Thursday, 28 June 2012

Nesting, wedding and a splash of realism

Do not sit still for long. You could be in danger of being thrown away by me. Yes, as the title suggests I am in the midst of an intense nesting phase and as such I am going full steam ahead with stripping back our belongings from 'over full' to merely 'plentiful'. I spent two days throwing out and sorting out toys from the playroom and managed to fill the back of my people carrier car with items for the school fair this weekend. The only trouble with that is I am now worried about how to keep ted from demanding to buy back all the toys I donated, however the now very useable playroom is worth all the screaming and tantruming he may attempt. The makeover I achieved was nothing short of a miracle. Although my mother did walk in and exclaim 'and this is AFTER the big clear out??'. It is water off a duck's back to me - the 'new look' play room has given me hours of pleasure since its reinvention and I am feeling very proud of myself. But my nesting did not end there - I have hoovered lampshades, ceilings, skirting boards, books and shelves. I have emptied all my 'thin' (I use the term loosely as a sister pointed out that a size 12-14 is not 'thin' but it is all relative and to me that is skinny) clothes out of the wardrobe and vacuum packed them away under the bed so that my wardrobe is now very useable and only holds fat, very stretchy or maternity clothes. This has also bought me much joy, as now every day is a dressing dream and not the usual daily drama of me throwing around piles of clothes asking thin air where a particular top/dress/leggings/jeans are. It has also made way for the crib in my very small bedroom so I can now stare longingly at it waiting for it to have an occupant and fold baby clothes and put them inside - in effect I am playing dollies - which is my favourite part. All the preparation of tiny clothes and nappies and imagining the being that will soon arrive. (Before the screaming horror who sucks me sore actually arrives.) My nesting did not even stop at posession organisation. I have also been manically organising the children's birthday parties - the first is on the 1st of September and the last on the 3rd November but they are now all fully booked and organised. I would already like to send out invites for the November party but I appreciate not everyone is in my intense state of madness and organisation so I have restrained myself so far.

Part of the mad cleaning was not only nesting but the knowledge that my mother was poppinq in for her once-every-two-years flying visit. K and I are very keen to keep her visits to a minimum as we quite like the chance to 'hide' up here in London. We are generally regarded as the poor relation when it comes to the sisters and mum has frequently said 'I don't now how you live like that' in regards to the state of the house, size of the house and number of children and toys we fit in to it so naturally, we are keen to keep ourselves to ourselves. In fact all of my family insist on keeping their shoes on when they visit despite my natural hatred for wearing 'outdoor' shoes 'indoors'(it is my dog poo obsession combined with the trails of piss on the pavement as well as all the spit - I can't help but think of it being transferred to my carpet and no amount of hoovering will take that away) which I am sure is their way of inferring that they believe the bottom of their shoes to be cleaner than my carpet/floors. Anyway, I digress. Mother visited. She came on Saturday morning so that I could whisk her away to the country for the weekend. At approximately 9.50am she arrived and at approximately 10.05 we departed so it really was a flying visit. She didn't even have time to go upstairs and notice my cobweb free landing ceiling but it still brings me comfort every time i glance upwards as i gasp for air at the top of the stair, so my time and effort has not gone entirely to waste.

So on to the wedding. I always get slightly stressy about leaving the children. Not because I am obsessed with them or heavily in to attachment parenting or anything it is just that i have become deeply institutionalised and it is extremely out of the ordinary and therefore gives me the heeby jeebies when it does happen. Plus an overnight desertion is exceedingly rare and due to my institutionalisation I feel intense guilt and assume I will be killed in a car crash just to teach me a lesson. I went anyway. I was exceptionally tired and reasoned that I might not die in the car crash, just be wounded enough to have a nice rest in hospital, and mum was going to fill up my tank with diesel so I did it for the free food, diesel and a potential rest. And obviously to witness the newly married sister's best friend say 'I do'. The venue was near Bath which meant a rather long car journey with mother - especially as we had to drive past the turning for Ascot and it turns out there were an awful lot of people who wanted to enjoy the racing so I was very desperate to get out of the car, go for a wee and talk to other people by the time we arrived at the venue 3 hours after we left home. After we had checked in and got to our room there was only twenty minutes to get ready, devour a ham sandwich from room service and head out to the open air ceremony - I would normally require an awful lot longer to make me look sufficiently presentable but I was more worried about eating all of the sandwich and accompanying crisps than I was in perfecting my hair and make up.

