Thursday, 26 December 2013

Class dismissed

Not sure why this old post has jumped to the front of the que? Please refer to Octopus envy (below) for latest post.

Hubby and I are attending our antenatal classes.
I’ve learnt quite a few useful things, including the fact I can play George Michael songs in the delivery room.
Mark has learnt quite a few useful things, including the fact that I am not very vocal in a room full of strangers.
“I noticed yourself and the young Chinese girl at the front were the only ones who didn’t contribute," said hubby.
“I’d forgotten how rubbish I am at public speaking," said I.
His words transported me back to the shy school girl I once was. And to be honest, I wasn’t comfortable remembering those awkward years.
I used to envy my mother’s confidence regarding speaking to strangers, or engaging in conversation with more than a handful of people. I also recall she would constantly remind me that most of the time, confidence came with age.
She was correct with her age theory. As the years have rolled by, my confidence has grown. I no longer panic when left to my own devices and it’s necessary to speak to a total stranger. And the more meetings I attend at work and become accustomed to relevant colleagues, the chattier I have become.
But a room full of complete strangers, who are obviously more self-assured than me (apart from the young Chinese girl at the front), well that’s a different matter.
I was disappointed that I’d reverted back to my quiet school years. But I guess some habits are hard to break away from, and I slipped back into my absorbing rather than contributing mode.
What was I so scared of anyway?
Saying the wrong thing?
Everyone staring at me and feeling conscious of my cheeks flushing pink?
My timid voice not being heard above the fearless speeches?
Or all of the above?
I decided to test myself during the next antenatal class.
I made a deal with myself and I was not going to let myself down.
My school days are long behind me. I am now a full-fledged adult whose answers and opinions matter!
I can’t recollect my precise words, but I know I answered a question which was proposed to the audience, by the bubbly midwife at the front of the class.
And it wasn’t so hard after all.
Okay, I did not continually shout out answers, like the attractive lady at the back. Or query the McDonalds milkshake allowance (etc), like the school teacher sitting behind me.
But small steps and all that.
We can’t pretend to be someone we are not, yet we can certainly remind ourselves that we are capable of improving ourselves should the occasion arise.
And that, dear readers, is exactly what I did.
Next week, I shall try to answer two questions.
Maybe even more.
Yeah, maybe.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Octopus envy

I did not think I would ever be envious of an octopus.
Until recently, I have never considered the cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda a lucky creature.
Apparently, they are supposed to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates, capable of complex and flexible behaviour.
And they have eight arms.
These mentioned eight arms are the reason behind my envy. I do not care that they live in the sea, I don't even really like the sea. Their habitat is of no interest to me, I can barely swim and deep water scares me.
It's those eight arms which leave me wistfully thinking about an octopus.
I have realised, since little Tommy was born, that two arms are not enough when caring for a new born.
Especially when you are home alone and you have a teeny baby relying on you, two arms and two hands are not sufficient.
I've reached the conclusion, that if I was an octopus, I could hold baby T and comfort him when he was hungry, and at the same time prepare his bottle, ensure his nappy was clean before feeding, and the special feeding pillow and bib were at hand, plus check television was on and interesting channel was chosen.
Or, when baby T was content and settled, if I had more than two arms it would make life far easier. I could place him in his swing chair, and fill dishwasher/empty dishwasher/fill washing machine/empty washing machine/feed myself/dress myself/hoover/clean bathroom/wrap Christmas presents/make Christmas cards/order Christmas presents. With merely two arms it is necessary to perform these actions at top speed, as I never know if his sleep will last three minutes or three hours, and despite all efforts I often fail to complete all tasks.
I do hope you can understand, after this little insight into my recent world, why I am dissatisfied with my human arms.
Oh octopus, how simple caring for a baby would be for you.
Alas, I do not have the benefits of the number eight, so dear readers I must dash. Tommy is stirring, therefore peace and harmony no longer reign.
It was nice while it lasted.
I must head back to my two armed world and stop dreaming of an octopus.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Life begins at 40

For as long as I can remember, well at least since my 30th birthday, I have been mentioning my 40th birthday.
Silly really, thinking about the next milestone when you've just reached and are enjoying your current one.
Especially when no one can guarantee where you will be in your life when you do meet this mentioned milestone.
I've spent far too much time and wasted far too many conversations discussing and planning my 40th. Whether it was listing my options of preferred celebrating, should I throw a party, book a weekend away, or visit a posh restaurant? Or whether it was trying not to be too horrified that I would soon be in the 40 year old age bracket.
But little did I know, I would not be throwing any parties, or visiting any bars on this day, or any near by days. Far from it!
In my wildest dreams I did not imagine I would be lying in a hospital theatre, surrounded by strangers singing happy birthday to me, after slicing me open and presenting me with my son.
And what a birthday present!
The best, unexpected, 17 days overdue, birthday present.
It proves to me once again, that sometimes you can't plan everything in life. It has a funny way of showing you not to get too complacent, it can bite you on the bottom and shout, "Surprise! I bet you didn't think this would happen!"
Fortunately, I'm overjoyed with my latest surprise.
Life, for me, really has begun again.

Friday, 6 December 2013

It's the most magical time of the year

A gingerbread man, a rocking horse, a train set, just a few of the items nesting in the Christmas tree.

And then there were three. The third stocking is waiting for Santa.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

What happened next

I would like to point out, before alarm bells ring inside your head, and to prevent any doubt that you should inform social services of my behaviour, that I do not think of my son as an animal, i.e. a dog.
However, whilst heavily pregnant I must confess to admitting I was a little apprehensive regarding the responsibility and care of my unborn child. Yes, ahem, several jokes were cracked to colleagues and friends that I'd twice owned a dog and perhaps the upbringing was similar.
Of course I am fully aware babies and dogs are not quite the same. Babies should never, under any circumstances, eat Pedigree Chum, or any other form of dog food. Babies should also never be taken out for a walk on a lead. Reins are fine, but please, no leads attached to collars, this would be totally unacceptable.
But dogs, particularly puppies, rely on first their mother, and then us human beings to feed and protect them. And it's the same for babies.
I will never, ever, forget the first time I looked at and held my tiny son, Tommy.
"Hello, I'm your mummy," I said.
He immediately stopped crying and peered at me in a somewhat bewildered manner. This look continued during our first night together at the hospital, and all the way through to the next morning, our car journey home, and carrying him through the front door to our front room.
He still looked bewildered, and now it was time for myself and hubby to feel the same.
Mark and I stared at each other and both thought, so now what do we do?
It was then we realised there was no instruction manual, batteries were not included. There was no permanent helper by our side, explaining what each cry meant and how we should be reacting.
It was just us, and him.
Somehow we survived those first, incredibiliy exciting but exhausting and frightening, few days. Instinct really does take over, and you learn from your innocent mistakes. Google is also a godsend.
We didn't even have to resort to a squeaky toy, or a dog bone.
Don't worry, I'm joking with you!