Saturday, September 25, 2010

Closing in...

I am cooked. I equate it to that feeling on a long haul flight (with a toddler or 2) when you feel so rough and tired and rotten that you think, just let this stop or more precisely, if this hunk of metal goes down, I’m OK with it. My point is, I'm ready to be unpregnant. 
I'm both excited and nervous to meet the shifting aquatic creature who has been residing in my tummy these past months.  I cautiously imagined the little blastocyst at just six weeks, and by eight weeks I was living with the taste of metal in my mouth, salivating if I hadn't had carbohydrates within the hour. Everything made me nauseous; the sight of my maternity clothes, the touch of wool, the hum of the refrigerator, the aisles of food in the supermarket, the faint smell of gas from the cooker.  
We found out early we would be having our third boy, that I would be a mother of sons. I brushed off comments from those who said 'Bad luck!' as if a daughter was the trophy and another boy, the booby prize. But it hurt that I didn't have their support. And perhaps it hurt too, because if I looked at myself squarely, I realised there was a raw nerve there. I would never have a daughter.  Of course, I love my boys. It wasn't that I'd never shop for marshmallow hues in the clothes aisles at Old Navy, but I suppose as a woman, I felt I'd learned a thing or two and although I'm no teacher, I wanted to pass it on.  I was ready to champion her career choices as an equal to my sons, I was ready to make sure she grew up with as much confidence too.
I thought about my own role as a daughter and rightly or wrongly sensed I may have provided more family cohesion over the years.  It made me wonder about the shape of my own testosterone-infused family in the future. Such musings are dangerous though. Who knows what this little boy inside me will be like?  All I know about him are movements I cannot fathom. I cannot tell an elbow from a heel as his shape twists and turns inside me.  I know I must get on with being the best parent to my sons, rather than a mother to a younger self or a girl I will never meet.  
And there it is again, a tightness, a twitch, a strange twinge, an awkward pressure. My whole body is engorged. I pull Dom's hand across my stomach. This is the last time we will feel these jelly movements coming from within my swollen tummy.  Each time, the movements shock him, make him shudder even. So far along and yet still how strange pregnancy can feel.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Much excitement today - no, not the fact that Max had to be picked up early from school with suspected ear infection, although it had Oli and I speeding off hastily in the car to rescue the patient, only to find him happily reading Richard Scarry with the school administrator, and no, there's no new addition to the family yet. The excitement is this, that I had word that an essay of mine (one you might recognize) has been selected for 'Mother Words week' on the Minneapolis StarTribune's parenting blog, CribsheetMother Words is a wonderful writing course led by Kate Hopper which I signed up for earlier in the year. Well, every year Cribsheet celebrates the power of women's writing about motherhood by featuring essays from Mother Words alumni.  You'll be able to read the essays the week of October 4th, but if you check in here I'll be sure to remind you!  Thank you Minneapolis!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Oli turned two at the end of last month and I haven't even mentioned our celebrations. For my own sanity I needed to keep it low-key. His best friend was there, though. That was easy, being as it is, his brother.  A few friends came for tea and I surprised myself by getting the bunting up and even producing a chocolate cake (It's taken four years but it seems my kitchen is finally well-equipped enough for baking). Oli however looked either serious or seriously disappointed in all the photos we took.
A little background here - the boys' father loves to gee up a birthday. Days, even weeks before, there is a ton of preliminary chat about how the day is going to pan out, what's going to be eaten for breakfast, the flavour and consistency of the cake, the size of the slices at teatime, what it'll feel like being a year older.  I, on the other hand, down-play the whole event; my theory being that you can't then be deflated. But in truth, a lot of the fun is in the anticipation and I know this, so I should probably join my husband's ranks.  But since it falls heavily on my shoulders whether or not my child gets enough birthday attention, and there's always something I've planned that I haven't managed to get done in time, I just can't enlist.
So, this year, Dom had asked Oli about his forthcoming birthday and how he was feeling about being two. His answer was a flat denial, 'No'. No? How could he not want his birthday? He is obviously more like me than we thought. Turns out he most certainly did not want to be two, he wanted to be three.  Therein lay the disappointment (and the difference between he and his mother). Hence the two candles did not elicit a smile of any description, although the cake consumption was overseen with much concentration.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Don't let me forget...

how Oli quietly took me by the hand, this morning, walked me over to his book, and pointed out the tiny picture of a 'raffe' on the back page. It was the page that told him about all the other stories he could collect by the same author.  Perhaps we will one day collect them all, but I think before we do there may have to be a story about a giraffe that lost his gir.