When booking a wedding a year in advance it is impossible to know that the summer would fail to appear. In fact I have renamed this new season we are currently enjoying - I refer to it as Sprautumn. It is like the brunch of the seasons and it takes the pressure off in terms of expectation. Not referring to it as summer any longer means that any sun whatsoever is a bonus and wind, rain and cloud are now 'the norm'. Anyway, this wedding was based outside and unfortunately Sprautumn was on typical form and the clouds were cirling rather menacingly overhead. Luckily the rain stayed away for the actual ceremony and as one would expect of a big fancy wedding, the bride looked fabulous and fancy, the bridesmaids looked gorgeous (especially my annoyingly attractive newly married sister who needs to get fat, old and ugly soon or I shall have to start helping her on her way with Machiavellian deviousness) and everything was beautiful as well as beautifully organised. Unfortunately, I looked like a Weeble. Miserably I had put all my thoughts and efforts in to making sure we got there, the children were ok, the house looked ok, K was ok and i had eaten etc etc I had devoted almost no time to my appearance. I had briefly tried on a large red spotty non-maternity dress the night before to see if it fitted (it was embarrassingly too big even 8 months pregnant which makes me wonder exactly how big I was pre-weight watchers and in the midst of my reverse body dysmorphia affliction) and although Ted gasped, said 'wow' and asked if I was a Princess, I couldn't help but feel I looked like Mrs Blobby, complete with safety pins pulling it in at the sides, so I opted instead for a Topshop maternity dress I couldn't be arsed to try on in advance. It turns out that when the bump grows and the fat increases the dress length shortens. I wish I had known this before we got all the way to Bath. At this stage I am all bump, boobs and fat and it would have been a lot more flattering if I had worn a full length dress to try and counteract the Weeble effect. Standing next to the ridiculously tiny, primped and preened newly married sister in a flowing and elegant bridesmaid dress I looked two foot tall and five feet wide. It is a lesson learnt. If I am ever heavily pregnant and at a wedding in the future I shall remember to go floor length to at least give me some height.

Anyway, my weeble appearance aside, the ceremony was lovely, the champagne was flowing, and the venue was stunning - I was even mentioned in one of the speeches - that is the third wedding in a row now, although technically I was doing the speech last time so that is cheating. The food was delicious and very welcome as mother had inhaled far too much champagne and not enough food (so far that day she had consumed a few bananas). Miserably there wasn't enough to sober her up completely which meant that she was far too vocal during the speeches (to me, not heckling the speakers obviously) and at one point it got so annoying I did threaten to punch her in the face if she didn't shut the fuck up (I think I may have shocked the Woman to her left but it really had got to an exceedingly annoying level). True to form, by the time it had got to the dancing section of the day mum and I were flagging and although the band were fantastically good the heavens had been emptying themselves of all the water in the world for quite a while and we no longer had the energy to even smile at the merry revellers so we retired to our room and left the cool kids to it. I was muchos excitedos about getting back to the room because it had the most exciting bathroom ever - it was huge, there were two baths side by side and (drum roll) a tv to watch whilst in one of the two baths. I know!! Since the children I have lived a remarkably sheltered and un-luxurious lifestyle and this was my first tv-in-the-bathroom experience. Very annoyingly, as I got in to the bath all television programmes ended and I was reduced to flicking through the channels watching adverts for ages until Love Actually started and i got to watch a miserably small amount before i had to get out due to boredom and wrinkly skin. Still, it is something to tick off the bucket list. By the time I emerged mum had fallen asleep and my clever phone had finally found some signal and I was able to text K and check on the children and email pics to my Kent Sister who was eagerly awaiting news (she has recently set up an events organising company so there was a professional as well as personal interest). The very best part of staying overnight at a posh hotel is the nice sheets, freebies and breakfast. I knew the breakfast would be good and I was keen to clean up on the buffet (i managed toast, two pastries, full english, two glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice and three cups of tea - I feel I did myself proud). I was so full I didn't get hungry again until about 4pm. The great freebies also provided me with gifts for all the family upon my return. G was particularly keen on his hot chocolate sachet although I have to say I felt K was a tad underwhelmed with his cafetiere coffee sachets. There is simply no pleasing some people.

