Dear Mummy to Be,
Now this is a hugely personal part of your day. You and your beloved do not mention it or acknowledge it. A 5-minute absence a whiff of roses and then normal service resumed. That will change forever. From the very first day when you have been stitched up and sent on your merry deluded way. The midwife will advise the first poo can be difficult. I know! I changed the green nappy! 2 days later and you will be weeping on the loo, wishing for a new ass, and the midwife to come and hold your hand. As your family grows and you have one loo, shiting becomes a topic of huge importance. Screaming up the stairs to your husband who has been in the loo for 15 minutes. Your husband screaming back something about basic human rights. Poo diaries. When did she last poo? The entire family in the toilet singing poo songs and cheering “PLOPS”. Standing in a restaurant clutching every item of your son’s clothes as he MUST poo completely naked. Your husband giving lessons on how to save the environment by using a centimetre of toilet roll. You having to deal with the wee fingers thrust in your face covered in poo. When daddy goes out, making the kids howl by fashioning a headdress with an entire toilet roll. Trust me away to the loo and enjoy. Check your phone, examine your cuticles, have a wee stretch.
The big one that everyone keeps telling you. Sleep while you can! No one really prepares you. Heavily pregnant you struggle to sleep comfortably through the night. You sit and watch SATC and eat a whole box of after eights, and think, “Hey I’m up through the night and it’s OK!” The next day you sit on the sofa with another box of after eights, drifting into unconsciousness, the chocolates shored on your belly. You cannot know, but you will. At first, you can follow the advice and sleep when baby does. Lovely. 7 years and two kids later you will be a sleep deprivation case study. Your husband will go on and on about the kids sleeping in their own bed. You will be incredulous, wishing to lie down anywhere and have a wee nap. You will no longer go to sleep and then simply awake. There will be a constant flow of nighttime traffic. Visitors to your bed, you visiting other beds. Lying on the floor beside beds covered in a jacket. Searching under beds for teddies, propping up pillows, and administering Calpol in the dark. Getting up at 4am and staring at Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Dancing with Dick Van Dick at 5am. Trust me away for a wee nap.
Look, there I am strolling casually through Sainsbury’s. My husband and I casually perusing the fish counter goodies. Deciding on hake, we stroll on to the continental meat counter. I have decided a good Parma ham will complement the fish perfectly. I send my husband off in search of some capers and spinach. We rendezvous at the cash desk with our finds, and arms full of wine. Later we open this to breathe as we stand in the kitchen and chat about our day, crisping the skin to perfection, watching the butter melt and wilt the spinach. An extract from the history books. Nowadays Sainsbury’s is day light robbery. Aldi every Sunday. This I enjoy. Morrison’s through the week for a top up shop? Hell on toast. The main issue is the café. They can smell it as soon as they enter. They do not know that they can smell it, but their wee bellies do. As we pack stuff in to the trolley, my daughter reaches in and tears open a packet of ham. My son arrange hula-hoops on his fingers and toes. My husband appears clutching a bouquet of cucumbers. The kids love them, and he truly believes they hold magical powers. They are silent in their presence. Two wee handies reach up for a stem each. Silence. We seize the opportunity and participate in Supermarket Sweep. We arrive at the checkout 5 minutes later. The kids covered in the shopping each holding out a wee green stump to be scanned. I apologise repeatedly as I hand over the half-eaten shopping. We argue about my frivolous behaviour in over estimating the amount of reusable bags we need. Where are the kids! Two wee heads peek up from the café where they have seated themselves, ready for their next course. I abandon my task and rush to order for them, leaving him to pay, and mutter about my lack of money sense. Trust me; go for a solo shop.
At the moment, you can choose whom you afford this to. Whom you let in, whom you care for and what you are truly passionate about. Enjoy this power. With your new bundle, you are volunteering your heart out of your chest. Your poor heart does not know. The love that you will feel for these wee people will tear him right out of there. A permanent boom box on your shoulder. When they are new-borns and you carry them around like a glass egg. When they take their first steps. When you hold their hand in a hospital bed, and they stare at you as their axis. When you stand at the school gate and they whisper “tell me you love me and then walk away, I’m fine”. You retreat, and keep your promise. Your heart on a battered string trailing behind you. When you observe your brother’s quiet nature in your son, and your sister’s theatrics in your daughter. You love your siblings more as a result. Love stretches out of you, your children washing away any barriers or control. The beating love that you feel becomes your metronome. Exhausted and needing the loo, you will not have time to crisp the skin, to wilt the spinach. But, trust me;
What you will have is a masterpiece.