Party Time vs Toddler time

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Katy: She’s pregnant you know!

Social Suicide…

So it’s one of the biggest weekends on the social calendar in the city that I currently call home. Everyone is gearing up for a weekend of sport and high japes, with a few beverages thrown in for good measure. People have arrived from overseas and the party atmosphere is tangible; a good time will definitely be had by all…..or will it?

If you are the owner of a mini me; a small person or ‘toddler’ if you will, you may have to forego these types of events. I’m sure you already know but if you’re a new parent with a lovely pram and a sleeping bundle, you have yet to face the sheer carnage and devastation that a toddler can wreck at a social gathering.

Take last year’s magnificent sporting event for example. I was excited! I wasn’t pregnant…yay! My boy was walking and beginning to talk so surely I could have a chat and  a beverage in the sunshine, whilst watching beefy men in shorts run up and down a rugby pitch? Surely I could let my toddler meander not too far away from me as I looked on in love and awe? Surely I could watch him trying to throw and catch little squishy rugby balls and say a few ‘aahs’ and ‘ooohs’ and ‘look how cute he is’ with my friends? Maybe I could  allow the rays to banish the bluey grey pallor of my skin, whilst sipping a lovely glass of  bubbles?

Or….maybe not!

Maybe I could watch him toddle (pah), full blown RUN away, across the pitch into the incoming herd of destruction!! This of course prompts a mummy into ‘action mummy mode’, and believe me, there’s nothing worse than a bad mum run in the sun! I’ve never been a runner and certainly not in front of men but this kind of embarrassing panic sprint is possibly the worst kind of wobbly mum run ever! It begins slowly, in disbelief, while you shout your little darling’s name repeatedly (and they ignore you repeatedly) , and then the fear sets in and you actually have to move….bad wobbly bra and all!

Maybe after all that excitement and the embarrassed chastisement of your child in front of your friends, where you reassure them that he ‘normally listens to me’ (lie); maybe after that you can just pen him in somewhere and resume your girly chat?

Ok…so you hit upon the idea of penning him in in the stands and boldly go to meet up with your chums. Great idea. So you pick him up and just as you’re getting to the stands where everyone’s having such a great time and they’re all smiling and happy to see you, you catch a whiff of something. Could it be cabbage? Brussel sprouts? Hmmm I didn’t see them selling vegetables this year…….oh god! Oh no!

Oh yes………your special soldier has decided to give you a ‘special present’, all over your: arm; white dress; the ends of your hair!!! A special smeary kind of stinky present that he wanted to share with you on this lovely day…bless him!

This of course put paid to my day out…and his; the conversation died and the bubbles went flat.

The lesson from all of this? Socialise only with others that are in the same boat as you. If you have to bring out the rugrat, then there’s safety in numbers. They can sympathise and they often have back up supplies…and of course there’s always the pleasure that you can derive from watching others struggle with the same stinky scenario!

Not Bloomin’ likely!

Blooming. What a lovely word and an even lovelier metaphor for the pregnant woman.

However, I feel that it’s ever so slightly off the mark. Just a touch. A teensy tiny bit optimistic if you will. Let me explain…

There is something in the word ‘blooming’; something wonderful and warming in its effect upon the pregnant woman. It has the ability to make her feel feminine again, and ever so slightly…..floral? It lends itself to wonderful images of Spring and the new awakenings that happen at that glorious time of year: colours; fragrances and the hope of a new beginning.

Unfortunately though, what I’ve come to realise is that I don’t smell of wild roses on a beautiful morn; more eau de sweaty donkey, that has just carried a fat tourist up a mountain to the Acropolis on Lindos! The feminine rose  floral idea just doesn’t have any standing in reality I’m afraid.

Hang on…what about the pinky glow in my cheeks that is akin to the beautiful blush of a rose? Nope. That’s actually high blood pressure; as I embarrassingly pant my way through another conversation, with no physical exertion having taken place at all!

Well surely we’re safe in talking about the new life blossoming in the belly? The wonderful creation that has been bestowed upon the beautiful pregnant woman. And yes…it is wonderful (even I’m not that cynical) but unfortunately….and I’m going out on a limb here but… it doesn’t make you prettier!

There, I’ve said it. It really, really doesn’t! Sorry! It makes you look fat, bloated and a bit of a heifer when all’s said and done. Body parts that you never knew moved are now able to……to swell; and believe you me, it’s not a pretty sight! The burgeoning belly can actually begin to look a tad frightening as you’re introduced to it a good two seconds before the rest of the woman. The vast maze of veins that seem to develop and criss cross all over it, in their blue and purple pageantry, can really disturb some people at the beach, who were minding their own business not two minutes ago but have now run screaming for the surf!

The problem is that I too have been guilty of saying this ‘blooming’ word to other women…just to make them feel better. To give them a ray of hope in the dressing room, that all is not lost and they are still maintaining their looks, even though they’re nearly at D-Day. And you do believe it…you really do… in your first pregnancy.

However, if you are carrying your second, third or (what were you thinking?) fourth child, you know, as I do, that it is garbage! You are NOT blooming. You’re knackered, fat and wondering where those great boobs you used to have have gone………..?