The more weddings I attend the more I think it really is time for an update of the wedding vows. I love the way we attend each and every wedding acting as if we all truly believe that marriage is for life. I don't want to upset anyone but, people get divorced. Why don't we stop acting as if this unpleasant part of life doesn't exist and give the wedding vows a radical overhaul. I for one would have been very happy to sign up for something that was more along the lines of, 'I fully intend to give this marriage my absolutely best shot and not give up as soon as it gets tricky; I will love him as much as i can for as long as I can but realise that love is not enough to weather every storm; at the moment I can't imagine my life without him and hope we get to grow old together, but if not I reserve the right to leave the marriage and try to split our assets fairly.' Now, isn't this a far more sensible way to start a life together? Also we can do away with the whole 'is there anyone here present who objects' bla bla bla - nothing exciting ever comes of this. I am quite convinced it was created by writers of plays, soaps and films to add drama to weddings but it serves no relevance to 'real' weddings. It hasn't stopped all sham weddings and bigamists from 'getting away with it' and as defences go it is pretty lame. I must assure you that it was not this particular wedding I attended that made me think about all of this - my overhaul plan has been brewing for a while. K and I have been to many weddings since ours over nine years ago and obviously we assume that every one is going to last, however already two have not and statistically there are more divorces to come so I just hate pretending that every single bride and groom really do end up growing old together. I was only 24 when I got married. At no point did I think that I would end up 60 years later staring at K over my cornflakes. It is too much to think about. I definitely did think that I would rather live with him than without and that he was the person I wanted to spend my foreseeable future with, but forever at 24 is a ridiculous concept - I would have been the perfect candidate for the 'best shot' vows. I admit it might ruin some of the romance of a wedding but pretty flowers and dresses will still be in abundance to make the whole experience feel ethereal. If I get married again I will write my own vows and hopefully start a new trend of realism.

So, other than the nesting, wedding and marriage overhaul excitement I have little else to report. It has taken me nearly a week to get you this far. I am so fed up of being exhausted it is boring. Other than bursts of energy for my nesting madness I am doing exceptionally little and tend to be in bed by 7.30 most nights. I even bought grated cheese in a bag rather than waste my time and energy grating. And today I missed sports day. I sent K in my place naturally, but it did feel wrong to miss both of them running, jumping, pulling, catching and throwing. Unfortunately the unseasonal Sprautumn heat did not help either of them to enjoy the experience and as g's was in the afternoon he was too tired and hot before he even began expending energy which meant that he basically managed to do the tug of war before bowing out somewhat ungracefully. Bea had the good fortune to have her event in the morning but was still very unimpressed when K mistook a drinks and biscuit break for the end and waved her goodbye, only for Bea to carry on her sports day without a spectator - mercifully there were some kind mothers on hand to comfort her. All in all it couldn't have been more different to last year's incredibly enjoyable and medal achieving day of glory. I asked G what it was in particular that he didn't like about this Sports day and he said 'the sports bit'. He has been looking forward to sports day since he started in Reception in September so I was a little shocked. Weather has a lot to answer for. Bloody Sprautumn.

Ooh look at that it is gone 8pm already. I must get to bed. This isn't particularly well written anyway but I don't have the energy to make it better. You will have to just make do until such time as my energy returns. I wouldn't hold your breath though. Good night Xxxx

Friday, 15 June 2012

An amuse-bouche on football

Wouldn't it be great if football was treated the same as porn? Think about it. I have. Here is what I have realised. Essentially they are incredibly similar - for a start they were Both created and are ruled by men, for men.

Imagine if football was sent underground. Everyone knew it went on, everyone accepted it happened and turned a blind eye But it was no longer a sociably acceptable excuse for abandoning wives, drinking, going out for hours on end or commandeering the remote control. It's not as if I am some football widow or I suffer excessively due to football, however it is definitely an annoyance I have to deal with. It would be far nicer if he had to hide it from me like porn so that I could know but not know. Mostly up until now, my only suffering was finding my radio had been changed to Absolute or Five Live or having to cope with the green screen and annoying commentary on tv every now and again and K telling me what is going on with Birmingham City as if I might give a shit, but tonight I am totally and utterly alone all night until sometime tomorrow morning when K returns from his drinking, watching and celebrating of flipping football. Now obviously it is not his company I am missing. We are not the type of married couple who cannot bear to spend time apart - I regularly spend whole weeks away from him and live quite happily to tell the tale - but I am heavily pregnant and in charge of three children - anything could happen. If the house burns down I am incredibly non able bodied and am not best placed to round up three children and climb out of the windows safely or if we are all sick (again its never happened before but it could) then I am expected to be sick whilst looking after three sick children single handed and being heavily pregnant. Essentially my Point is that I would like him to suffer as well. Rachel said a similar thing to Ross on Friends - it might sound irrational but if I am suffering I would like K to suffer alongside me. I am sitting here all tired and afflicted with horrific heartburn all the while knowing that if the house burns down I am totally screwed. He, meanwhile, is out drinking, smoking, socialising and staying over so he can actually enjoy the drinking - all in the name of flipping football. So, I think, let's send it underground with porn.

