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