Friday, 27 January 2012


Doctor: 'Can you just jump on the scales for me then?'
Me: 'No problem' (Ha, I've never worried about my weight in my life, ever.. pah.)
Doctor: 'Hmmm. 72kg. Hmmm.'
Me: 'Is that, umm, not good?' (This was my weight at 9 months pregnant with Isabel. I'm now less than 6 months pregnant. Gulp.)
Doctor: 'I'm going to refer you to a dietician who specialises in pregnancy.'
Me: Silence. I'm too busy dying of shame to talk.

Ahh, the joys of pregnancy. I already have a tummy that arrives about 20 minutes before I do and I've still got 3 months to go. Funnily enough though, it was my mum and not the doctor who put the fear of God into me about putting on weight. She told me that she too got a telling off when she was 6 months gone and was told not to put on any more weight UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Why? Because otherwise she'd have to give birth to a heffer of a baby, something that strikes cold hard dread into the heart of any sane woman with the vaguest familiarity with her birth canal. I've already started having nightmares about the birth so the idea of giving birth to a 5kg baby leaves me a quivering wreck. I found my limits the first time round, thank you very much. Isabel was normal sized and they still had to spend 40 minutes stitching me up. (If that's too graphic for you then you need to get a grip. Life, and especially birth, is a bloody, messy, gruesome business. If you haven't been through it yourself then rest assured that you at least put your poor mother through it).

So I've embarked on a fitness programme of walking, swimming and a preggers exercise DVD. I did the DVD yesterday for the first time and couldn't even keep up with the warm-up exercises (and today I can't move my arms). Trying to eat healthily, but it's hard when you're ravenous ALL THE TIME. An apple - v - marmite and cheese on toast with loads of butter = no competition. It takes superhuman will-power to have a cappuccino at the bar and not have a brioche with it. I could cry looking at all those jolly croissants lined up, bulging with jam and sprinkled with icing sugar, while I sip my sad little decaf. I feel (and look) like Pooh Bear hearing the voices of the hunny jars calling out to him.

Plus, nothing makes me hungrier than exercise. When I come out of the swimming pool I could devour a couple of wild boar as an antipasto. The only thing that makes me hungrier than exercise is being depressed, and being told I'm over-weight is mightily depressing. Add to that reading the newspaper over my coffee and learning all the other reasons for being depressed .. economic crisis, national strikes, Berlusconi (I thought we'd got rid of him? He's like the bloody Terminator - keeps popping back up) and then what do I see? Amidst all the grinding gloom and horror of today's news is a two page spread of Kate Moss for Liu Jo looking svelt and sultry in skimpy skinny jeans. Bitch. Pass the croissants NOW.

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Monday, 16 January 2012

Forking hell

I'm more or less resigned to the fact that constantly worrying about being a good enough mum goes with the territory - along with enough guilt to fill a year's worth of maxi nappies and an overpowering fear that I may be raising the next Adolf Hitler. Sometimes, however, I do something so monumentally stupid that even I wonder if I shouldn't just call Childline myself and have Isabel taken far away from me for her own protection.

It happened like this: Isabel was tucking into her dinner (mainly smearing it across the highchair, her face, the floor, aiming it at the tv and occasionally getting some in her mouth). For some reason, I had grabbed a disposable plastic fork to feed her with. Goodness knows why. Halfway through the meal, I suddenly realised that one of the prongs from the fork was missing. Cold sweat. Don't panic, I thought, it's probably in her bowl. I picked through the mushy veg. Nothing. Scrambling down, I quickly sifted through the sticky mess on the floor while Isabel dropped baked beans in my hair. Pulse racing, I grabbed my highly amused toddler out of the highchair and gave her a good shake to see if it had fallen down. Nothing. She giggled at me. Then she abruptly stopped giggling and bit me as hard as she could as I clumsily dug around in her mouth looking for the pointy plastic prong.

I never found it- I just sweated out the next few days looking for signs of unusually eye-watering straining (ouch). What I did learn from this umpteenth display of maternal ineptitude is Parenting Lesson No. Seven hundred million and two: do not feed your toddler with a disposable plastic fork. If you must, then count the prongs before you start, thus avoiding days of fretting and poo-sifting afterwards.

The thought that I'm responsible for teaching her about life is quite frankly terrifying.

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