Men would actually love it. They could talk about it in secret, create secret clubs, enjoy the thrill of 'getting away with it' - pubs would have to open secret back rooms like the speakeasy clubs in prohibition America - they would find all the skulduggery thrilling. It doesn't stop there - adolescent boys would gather in locker rooms and whisper about their teams and transfers in huddled groups whilst handing round well thumbed football cards/Four Four Two magazine, people would deem it inappropriate for children to be dressed in those hideous acrylic football shirts, WAGS would be relinquished of all their status and little girls could be justifiably chastised for wanting to marry a footballer when they grew up, JD sports would have to black out their windows and only open for adults, cab drivers would have to get very good at judging which of their fares were 'in to' football before they asked if they caught the game the night before, Pay per view would go through the roof leaving the free channels to screen interesting stuff for people who didn't like football and Every time a politician or celebrity was caught at a game the newspapers could have a field day. It all just totally works.

Obviously, like in actual porn, there will be women who genuinely get a lot of Pleasure out of football, and I don't want to ruin their thing - it just means that women who have had to pretend to like football or have had to 'get in to it' for the sake of their marriage or to 'hook' a man will finally be able to give up the pretence and could instead sit in bed watching crap on tv they actually like whilst painting their toe nails instead of having to drink through the pain of that dullard green background with little insignificant men running around on it. It will be massively liberating.

In fact the only main difference I can find is that in football an all man team is most popular but in porn it is the all female 'teams' that are most popular. I should imagine - I haven't actually looked up the stats but there are more straight men than gay men Proportionately so it would make sense.

So, let's make football seedy and dirty so I don't have to suffer unduly - it all seems Perfectly reasonable. I would love to go in to premature labour this evening just to teach him a lesson. Not that I'm petty or vaguely evil. Or in fact a little bit of a hypocrite. Next weekend I am leaving him totally alone for over 24 hours with the three children. I am of course lugging the large pregnancy bump along with me so it is not quite the same - I won't be able to drink lots and smoke and 'party' - not least because I am going away with my mother. We are travelling down to Bath together for a wedding of a family friend and despite all the negatives the one large positive is that I shall be child free and I am very much looking forward to the time off. Even if the car journey will involve my mother - she shuts up far quicker than the children do when shouted at to do so. She is also paying for the hotel room and petrol so it is a free 24 hours off with good food and champagne. It really puts all of the negatives in to perspective.

The more I think about it the more I could write about football and porn - it would make the perfect subject for a thesis. As it is, I am too tired to write or think anymore so I shall leave you to draw your own conclusions.
Over and out xxxxx

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Deadly animals and fish

I don't want you to get excited - there is nothing to do with wild animals or fish in this post. It's just G got up over the half term, looked out of the window, saw that the rain had increased in intensity overnight and pronounced that not only was it raining, it was raining 'cats, dogs, deadly animals and fish'. It kept us amused on what can only be described as the wettest half term holiday ever, so I have borrowed it.

So! The Jubilee is finally over and good 'ole Elizabeth and her heart lasted the course. Although it looks as if poor Prince P and his bladder weren't as lucky. As he recovers in hospital the bunting is finally coming down and we can now go head long in to obsessing over the flipping Olympics. Although I would warn you not to as My mother, who knows everything, has said it's not worth bothering with as they are all drug addicts. The olympians. Just in case you were confused. You would be surprised over what she has an opinion on. It turns out it is everything under the sun - selling a house, everyone's sexual orientation, what is tasteful and what is not etc etc - the list is literally endless. For example, whilst watching the Great Bristish Menu programme on BBC 2, where the best regional chefs compete to create a dish for an Olympic banquet, i have learnt that it is pointless experimenting with cooking as it is 'just food', the whole programme was 'stupid' and if you wanted to create a good pudding you can't beat apple crumble so why would you bother. I did point out that if no one ever messed with anything because 'it worked fine as it was' then amongst other things teaching would still be done by scary arsed teachers with canes, who made you sit still for hours on end whilst reciting the times tables and the Kings and Queens of England and being told you were stupid and not worth bothering with if you had any difficulties with reading and writing. Her response was that it never did her any harm. I would argue with that.

