On (Un)Conditional Love

love cats 

A few days ago something extraordinary happened.  I blame it on the spring and the two sun rays that managed to make it through the thick clouds all the way to Scotland.  My cynical armour melted and my corny sore sipped thorugh and flooded the blank page in front of me.

Warning: this post comes with a lot of sugar… Have some mint tea before reading.

Love is…

Looking at your scrunched up angry face a few minutes after you were born and thinking “You got it from me mister.”

Finding 1001 words to describe how fascinating your poo is.  And bringing it up at dinner parties.  And chuckling at everyone else’s dismay.  I can’t help it.  I tried.  No, I really did try.  Now off to join Baby Poo Addicts Anonymous.

Chirping “Good morning sweetheart!”  after you’ve been implementing your Matricide by Lack of Sleep strategy for the last 336 nights.

Picking up that spoon you threw on the floor again, and again and again and again and again…

Burning up as you pull down my top and start squeezing my boobs with a loud “Maaaaaaaa”  in front of 5,398,549 other people in the doctor’s waiting room.  What the heck, I lost all my dignity when I was giving birth, right?

Binning that nutritious organic lunch I slaved over for the last 3 hours.  Then watching you pinch a cold slice of pizza off my plate. Yum.

Wiping my face, after you spat in it.  Yes, and this is how I found out that penicillin stings like hell if it gets in your eyes.

Repeating “Lalalalalala” while clapping my hands 1,385 times a day.  Because you find it so funneeeeeeeeeee.

Letting you chew on my Chanel lipstick (before you gasp, it has the lid on).  It was a gift that I cherished.  You got to my makeup bag first.

Tickling you so much you get hiccups.

Beaming with pride when you have decorated the back wall in the kitchen with tomato sauce.  Jackson Pollock style.

Falling asleep to the soothing sounds of your snores, gurgles and babbles.

Discovering that you have inherited my “can’t stop myself from devouring any grapes in my vicinity” gene.

Instructions for Peanut:

Dear Son

I’m writing this for you to read when I am old, fragile and in need of your help with mixing some alcoholic beverages to keep me jolly and chopping some wood to keep me warm.

Now there is some wisdom I would like to share with you.  It goes like this:

Love is You:

Undusting my false teeth

Mixing G&T without me having to ask you.

Combing through my garden that you call a hell’s heath

Knocking on my door and shouting “Peekaboo.”

And reading out loud to me, like I used to do with you.

Doing my dirty dishes.

Rubbing my old feet and finding my keys, gloves and hats.

Remembering Christmases and birthdays, sending me best wishes.

Finding a better home.  No, not for me, the 100 stray cats.

Giving me a cuddle when I’m sad and unhappy.

(psst, but one thing I won’t ask you to do is to change my nappy)

Lots of love

Your Mum

P.S. Shoo, fetch me that G&T!

 

Life’s Quirks and Oddities

3

A year ago I started writing a novel.

It was on the top of my List of Things I Want to Achieve in Life at Some Point Before I Die (And Before the Baby Arrives). This goal was not to become a famous author or to get published (although, I wouldn’t mind either, ehm…ehm).  It was to overcome my fears of inadequacy and to stick to my guns.

Sometimes the writing was all tears, sweat and toil and sometimes the words were pouring out of my soul straight onto the pages.  Even when I only scrawled a sentence or two I was excited to see my first great novel grow alongside Peanut inside me.  Often I was typing to the rhythm of him punching my ribs and he still is fascinated by the sound of me hammering the keyboard.

Pregnancy was a very happy time and a very scary time.  There were days when I was mourning my soon to be lost complete freedom to do whatever I want and whenever I want.  I convinced myself that I was no good mother material, mainly because I had always been dodging other people’s sprogs.  At the same time I could not wait to meet this little person who loved to jiggle and wiggle (but why always at five in the morning?).

The days went by, I grew bigger and more ball-shaped and more pages filled with my “nonsense”.  I can’t sew.  I can’t knit.  I can browse the Internet for deals on baby paraphernalia (psst, and I’m good at it).  So I did that for months.  I liked getting lost while following the myriad of old railway paths around the old harbour in Newhaven and whispering to Peanut about Sartre and superiority of Ben &Jerry’s ice cream over any other ice cream in the world.

Then one Saturday, BlueBeretDad raced the car through the sleepy streets of Edinburgh and around 4am we entered the birth centre as two only to twelve hours later leave it as three.

The plot’s twists and turns intertwined with my own upheavals.  Everything was new, a big question mark hanging over our heads, more often than not with no answer to follow.  After having read countless baby books, BlueBeretDad and I went for the “make it up as you go along” parenting approach.  It has been working for us just fine. Phew.

Maybe it was the sleep deprivation and exhaustion or maybe a natural turn of events, but I dropped my writing. Just like that.  The more Peanut grew and surprised us with new skills (Look, he can touch his foot) the less I had and wanted to say. I felt as if all the words I had in me had been consumed by motherhood.

Somehow, with Peanut becoming more independent (as in causing mischief when no one is looking) and me becoming a more relaxed parent, the door to my inner writer’s room unsealed.  I started by undusting my notebook and writing an odd word here and there. Then I kicked off with scribbling down a few poems (bad ones I ‘m afraid) and odd paragraphs of peculiar thoughts whenever I found a minute or two. I stopped watching TV (still make an excuse for some car crash telly when my brain cells crave mindless entertainment) and went back to basics.  Writing.  Not judging. Letting stories happen.   And this is how, ten months after Peanut joined the BlueBeretFamily, this blog was born.  I would not be here typing this tale down for you without my wee boy.  I would not have it any other way.

My novel is still waiting for that last chapter.

My fingertips are still itchy.

Happy First (soon to come) Birthday Peanut.

We love you very much.