TOUCHY FEELY!

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Socialising can be a veritable minefield at the best of times; especially if, like me, you don’t actually like a lot of people! I’m not saying I’m a misanthropist but I may have misanthropic tendencies i.e I’m not very fond of others – it mainly depends on my mood! 

This is not a great personality trait to possess. It can make life quite uncomfortable. For example, imagine my horror upon discovering what happens to you, when people you don’t know realise that you are pregnant.

THEY WANT TO TOUCH YOU!!!

That’s right. Touch you. As in, physically invade your personal space (I’m very keen on mine) and touch your tummy! And it doesn’t end there…oh no! A number of people lately have wanted to rub, nay, caress the big bulging belly that I seem to be heaving everywhere with me. The belly that a moment ago was minding its own business and sitting there quite happily. 

Take last night for instance. There I was, at an event, trying to enjoy myself despite the heat and my burgeoning size and what should happen. A young man suddenly noticed the tummy.

“Wow! Look at your tummy! Can I touch it?”

With one fell swoop, and without waiting for an answer, he’d dived on in there! Rubbing away to the sound of the music, he smiled at me.  FREAK! GET OFF! NOW! I, of course, smiled mirthlessly back at him as he continued to rub away to his heart’s content. 

How long did he keep his hands on me I hear you cry? Good question. About forty two minutes I reckon, or at least it felt like that. My friend assures me it was more like two…but still! 

I am obviously still traumatised; suffering from a deep rooted fear of socialising for the rest of the weekend. Last night’s cold sweats were down to the stranger with the hairy hands and I can just imagine the trauma tomorrow brings…..

 

 

 

Identity Theft!

Happy in your job? Pleased with your career progression? Articulate? Well read? Slogged your guts out to reach your lofty status? Good for you. Well done. You should be proud. 

Just do me a favour……don’t get pregnant! Pregnancy; the magic wand that seems to rob you of all career achievements in one fell swoop. The malevolent moniker that gives bosses a fantastic excuse to disregard your point of view. How can you possibly know anything anymore, as you’re quite clearly ONLY ‘thinking about the baby’. 

Let’s put this into perspective; the feeling is reminiscent of that argument that you’ve (definitely) had  with your husband/ partner/ brother. They are losing the argument – clearly- and so they pull out the ‘period card’…. 

Man: “Oh for God’s sake. you’re making no sense. Are you on your period?”

Woman: “Aaaaaaaargh! NO!”

(End of discussion)

Just relive the exasperation that you feel when your entire intellect is whittled down to the fact that you have ovaries and a womb. There’s no way you can argue your way out of that.

The same goes for the tummy. As soon as it’s obvious that you are ‘expecting’, don’t bother ‘expecting’ your professional opinion will be valued. Give up the idea that your befuddled brain cells will have anything in them of any value; anything at all!

Surely she’s wrong, I hear you cry! Society has moved on hasn’t it? We’ve progressed? 

Hmmmm…..it almost makes me hanker after the olden days when pregnancy meant a bottle of stout, feet up and the inevitability that your career was well and truly over (for a few years anyway).  Distant memory? Well I’ve just cracked open a Guinness……..

 

Tricky Sicky!

 Did we say nine? Sorry, we meant ten; dreary months that is!

So…welcome to pregnancy! Yippee! 

Nine months stretch ahead of you in glorious technicolour as you plan and pontificate about your new family life. The first thing to think about however, is the fact that everyone has actually lied; pregnancy isn’t nine months after all, it’s ten! What??!!

No problemo, you think; I’m going to enjoy this, I’m going to marvel in the wonderful feeling of creation. Yep. Been there, felt that.

The only thing is, that that warm and fuzzy glow is often replaced by a more maudlin and oftentimes wretched feeling of nausea and self-pity, known quite quirkily as ‘morning sickness’. This particular cheeky chappie doesn’t necessarily strike in the morning and doesn’t necessarily make you actually vomit, believe it or not. Oh no, it can just hang out with you all day and pop out to play at random intervals to keep you on your toes. Or threaten menacingly that you will, after all, lose your lunch; only to retract the offer at a moment’s notice. 

Such is the fickle nature of the jaunty ‘sickness’, that when you think you’ve found the solution to your problem (mini packets of dried fruit stashed in every bag you own …just in case) it decides to change tactics and the remedies from before no longer work! 

The other thing to remember about feeling ill all the time is that other people DON’T CARE! Maybe once or twice, you’ll find yourself awash with a pleasant ‘Oooh’, ‘Aaah’ or ‘Poor you’. Don’t be hoodwinked by this! Don’t allow yourself to believe that after a couple of weeks people will actually care how many times you’ve felt sick or thrown up today. Neither will they care that you’re off your favourite foods, or that smells they inflict upon you (perfume, tobacco, B.O?) ‘make you feel sick’. No one is remotely bothered as, unfortunately for you, the novelty has worn off! 

Don’t be disheartened by this though; remember the warm fuzzy feeling about creating a new life and bask in it’s glow again. It’s fine. A bit of nausea never did anyone any harm. we’re women; we can cope with this surely?