probably just acid so I down some Gaviscon and continue. 

Pick up some maternity pads. And let out a small whimper which appears to rise from nowhere. 

Perhaps  because baby shopping so far has involved collecting disposable pads for every soon to be bleeding/ lactating orifice. 

But then I grab hold of some newborn nappies. 

And here it comes. 

The tidal wave of emotion. 

The uncontrollable, shoulder-shaking, eye-scrunching tears. 

And I can't stop it. 

The 0-60 hormone injection is uncontrollable.

So I just let it happen. 

Beal my face off like a teenager who's just found out her favourite boy band are splitting up. 

I'm not sure how long I was there for. 

Long enough to develop walrus snot and for most of my mascara to wash off.

Long enough to get pins and needles in my feet from standing still for ages. 

So then I give myself the, now frequent, 'man up' pep talk, take a deep breath, wipe my nose on my sleeve and go and pay at the checkout.

On the plus side, turns out that little lot had earned me over a quid in Boots parenting points. 

If I keep this up, I'll have enough for some Chanel blusher before I know it.

That's going to be my mantra next time I feel another Boots breakdown coming on. 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Week 130- Vivienne Westwood, climate change and getting the wrong bus home...

Today I have listened to some fantastic women. 

I mean seriously awe inspiring. 

I went to the Women of the World conference at the Southbank with my sis.
There was something so positive and calming about being at a nearly all female event. 

And there were loads of women. 

Swarms of us. 

And the person I was most excited about seeing was Vivienne Westwood. 

In another life, I only wear Westwood. 

I'm super successful, with long mermaid-length hair, fantastic with money and live in a house with an open fire, where I cook from scratch and grow everything, whilst juggling a job of huge national/ international importance.

As it stands, I have one Westwood necklace of the globe, bought from eBay with questionable authenticity.

But I digress.

Hearing someone speak with absolute conviction can take your breath away. 

Vivienne Westwood is one of those women. 

She fights like a warrior for human rights and climate change. 

She doesn't use fancy language, or dazzle you with facts. 

Just raw passion.

There was a collective intake of breath from a room full of hundreds of women, as she took to the stage all grace and elegance with her familiar Derbyshire accent. 

Her hair cropped short, having shaved it two days beforehand to highlight climate change.

But the thing that struck me more than anything was that she gave a shit about people. 


Vivienne Westwood is a woman who need never work another day in her life. 

Who's name is synonymous with beauty and style the world over.

Yet here she is, in her 70's, fighting for what's right in the world with the same energy as I imagine she did when she opened her first shop on The Kings Road all those years ago.

When it came to the audience asking questions, the first women started, 'I know you from campaigning...' and I'm ashamed to say I inwardly groaned as I thought, here we go, a poor attempt at try and be bessie mates. 

But VW, in a flash, responded, 'I recognise you, weren't you dressed as a mermaid last time I saw you?'

And the last question from the floor came from a child of about 6. 

Who asked her, 'what can children do about climate change?' 

To which she told her, 'same as grown ups. Children should never be patronised, you can fight the same as grown ups. Find the thing that's important to you and fight for it.'

I left the day with my head a buzz with ideas. 

Ideas about the world I wanted Nancy to grow up in. 

How I wanted her to see me. 

How I wanted to view and be viewed by other women.

And how fucking brilliant woman are. Full stop.

I was so struck by the gravity of it all, I got on totally the wrong bus in the opposite direction, so the journey to Brighton took over two hours longer than expected. 

And I completely missed Nancy's bedtime.

But I guess Rome wasn't built in a day. 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Week 129- baby denial, Bad Boys 2 and slipping out like a bar of soap...


I know I should have accepted this by now.

I'm as big as a house.

I make that hugely unattractive old man noise whenever I heave myself off the ass shaped indent on the sofa.

And spend my life intermittently downing Twirls and Gaviscon.

But I think I've been in denial. 

A bit. 

By a bit I mean loads.

I've got three more weeks till I go on maternity leave.

The immediacy of that started to sink in this weekend. 

I suddenly started to panic my face off, and to paraphrase Bad Boys 2, thought, 'this shit just got real.'

Up until now I've kind of thought vaguely about another person 'joining the team.' 

A bit like when you get a new colleague at work who takes a while to learn the ropes but eventually just gets on with it, and slots in, like they've always known the procedure to claim expenses and remembered who drinks Rooibos when doing the tea round.

I've made plans for the time I'm on maternity leave. 

Not 'a trip back home to see my mum' kind of plans. 

More, 'I've got to cowrite a play which is due to be performed in London in September' kind of plans. 

And the baby is just going to have to fit in with that. 


It's like I've had a lobotomy when it comes to remembering the amount of work the early stages of mothering involves. 

How long you sit around breast feeding. 

The stitches. 

The cracked nipples. 

The mastitis. 

And the all time killer. 

The lack of sleep.

This is all going to happen. To me. In 7 weeks.

Now, God knows I'm not the first women to have a child. 

And I know that some women slip them out like a bar of soap and are back in the board room three weeks later. 

But I don't know how.

I guess I've got to man up. 

Dust of the steriliser. 

Wipe down the breast pump. 

And get ready for family life stage two.

And to quote from another classic film, when I look at Nancy, I think, as Mr Wang in The Goonies did of his son, Data, 'you are my greatest invention.'

So it's time to turn down the fear and remember that we're getting ready to welcome our greatest invention, part deux. 

*quick plea... if you enjoy my blog, please could you vote for it in the Best Blog Writer category in the MAD awards here Voting closes on Friday. MASSIVOS THANKS! x