So big, so humourless, so musky-smelling

I am so pregnant right now. It feels like I am Henry the Eighth and I have just been at my banquet and my stomach is hosting an entire peacock, a spit-roasted hog and twelve chickens. I am down to one pair of H&M maternity jeans (washed every evening because,  erm, moist gusset issues) and tights and bras that itch and non-maternity clothes hoisted up and on and over me regardless of seam splits or wonky hem issues – I’ve broken one pair of dungarees so far and had to chuck one pair of maternity jeans because I outgrew them in the ankles and calves department. The horror. Boobs refuse to enlarge though. WHAT IS THAT? The fat just siphons into my upper arms, which has no aesthetic benefit whatsoever.

Most evenings I just fall onto the couch, pull down the top stretchy part  of my jeans and watch the undulating lines of my stomach rise and fall with little feet or hands or knees while asking for someone to pass me the chocolate, sitting upright every now and then to let the acid reflux out. It’s sort of nice and cosy being pregnant at this stage in the depths of depressing January but also awful (and a bit sharp in the back of the throat), and I am finally ready for this baby to come out. And ready for a new pair of pants. Maybe some knickers that don’t cut into me, and MAYBE I WANT TO PUT ON MY SHOES WITHOUT NEEDING TO GRUNT. An all-day-unduly-damp undercarriage would be quite a nice change, too.

BUT FIRST: I have one piece of writing to do for a new client before I can totally fold in on myself, and I have exactly five days to do it – they keep not sending me the work, so I keep panicking about having to write the piece while the baby’s head is crowning. It is really ruining my nesting buzz.

I have put the cot up, washed the baby clothes, been to my baby shower (thanks, Kerry, and everyone who was kind enough to come and be nice about me doing this whole thing again, like it isn’t really boring and like we haven’t all moved on from embarrassing geriatric fecundity – also showering me with gifts and money and feeding me cake), booked a pregnancy massage with the loot from the baby shower, stockpiled cotton wool and massive maternity pads and even – today, in fact, after stalking the reusable nappy section of the baby aisle in a shy kind of way for months – I purchased a cloth nappy kit because I can’t be dumping disposable nappies that take 300 years to break down anymore. It’s not all about me, fellas. Ready? Sort of.

As for names, Otis says the baby should be called Princess Flower for a girl, or Chuck Him In The Bin for a boy. The others are set on Scout for a boy, but we (the parents) like Remi for a bit of affected French insouciance (but can’t manage the accent over the ‘e’ – that’s waaaaay too hard). For a girl, we like Goldie. Sometimes Mark suggests a Maori name, but he stumbles over the pronunciation and I’m like – dude, if you can’t say it properly, then what hope for the kid?  Anyway, you never really know until they come out, right? I like to have a good long look at a squishy newborn face and try a few names out first. So – it’s anybody’s game ATM.

In other news, I found a lovely collated page of my writing for The London Mother which you can have a look at, seeing as I am so tardy with updating this blog – look!

Here is my new favourite weekend street food – the kimchi pancake from the Korean stall at Acklam Village under the Westway in Portobello. Weird, but very good:

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Here is that ragbag middle kid sitting on his beloved/hated eldest brother’s knee on the way home from the Tate Modern over New Year where I spent £40 on posters and magnets for them because I cannot resist a sale (and a lady sitting next to them, wishing they would just piss off, probably):

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We celebrated 21 years of mostly happy married years with a trip to Westfield to see Creed II after eating too much Lebanese food for our glamorous anniversary dinner. After our uncomfortable extended patch fighting over which part of the world we wanted to live in, and some excellent marriage counselling sessions, buoyed up by our priceless weekly cleaner who sorts the flat out and restores calm, and by the kids getting older and in some ways less horrible, we like – nay – LOVE each other again. He’s a good fella who loves my cooking and who likes my prattle and who values the joy of finding new weekend markets to eat at as much as I do. He loves The Durrells, bars of soap, the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack, gin-based cocktails, the Sunday papers, the Selfridges sale, vintage rugs, antique shops and reading – so, all in all, if you ignore the snoring thing, he was a good choice of marriage material.

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Oldest and currently youngest, doing something that looks like reading a menu but was probably actually just about watching a youtube video, on New Year’s Day. These two have infinitely capacity for each other and it kills me how cute it is:

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New Oxfam monkey jug turned into a vase with half-price supermarket flowers in a bid to increase my eclectic homeware vibe, a la Pandora Sykes:

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And, as ever, dirty children hanging around a vending machine hoping to rattle two bouncy balls out of the chute instead of one, so they have more stuff to bounce around in my living room and then more chance of breaking second-hand monkey ceramics:

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10 Responses to So big, so humourless, so musky-smelling

  1. mrsp84 says:

    I LOVE the name Scout! I always struggle with girls names though – there are never any I like enough to bestow on a kid. I’m not a parent and have always wondered about the washing of baby clothes thing – do you even have to wash newly bought baby clothes? I understand I’m probably causing an exasperated eye roll here but I am honestly curious as to why this happens x

  2. theharridan says:

    Well, you probably don’t have to wash them but they come out of the shops/packaging looking a little “factory” and smelling a bit chemically and plastic-y and so, you do wash them. Because new babies are all soft and new. But probably entirely unnecessary. So it’s another vote for Scout then? Ok for a boy though…?

  3. Jo says:

    I liked Holly and Matilda for girls but only have boys so they remained unused. My boys are Arthur and Wilbur still relatively unusual 😆 Scout is a lovely name. I love that monkey jug!!! x

  4. Sally says:

    I’m so pleased for you being in London right now! The temps here are a little too high for having a baby on board. Anna was a February baby and I didn’t enjoy the heat one bit. I’m sure whatever name you choose will be perfect for this new babe.

  5. Felicity says:

    My granddaughter is called Scout and she is the sweetest thing ever. (Biased? Moi?) wasn’t sure about it at first but now it’s just right.

  6. raccontando says:

    I like Scout. Not so keen on Goldie but that’s because for UK tv watchers of my age it has rather canine connotations! I’m sure whatever name you pick it will quickly become the right one in any case.

  7. Will says:

    I’m forward ChuckNorris for a boy and Boudicca for a girl. Just going to leave those there for you. xxoo

  8. Clare says:

    Love both your name picks. Always liked frenchy boy names, Remi, Yves, Etienne, how could a boy grow into anything other than a sophisticated Macron type with a name like that!
    Hope it all goes smoothly and the drugs are quick and plentiful should you be so desirous! Those first quiet cuddles with a brand new baby are just wonderful, I’m very jealous. Wishing you lots of luck and love for the exciting times ahead xxx

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