So, the half term was spent in the bosom of my family. I would love to know what it is like with other families. Sod wife swap, I want to do family swaps. I would love to know what other people's 'normal' was. I really do not imagine all families can have the same kind of relationships that we do. Maybe it's because we're all female. The searing honesty is one thing I think other families don't have. If an outfit or dress makes you look fat someone will tell you. If you have overdone the fake tan, someone will tell you. If you were massively overweight my mother will refer to it as a time when you were 'disabled'. And IF you were stupid enough to share your choices for names of your unborn child someone will tell you that your girl name is hideous, 'you can't possibly' and my mother will continually do an impression of some Great Aunt she once had with the same name who 'was a bit'. I can't tell you what she was 'a bit' of as the description never went further than those few words coupled with a compulsion to put her hair behind her ear whilst talking as if she had had a stroke. Clearly 'back in the days' there was little sympathy or understanding for people who 'were a bit' - no one even bothered to find out why she kept putting her hair behind her ear and was unable to speak coherently - they just used her as a constant warning against using her name for your baby. Mother's suggestions for a girl were far more exciting - Jane, Sarah and Deidre were my favourites. Or the repeated suggestions of Catherine. I have absolutely nothing against these names or the women I know who have used them as their moniker quite successfully since birth, but they are not what I would choose. I'm not sure anyone is particularly keen on Walter for a boy either but after the bombshell that was my girl choice I gave up and admitted defeat. I shall wait until after the birth, make a forceful announcement of the name and hope that from then on their opinions and impressions are all done behind my back.

I fear as a family we may share too much with each other. I know some things I wish I didn't know about my sisters and my mother and I'm sure the same is true in reverse. I wonder if there are families where they sit around talking about lovely things all the time and all things personal are kept that way? Maybe there are families where they spend a lot of time smiling at each other, where they kiss and hug and gush about the wonders of other members of the family and everyone is genuinely happy for each other? I mean it's not like we sit around with our arms crossed and a frown on our faces spitting at one another but there is certainly no hiding moods and feelings or thoughts and obviously not opinions. It is all very 'out there' chez mother and sisters. Particularly after the wine starts flowing. Perhaps it is all for the best. If it wasn't for the opinions of 'the collective' we might all be wearing clothing that made us look hideously fat and glowing in our orange fake tan with children named Chlamydia or Storm or something.

Mercifully they are choosing to be kind about my excessive weight gain at the moment. Brace yourselves. It's shocking. I have gained four stone. Four. Whole. Stone. I mean, obviously I was aware of my over eating - I believe I have bored you at least once or ten times over with it, but rather crucially I hadn't bargained on four whole stone. I wish I hadn't stepped on the scales. It was silly. I had made quite a few special pacts with the Gods of Fat - never eating a whole tub of ice cream in one day, sticking to only one take away meal a week, not eating all of the children's leftovers every day and including a lot of salad and fruit in my diet to offset the fat and sugar ingested. It turns out that the Gods of Fat did not stick to their sides of the bargains I made so now I am here and whale like once more. Bastards. I feel truly let down. I fear it is going to be a crushing shock once the newbie is born and I allow myself a look in the mirror. In the past, suffering as I was from Reverse Body Dismorphic disorder (I saw my reflection as far thinner than it actually was) after giving birth I was always desperately excited to see myself 'thin' and without the massive bump I had been lugging around for what felt like years. I would positively skip with excitement at my new supermodel body and find it slightly disappointing that photos and clothing did not share my enthusiasm for my fab new figure. Now I have been cured of the RBD I am rather concerned at what I will see in the mirror when the bump disappears and I am left with a lot of excess hanging flesh. Ugh. Thank goodness I always think my babies are gorgeous. Even in the face of clear contradicting evidence. I shall hopefully be so high on the love drug that I shan't give a toss about the excess folds of flesh hanging from my frame and I shall merrily reach for another ferrero Roche to facilitate successful breast feeding. (I am utterly convinced they are the key to success FYI)

