Where I Stand On Wee
When I was about 11, I went on a trip with my friend Raechel and her family from Whangarei to Wellington. It took a few days, and on the way there we stayed at their friend’s house in Auckland overnight. The family had two vaguely pimply sons, and Raechel and I stayed in their room. The lasting impression I have of this perfectly nice family was that the boys’ room and their toilet smelled strongly of wee. It has never left me, the memory of that smell, and nor did the strong and righteous conviction that I would
a) never willingly have boys
b) if I did, they would learn not to wee on the floor
c) and they would clean it up if they couldn’t manage it.
Well, after yet another Morning Of Stinky, I wish to put things right.
I want to apologise for those childish smug impressions and commiserate with the mother. I take it all back; the wee thing is all-pervasive and revolting and I am unable to conquer it, as clearly no mother ever really has. Every morning our kid’s room is almost foggy with wee mist, like the Wuthering Heights moors but not peaty, just pissy. There are always strewn pyjama bottoms damp with some suspect urinary residue, transferring itself into the carpet. The dog has totally taken this all to heart and earnestly and persistently goes into their room to add his own weesy patches, in some primitive effort to hide his own scent in the foulness of the boy’s room. Every day I am in there, sniffing pants and feeling crotches, opening windows, wiping down floors and toilet seats, and testing sheets for wiffyness. It is doing my head in.
And So Many No’s
My running – that glorious sweaty thing I did for 18 months where my legs got quite lithe and my face got all red then calmed down for the rest of the day to a nice simulacrum of a recent laser-treatment and where my cheekbones popped out and my arms finally stopped being so fatty at the top bits and where I could sneak out of the house and plug in my earphones and not listen to anything else but the literary cool of Deborah Treisman unpicking short stories from The New Yorker, well, it is all over.
I went out yesterday and I ran for about five minutes with the dog on a lead and my bladder really quickly said NO and my ligaments attempting to support the big stomach said NO and my running top rode up to show a bit of belly like Melanie Blatt’s from All Saints used to which was the sort of thing I liked in 1998 when I was young and a bit clueless and so I gave in and walked around instead, enviously watching the proper runners and their muscles and their red faces and sighing a lot.
So, it is really all over. All in all, the running gig has been a marvellous revelation that I do wish I had started when I was 14, not 34, so I could have avoided my youthful flirtation with bingeing and purging and the wasted self-flaggelation for eating too much dinner/toast/dessert. I could have been awesome, with a really great assortment of trainers. I am really hoping that after this brief hiatus from the joys of running, I can get one of those jogging strollers and I can get back onto the horse (as it were) after that enormous baby exits for good.
The last proper run I did I lost my diamond stud earring somewhere around the perimeters of Hyde Park while fiddling with my earphones. So I have been obsessing over what to do with my remaining stud. I finally decided that I needed to get a new piercing through my upper-ear cartilage, but not tell Mark as he would think it was trashy, and he would be right, but what are you to do with a perfectly good diamond, sitting there in a box, taunting and teasing and making you feel like a Bad Lady Who Is Careless With Her Precious Things? At least if it was stuck into a new hole, I would know where it was. So I went to an ear piercing shop and they showed me the studs to choose from and sat me down and then my pregnantness popped out from between the layers of my coat and she said NO. We cannot pierce you, unless you get a letter from your GP. So I gracefully left and at my next antenatal appointment I asked for a letter and they said NO, because they only write them for flights and there was no reason why I couldn’t get a piercing and just to go to a different place. And so I did, which was a beauty salon near the boy’s school, and they didn’t speak much English, but their eyes screamed NO when my untameable stomach popped out again and then their voices followed that up with an audible NO, just to make it clear.
Then I was a Westfield on Saturday trying to make myself into a devastatingly glamorous hostess for Mark’s birthday party, with new orange nails and a blowdry from the Hersheson Salon and some fake eyelashes for a bit of Essex-spice. But the Hersheson lady said NO (admittedly, because there were no appointments) and the fake eyelash lady said NO because of my increasingly obvious pregnantness. No to PLASTIC EYELASHES? A FEW DROPS OF EYELASH GLUE? A TINY HOLE IN MY EARLOBE? My poor womb has been getting disrespected. It is actually perfectly good at its job and my baby won’t feel a thing. But what can a lady do in the face of pregnant-lady-health-&-safety-paranoid-measures-of-your-local-shops?
So, no running, no piercings, no fake eyelashes for this crazy risk-taker. Ahem.
Anyway, Mark turned 50 on Thursday, and we had a party, and I managed to find some strip eyelashes to stick to mine eyes. I couldn’t find any devastating things to wear, mostly because my bosoms have refused to grow any bigger, and so I look ordinary except for a big fat midsection and the beginnings of swollen feet.
Mark was looking devastating though, hardly any older than he looked on Wednesday, especially since he has taken my advice to keep an eye on his wild-man white lone eyebrows which often stick out alarmingly perpendicular to his face, and to exfoliate and moisturise the dry patches of Old that keep appearing on his visage. He is trying not to become too interested in golf and whiskey or being generally too curmudgeonly, and to try to listen to music other than Garth Brooks and Fleetwood Mac. But it is hard for him.
Here he is, looking a little stunned, and only a bit whiskery, about to drink a flat white and eat too much food at Grangers, on his birthday last week:
And here is a crab, picked up from the shores of Southend-on-Sea, on one of the three sunny days we have had this year: