Last week’s column, a little later than usual due to festivities!
First printed in Portsmouth News, 24th December 2013.
Since my youngest daughter started school in September, the two most noticeable differences are that I can: a.) Urinate alone, and b.) Meet friends and have full-length conversations.
I recently saw my friends Kirsty and Mandy. We originally met at a First Time Mums’ Group and have partaken of many unfinished conversations ever since. None of us knew what to expect of the group, but fears of perfect mothers who produced 100% organic breast-milk and knitted their own nursing bras from the virgin wool of their home-reared sheep, were proven to be unfounded.
Instead, we all sat in a state of sleep-deprived shock, tucking our baggy tummies into the maternity jeans that we were still wearing, and comparing birth stories. We were thrilled to hear that a fireman was going to visit our group for a home safety talk, and I believe that a small part of each of us died the day that he arrived; all 120 years of him, sporting the physical prowess of one who could extinguish a match. Just.
Originally, we had planned our lunch for November, but Mandy’s daughter used her child-radar to sense that her mother was about to start a conversation, and promptly vomited in school. We postponed, and this time kept our phones on silent, blocked the schools’ numbers just in case, and changed our names by deed poll for the afternoon.*
It was a shock, this sitting in a proper restaurant business; none of the staff offered us crayons or balloons, and I suspect that our waiter for the afternoon, Dave, was mightily impressed by the highbrow content of our conversations: children, husbands, breast implants, children.
Mandy in particular will thank me for sharing her Quote of the Day, which best demonstrates that although we can finish conversations, perhaps those of us whose brains have been boggled by children should not be allowed to. Upon hearing that Kirsty had read Paula Yates’ autobiography, Mandy enquired as to whether or not Ms Yates had written it ‘before she died’. I rest my case.
As I type this, the bliss of our childfree afternoon is but a memory, and my youngest daughter is trying to insert a small plastic Barbie bicycle up my nostril. I’ve told her that ‘Mummy is working’, but I think she assumes I am suffering from delusions of grandeur.
Were it not for the mummy-mates, then I would fear that the surgeon had removed my brains along with the babies during my c-sections. Long live the mummy support networks.
(* I jest.)