Still, I must not grumble. I am actually quite content with things at the mo. I sort of want to freeze time or at least slow it down. The three on the outside of my uterus are all happy (in the most part), healthy and cute enough to forgive all the crap they cause, K is in the nicest job he has ever had and earning enough to keep us fed and clothed and although he is always stressed about money he seems happy enough, there is no massive drama going on, my sisters all have happy things to look forward to and I am going to have a new baby to play with in the next 6 weeks or so (all being well). I don't really want to leap in to the great unknown of the future in case something bad is coming. I want to stay in my nice safe cocoon of the present where all I have to moan about is fat and the weather. And even the weather is a bit of a blessing. When you are heavily pregnant and have gained four stone, cold weather is actually ideal. They are even dropping the hosepipe ban over the next few days. It doesn't get much better. Plus I have a great excuse for avoiding the drug addled den of sin which is also known as The Olympics. Not only do I not have any tickets but I shall also be 9 months pregnant/just had a baby. A lucky escape. Oooh especially if they serve cake there - she cannot understand for the life of her why anyone would want to eat cake as it is just fat and sugar mixed together. There is absolutely no point in arguing that the very reason IS the fat and the sugar mixed together. She will not hear of it. It is faintly ironic on two counts - 1, she fed it to my son repeatedly as a healthier alternative to breakfast cereal and 2, she likes the taste of ice cream which is only fat and sugar mixed together. One cannot argue with someone who knows everything. Luckily she is very good at cooking my meals and washing all our clothes so I tend not to bother.

And with that I shall leave you. The weight will not gain on its own and there is a cheesecake in the fridge (i have made a new pact with the GoF so it should all be ok). Actually I will just share one last piece of family honesty with you Before I tuck in. Ted has become particularly vocal with his opinions of late (clearly a trait he has picked up from my family), commenting on my smell or telling me I am 'too big' for the bath now and pointing out how disgusting my underarms are if I have neglected my shaving routine for too many days in a row etc etc. Last week my mother made the mistake of removing her top in front of him - apparently Ted was not expecting his grandma to suddenly appear in her bra in front of him in the middle of the afternoon and started to stumble dramtically backwards, shielding his eyes with his arm and shouting 'yuck, ugh, yuck, disgusting, yuck' as he did so - he even lowered his arm and double checked he had seen what he thought he had and then carried on with his theatrics and shielding his wounded eyes. It was quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen. Particularly as my mother has a rather enviable figure for a 60yr old. I would happily swap with her - what with her hearty dislike for cake she is particularly slender. What possessed Ted to act as if she was Madonna, on stage in her underwear and flashing her nipples yet again for the all the world to see, is quite beyond me.

Perhaps I do want the future to come - I am desperate to see what happens to Ted. This morning he did the school run as a spider - complete with sparkly cobweb black tights and Halloween spider fleece outfit on top and this afternoon he went as batman wearing a bumble bee dress. It is impossible to guess what he might become. I just hope he's on my side.
Ciao peeps. Watch out for the deadly animals and fish x

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Not a lot to do with the jubilee

Waddling has begun in earnest. I am being offered chairs and seats wherever I go. My breathlessness when walking any distance or up stairs would get me arrested were I to answer the phone and I am so shattered at the end of the day that writing even the most basic of things or completing even the most menial of tasks has become impossible.

In essence this baby has stolen my mojo. Not only am I not doing anything of any interest these days, but when I do do something remotely intriguing, I am too tired to write about it. So. On the one hand I am achingly close to reaching 10,000 views and 100 posts which seem lovely round numbers to get to before I have the baby (k keeps making me call it 'the last baby' potentially to help it sink in - he is extremely concerned that when this new baby stops being a baby and becomes a toddler I shall start demanding a new one to play with) and I go on maternity leave. Not that such a thing exists it's just I can't imagine having much time to write when I am a full time milking machine as well as full time parent to the other three. I do think the government should introduce a maternity leave allowance for all mothers, regardless of how many children you already have or whether you are employed or not. That first time you go on maternity leave from work is literally the best time of your entire life. Unless your father rains on your parade and unexpectedly drops dead when you are 38 weeks pregnant, therefore removing the joy and excitement you would ordinarily enjoy. Still, before his bad timing, I was revelling in my first maternity leave. I enjoyed lunches, coffees, shopping trips, so much television my head ached and at least three breakfasts every morning. Nothing to do and the most exciting thing in the world a hair's breath away. It could not be better. To enjoy that time again, now (minus the shocking grief), would be totally awesome.

