Friday 24 August 2007

Checkout chat-up

I was at the checkout in the supermarket with my weekly shop, throwing stuff into bags, and being a bit grumpy. The checkout boy was trying to chat to me throughout. “So, how are you doing today sweetheart?” he said. Feeling a bit flustered about being called ‘sweetheart’ by a boy less than half my age, I replied: ‘Fine’, while I clumsily tried to open another carrier bag. ‘Here, let me help you out with that darling,’ he said. While he was opening the bag for me, he then said: ‘So what are you up to tonight then sweetheart? Are you going down Night-Owls?’ This is a local nightclub for the under 18s. ‘My god, does this boy think I am the same age as him, or is he taking the piss?’ I thought. I could feel my face burning - I have no idea why, normally I can hold my own with teenagers. I think I was a little taken aback that I was seemingly being chatted up by a spotty faced, gangly boy, something I haven’t experienced for years. It certainly felt very odd, as I now have a Betty, and am a mum, and do mumsy things, and certainly don’t go to bloody Night-Owls.

I ignored his question and carried on packing, although at this point I was hastily throwing it all straight into the trolley. But the boy wasn’t giving up and asked me again: ‘What are you up to tonight?’

And so without taking any pauses whatsoever, I blurted: ‘I am cooking a huge roast chicken with all the trimmings and we are going to eat it at 5pm so that our baby daughter can join us and we can all eat together which will be the first time and so it is a very special occasion and it is a very significant step because she will be eating what we are eating which means she is growing up which is sad but also happy and she is such a wonderful baby and she is nine months old and I am a mum and I am married and I am 33 years old and we are all looking forward to our big roast chicken.’

The boy stared at me for a second, and then held up a pack of two tiny organic chicken breasts that he happened to be scanning at that moment, and said: ‘What? A huge roast chicken with this?’ Hats off, he was still persisting, even after that mental barrage of information I just gave him. ‘No, I have a whole chicken at home, actually,” I said. I could tell he didn’t believe me though, and he just smirked.

It was all true though. I did have a big chicken at home. We invited my mum and my brother round to share in the excitement of this special occasion, and we all ate together with Betty. We had champagne with our meal, to celebrate our little baby growing up, and me seemingly still looking like a 16 year old.

Thursday 23 August 2007

Bingo wing waves

Betty’s uncle was making aeroplane noises and flying her spoon through the air when he was feeding her the other day, and she got very angry and upset about it. In an attempt to cheer her up again, he started waving at her. To the amazement of Tom and me, she waved back at him. This was Betty’s very first wave. She then just waved and waved, and didn’t stop waving all day long. She waved at her daddy, at her toys, at the window, at the floor, at her toast, at the postman, she even managed a little wave at her toy penguin, whilst screaming in teething pain, in the middle of the night. This almost broke my heart - what a trooper.

When I wave at my darling daughter, instead of waving back at me, she becomes transfixed with my ‘bingo wing’ underarm flab wobbling around. She just stares at it, perplexed. Obviously the underside of my arm flapping around must be far more eye-catching than my hand manically moving around in front of her face.

My nine-month old baby has given me a complex. I have now started daily arm exercises using baked bean tins, in an attempt to tone up, and get Betty waving back at me.

Saturday 4 August 2007

Breastpad farce

Tom’s friend popped over yesterday to tell us he is going to France for two weeks and would we keep an eye on his house and feed the cats. I was standing in the garden, happily chatting to him, and pretending I knew where Marseille was, when I happened to look down and there at my feet, lay a large bright white disc-shaped object. OH MY GOD - a breastpad, MY breastpad, which had obviously just fallen from ME. I didn't know what to do. I tried to keep him looking straight at me by talking about whatever came into my head, so that he wouldn't look down.

It worked for a while, although, by the look on his face, you would have thought I was reciting a train timetable backwards to him. His attention then waned and then the inevitable happened... he looked down, and clocked the breastpad. We both stared at it in silence for a while, and then he picked it up and handed it back to me! I took it, scrunched it up and put it into my pocket. At least I didn't try to put it back in my bra I suppose.

Later, still feeling mortified, Tom tried to make me feel better. He said: ‘Don't worry I doubt he even knew what it was... he probably thought it was a circular tissue or something.’ ‘Really?’ I said, hopefully. Then Tom started laughing uncontrollably and said it was the funniest thing he'd heard for a long time. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, and so I quickly drank a pint of cider, whilst Tom went off to phone his friend.

Wednesday 1 August 2007

Anniversary antics

It was our second wedding anniversary on Monday. I got a little cross with Tom because he couldn't remember whether we had been married for two or three years. I secretly couldn't remember either. To celebrate, we went to our favourite restaurant about 15 miles away, last Saturday night. It is the furthest we had travelled away from home without Betty since she was born.

We arrived at the restaurant and were taken to our table, where I tried to explain to the Polish waitress that my mobile phone didn't have a signal and if the restaurant phone rang it might be my mum wanting to speak to me about my daughter who is teething and might wake up needing me. The waitress smiled and said 'Of course' and walked off. The next thing I knew the waitress had come back with an extra chair for my mum and some toothpicks. I was too hungry to get into it further and so I just thanked her and asked for a large glass of wine. Tom laughed and told me that it would teach me to relax a bit.

We enjoyed our food, although, my scallops on a bed of sweet potato puree was little disturbing, as I have spent the last couple of months up to my ears in sweet potato purée.

During our meal I got a bit excitable and accidentally got really pissed. I was really enjoying myself and behaving in a very juvenile manner to wind Tom up, just like the old days. I was saying things like 'Oh my god, did you really go to school with Prince William?' really loudly. Tom laughed, and then cried at the incredibleness of the pork belly he was eating. Emotions were running high for both of us - it was a very poignant evening, in lots of ways.

I went to the loo and on my way there I saw a group of teenagers through the window having a cigarette outside. On my way back from the loo I made my way outside, walked up to the teenagers and asked if I could join them for a bit. I told them that I had a beautiful baby, and that I was a bit drunk. They didn't reply and just stood there looking awkward and swigging from a cider bottle. Eventually the girl handed me a cigarette, and feeling rebellious I took a drag. We then stood there in silence, me feeling completely sick from the tobacco, and them still swigging cider. To break the silence, I asked them if I could tell them a joke, but they continued to ignore me. I skulked back inside, feeling very silly. I'd forgotten for a moment that I wasn't actually a teenager myself anymore. The poor kids must have been really freaked out by a fat, thirty-something, very uncool, joke-telling woman approaching them on a Saturday night.

When I returned to the table, Tom was being quizzed by the Polish waitress about why my mum hadn’t turned up. Tom said ‘At home with baby’ and did the rocking baby motion with his arms. The woman looked utterly confused.

We finished our meal with a mountain of Welsh cheeses, and chocolate puddings, which we ate next to the big open log fire, holding hands, and talking about the amazingness of Betty Button.