So, you know that thing when you have five kids, and a dog, and you think vaguely that it would be quite nice to have another baby, and so you are a bit casual about contraception (i.e. coil removal) but you just don’t get pregnant and then you think it is because your eggs are old, and you are old, and so is your husband, all of us all Too Old, then you get quite used to the idea that the former fecund and youthful ripe-like-a-bursting-pomegranate juicy you is actually just a dried up floppy bag of stretch marks and ruined boobs, and then you find out you are pregnant? You know that feeling?
Just me, then.
Apparently, there will be a sixth kid born to this elderly and overrun family on April Fool’s Day. Surprise! It turns out that human biology still works like it is supposed to, even if it is a little sluggish and tricksy. And I am a bit worried, and a bit embarrassed. It’s all a bit noticeable now; cocktail consumption shrunk to nil, jeans won’t fit, gut protrudes, and everything smells so, so bad. The worst things are:
And food is no longer my friend. I get hungry all the time, and desperate, eating-in-the-middle-of-the-street desperate, shopping bags cast asunder, baguette ripped open, butter opened and spread all over it by my fingers, ham slapped in the middle, sinking into the bread like a starving dog. Then immediately I feel like my insides will burst from the pressure. My stomach is repulsed by the food-intrusion and the metallic taste takes over and I make ugly faces from the biliousness of it all. Burping. Eyes closing at 7pm. Cranky and weeping. No vomiting though, just a feeling of perpetual hungoverness. And shame; because
- I have enough children already.
- The planet! The PLANET! I’m taking too many resources and using too much water and emitting too much gas!
- The other children will have less of us to go around and they will feel neglected and will have to spend many years in therapy.
- Mark. Poor man. He should be retiring on a boat somewhere or something.
- My career. My poor, poor career. The one that hasn’t started yet.
- Where will we all fit? Can six children sleep in triple bunks in one room? How traumatising for them. We will have to move back to New Zealand so they can have more room to grow and run. So what if we will be in the car all the time.
- People think we have so many of them for cultish religious reasons, and that’s embarrassing.
The jokes shame me too. The one about not having a TV, and the one about Mark not knowing how it happens yet. The football team thing. The jokes about vasectomies. The way that people tell us that if it is a girl, it will be worth it – meaning, probably, that if it is another boy we should bury it in the back garden. The concerned, kind faces from people who are worried for my mental health. The terrible domestic workload that another baby will present. The dog – how the dog should probably go, because we will all crack under the pressure that taking the dog out for a daily stroll will take on us. And the little hints that, well, it is early days, and the pregnancy mightn’t be viable, anyway.
So, it’s pretty much agreed FROM THE WORLD THUS FAR that this is bad news, and an all-round Bad Idea.
List Of My Other Bad Ideas
- My mullet haircut at age nine, though I think I can put some responsibility onto the walk-in, no-appointment necessary cheap hairdressers in Whangarei that I was taken to for the fateful cut. Puberty kicked in almost immediately, the short bits became massive curly side-wings, like Princess Diana’s hair when it was at its most bouffant, though with long silken strands hanging down my back. Almost impossible to grow out. Such a bad idea, that one.
- My law degree. Should have volunteered at a radio station. Learnt how to tell stories and broadcast them to people. Law was only good for making me feel a bit out of my depth. And for sending me into debt.
- Forgetting to get a proper job. Thinking that one would come to me because I was a bit awesome. This is a terrible idea. I should have chased one when I was young and unencumbered. Also should have been less arrogant.
- Trying my hand at product development. Money = firepit.
- Accepting that fishtank from Fiona. The remaining brown tiny boring fish still hasn’t died. It’s like a wet cockroach who weathers inconsistent feeding, bangs to the tank, constant Pokemon on the telly. He should have been floating belly-up years ago.
- Eyebrow plucking. They are wonky and weedy and sad-looking. I am destined to colour them in for the rest of my life.
- Dressing in secretary suits when I was 14. Mum and dad showed us home videos from the 1990’s when I had luxurious afghan-hound lampshade-shaped hair and massive glasses and inexplicably, I was wearing a turquoise linen skirt suit. I also remember a banana-yellow one, a brown one, and several suits in shades of green. I am sure everyone else was wearing flannel shirts and jeans in the manner of Kurt Cobain. I have no idea where the secretary dressing-up idea came from. Precocious eejit.
You see? Full of bad ideas. And the mean neighbour had a shouty fight with me about my appalling children and my terrible parenting and so we called the police. She was very cross because, over the summer holidays, the kids were variously:
- playing with a ball outside out flat
- playing on the stairs outside our flat, opening up one of those fake fossil things where you dig and smash it to get it open
- playing a game where an old nike shoe was tied to a string, and they lowered it up and down over the stairs outside our flat like they were fishing
- playing the our communal garden and running around.
These things, she said, have driven her over the edge and it is my fault because I am extremely bad at controlling them. And during this shouty, dramatic, upsetting street-fight, I’m was thinking OH MAN JUST WAIT TIL YOU SEE THAT I’M GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER UNCONTROLLABLE KID – PROBABLY A BOY. She’s totally going to go postal and throw rocks or something.
Anyway, in the meantime, this uncontrollable kid turned three:
And my hair went right:
It’s the little things, eh.