Although there is a huge pressure to 'make sure you enjoy it'. Every time a woman puts 'first day of maternity leave' as their status update on Facebook, a number of tired and beleaguered mothers take to the comment box and demand that they 'make the most of it' 'enjoy while you can' etc etc - I have even been guilty of this before, believing that I am somehow helping them to relax and spend a lot of time resting with my words of wisdom - but actually, if you are two weeks overdue and have been on maternity leave for 4+ weeks already, it is incredibly difficult to find things with which to fill your time. There are only so many shopping trips one can do when you are huge and uncomfortable and in need of a wee every twenty minutes. Also you are incredibly fearful of travelling too far in case you suddenly start getting contractions. And there is only so much time you can spend asleep without going a little mad and becoming a victim of having too much sleep - plus it is dangerous to get used to sleeping for 13 hours a night as the contrast to what is to come is far too significant. So, that first exciting, indulgent, fabulous maternity leave is totally wasted on everyone as all they really want is the baby in their arms so that they have something to do and a purpose to their lives and they are not just drifting aimlessly from one day to the next endlessly waiting for the 'big day' and feeling under constant pressure not to complain about having nothing to do in case hundreds of angry and exhausted women pounce on them demanding that they 'enjoy it while they can'. Maternity leave is most needed for those with a child already, who need meaningful time alone to actually rest or prepare for the arrival of the next offspring. It is these women who really would understand the enjoyment of sleeping in the day without shame. Which is why there should be a huge fund for childcare/mother's help for women in their last month of pregnancy who have a child already. This way, the first maternity leave gives women the best time of their lives and A time to adjust from 'work mode' to 'home mode' but it means that when it is over and after the euphoria and the exhaustion has subsided, they can look forward to the end of their next pregnancy safe in the knowledge that they can have their time all over again and use it incredibly wisely.

The Queen must have been and still be under the most immense pressure not to have a heart attack at the moment. I mean, raining on the parade of an excited expectant mother is nothing in comparison to raining on a whole country's party plans. Not to mention the royal PR department's life's work. The whole nation seems to have gone Jubilee crazy. No stone seems to have been left unturned - there is even a terrible song created just to mark the occasion. It seems you can do anything at the moment and stick jubilee in front of it - there is no doubt a jubilee vajazzle available for those who want it. It's not as if I am not fond of the Queen - she seems like a perfectly nice person and rather inoffensive but I'm not emotional over her being on the throne for 60 years. But imagine if she were to suddenly be struck down by a terrible life threatening illness right in the middle of it all - what on earth would we do? What a dilemma. Would we continue all the celebrations and keep up the bunting as she lay in hospital fighting for her life or would we cancel it out of 'respect'? Or even worse if she died would we have to go ahead with everything as normal as 'it's what she would have wanted'? I hate it when people say that after someone's death. Never do that for me. You have no idea what I would want. I can be very unpredictable in my whims and desires. I may want Bea to drop out of school at 15 and marry a traveller. It would be ridiculously presumptuous to assume I would not. The whole point of being dead is that my opinion no longer matters, I am at peace with that. It is why I am so verbal and bossy in life. One must not waste life being quiet and subordinate.

So, moving on to thrilling family news. Ted is officially potty trained AND sleeping in a big bed. Things have moved on a pace. It turns out that all the namby pamby nicey nicey potty training I did with the other children, telling them it didn't matter every time they wet themselves and the carpet/sofa/chair etc was totally lost on Ted. He took me at my word and after every accident informed me with a large grin and a shrug that it 'doesn't matter'. So, this time round I got very cross every time he had an accident, I may have even screamed a few times and hey presto, he very swiftly became able to inform me of an imminent outpouring and therefore make it to a receptacle in plenty of time. It just goes to show you, horses for courses. I had assumed that any parent who shouted at their children for bodily fluid accidents was 'bad' and messing up their child's mental health. Now I have learnt that if your child has messed up mental health already, all previous assumptions go out of the window. As for the sleeping in a bed, not for me the constant repetetive returning of a naughty Toddler to their bed until the early hours of the morning whilst they gradually learn not to get out of bed just because they now can. No, I prefer to give them a few opportunities to do it on their own and then if they continue to ruin my evening and interrupt my all important feeding time, then I scare them in to behaving by shutting the door and leaving them screaming in the dark for a few minutes. We have always had an 'open doors' policy as they are universally afraid of total dark so scaring them half to death with a dark room seems to do the trick and Ted, thankfully, proved no exception. So three down and only one more to go through the sleep/potty training debacle. Not bad.

On the subject of Ted, I tried to explain to him that I would be using my boobs to feed the baby when it comes out. (I find Breasts a tad dramatic and tits a tad sexual so I have settled for the more infantile boobs/boobies - miserably not everyone follows my lead in this and the usually very sweet 80+yr old over the road insists on referring to feeding the baby as 'giving it some titty' grosses me out every time.) So, once I had established that when the baby was out I would be feeding the baby milk from my boobs, he went downstairs to get us some bananas to eat and started to feed my boobs a banana 'for the baby'. He was quite determined to stuff the banana in to my cleavage and no amount of explaining that i had to eat it first, would stop him fulfilling his mission. I might give up explaining things to him from now on and just let him figure it out for himself when it all happens. And lastly on the subject of Ted I must just say that the 'f' replacement of Ted's burgeoning vocabulary also includes 'tr' so train becomes 'fain’ and tree becomes 'fee' and truck becomes - well, you get the picture. This is proving to be increasingly hilarious as there is a lot of building work at the end of our road and there are regularly trucks stopping traffic in the middle of the road. Many, many times Ted has sighed from his car seat in the back and commiserated wih me by saying 'oh fuck, not again' when we have to turn around and go back on ourselves.

Bea walked in to the kitchen and saw me sitting on a small chair. She stopped, raised her eyebrows and said "I'm surprised that chair can take your weight. If I were that chair I would collapse on the spot." I did explain how rude she was being but also had to concede that a stronger chair might be best - it was a chair renowned for breaking and Clearly I am very large now. A stranger yelled at me across the park this week to inform me I was obviously having a 'big one'. Without wishing to be very rude and stereotypical he was unlikely to have formal medical training as he was young and wandering around the park in the middle of the day in a track suit - you know the type. I didn't even realise he was talking to me until my friend 'kindly' pointed him out. Once the young unemployed man had my full attention he went on to let me know that his girlfriend was 'half the size' with her pregnancy. I did as the Queen and the penguins from Madagascar do and just smiled and waved. It is pointless entering into banter with someone of his ilk. I wanted to yell 'this is my fourth, I'm 33, I don't smoke and i should imagine, without wishing to be disrespectful, that your girlfriend was a teenager with a limited diet and heavy dependency on fags which might explain her smaller than average bump.' If people don't want me to unleash my viscious snobbery they shouldn't comment on my stomach size. He was lucky I was taken by surprise and my verbal abuse wouldn't work at distance. Annoyingly when I told K of my upset he failed to understand how I could take offence. He naturally assumed the male was attempting to be complimentary. Idiot.

Although the youth may have had a valid point. We went for the final scan on Friday and it turns out that the baby has a larger than average head (by some way) and is already 3.5 pounds. There are still 8 weeks to go and I believe I read somewhere that at the end, babies can gain up to a pound a week. That is a potential of 11 pounds. An 11 pound baby with a large head. Surprisingly I am now very keen to keep the newbie inside for as long as possible. I am very scared. I doubt K will have to worry about me wanting another. I am far more worried about my ability to sit in any comfort for the entire summer.

The final ever scan did make me a tad emotional though. Never again will I be smothered in gel and get that fabulous view of a baby in utero enjoying their secret world. Not unless something goes horribly awry. I doubt it. K is unlikely to take any chances, he is pretty emphatic that this is 'the end' and I can't see anything changing his mind. Interestingly our milkman is convinced that all the children thus far are 'his fault'. It became quite embarrassing as we managed to get ourselves stuck in the conversation on my doorstep over whose fault it was that I kept getting pregnant. I assured him that no fault could be laid at k's door as it was definitely me who was to blame for the repeated pregnancies. He would not accept it and kept insisting that 'he must have had something to do with it'. Perhaps in his world thus far babies were something that kept 'happening' to women as a result of couples enjoying 'relations'. Our doorstep was not the time nor the place to explain the modern phemomenon of contraception and getting one's husband drunk enough to agree to yet another offspring.

And with that I shall leave you to the rest of your jubilee-tastic four day weekend. So far so good for the Queen. She seems to have made it through the procession and flotilla etc without a medical emergency. I should imagine she'll sleep a bit easier tonight. I doubt I will. G seems to have commenced his routine ear infection he normally saves for Grandma's house, early. We aren't due to leave until tomorrow and he's already crying about the pain from his ear. I am a tad concerned that an emergency doctor's appointment on a four day weekend might be hard to come by, but I could be wrong. You never know your luck. Actually I can't leave until I have shared this with you - I took Bea to the ballet this evening - Sleeping Beauty - it was our first experience of ballet on stage and we loved it but, just after the second half commenced and three men were dancing their hearts out on stage Bea turned to me and whispered in my ear 'tights are not man's best friend are they?' She was right. You could see everything. Luckily she regularly sees bums and willies in our male heavy household so it wasn't as shocking as it might have been. But I do feel I have seen a little too much of the one who was wearing white tights. Nothing was left to the imagination. Nothing. Fascinating. Have fun chickadees xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx