Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Duck hit

Throughout my pregnancy I pranced around the place saying: ‘Look at me, I’m pregnant, aren’t I clever, look at my bump, isn’t it great’. I enjoyed every single second of it, and felt very special and unique.

I loved all aspects of it; getting excited about my first bout of morning sickness and telling everyone at work, kidding myself into thinking I had cravings for peaches, following every development from week five (a prawn) to week 16 (a grapefruit) to week 37 (a baby), hearing the fast little heartbeat at antenatal appointments, having to get a whole new wardrobe, feeling the baby kicking and somersaulting, and buying all the baby equipment and ticking items off on my carefully devised Excel spreadsheet as I went. During the whole nine months, I don’t think it ever really dawned on me that at the end of the ever-expanding bump and uncontrollable hype (from me), there would be an actual baby. A real-life Betty Button.

When I was about six months pregnant, Tom and I went to stay with friends in London, and as soon as we arrived I headed straight for H&M, as I knew from several pre-pregnancy day-dream wanderings around the department (feeling very self-conscious with my flat stomach and small boobs) that they had a brilliant maternity section. Whilst there, I wandered over into the baby section, and spent ages trying to decide on a soft toy to go in our baby’s cot. To this day, buying the said duck is a moment I remember vividly. I felt odd and silly about it, like I was completely deluded for even contemplating buying a toy for my bump. What would a bump want with a toy duck? Buying the cuddly toy felt far more personal, and a much bigger deal than buying something practical like a cot or nipple cream.

A year and a half later, this duck is looking very bedraggled, but is Betty’s most treasured possession. Amongst her many cuddly toys, she has singled out the duck as her comforter and friend. She cannot go to sleep without sucking on its now very grey wings and squishing the smelly damp thing into her face. If it has been washed, I have to give it back to her wet. She drags it around with her and won’t put it down for a second. If she does put it down, she keeps one beady little eye on it at all times.

Almost every time I look at Betty and her duck together, so smitten, it reminds me of all those strange feelings I had that day standing in H&M, not really having any idea what I was doing, and not realising how real everything actually was. I can now appreciate that buying a toy duck for my baby-to-be was a pretty logical thing to do.

It’s just a shame she doesn’t feel the same way about her very expensive, four foot wide, rainbow coloured, all singing, all dancing, inflatable lion.


Anonymous said...

Great story and so very like pregnancy! I remember doing something similar myself .

Crystal xx

Potty Mummy said...

Aaaaaw. (But on the practical side, we have managed to get Boy #2 hooked on a Taggies blanket which is washable, dries in an instant, and which can be easily replaced on-line. We have 3 on the go right now, in strict rotation. Just in case the duck needs a holiday, you understand...)

Unknown said...

i am terrified of the duck getting lost/stolen/bitten to death - have desperately tried to find another like it, but cannot. Hennes haved stopped making them. I have looked on Ebay... everywhere! HELP!

Jen said...

It's too bad you didn't take a "before" shot of the duck. Then you could show it all clean and unloved in the first shot, then gray and falling apart in the second! One of the girls I'm a nanny for has a lamb that she has been loving for 4 years - someday I'm going to post a picture of it - it is a sad, but also lovely sight.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely story. I bet some days it's hard to remember those pre-betty moments and feelings, when everything was all still a concept, rather than a living breathing little girl. Tell us more!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Oh that was a lovely story! How great that you loved being pregnant. For a minute I thought you were building up to telling us that you are up the duff again...PREGNANT PAUSE...ok, well, whenever you're ready.
About losing the duck - you could introduce the rule, either that it's never allowed out of the cot OR, it's definitely never allowed out of the house. That's how I deal with the 'treasured toy is lost' panic attack.

Frog in the Field said...

We have 'cow' and 'bunny' that always have to be around, taken on holiday with heads sticking out so they can breathe!
The little one adored hard plastic horses which irritated Darling Husband whenever he sneaked into her bed ('cos she'd sneaked into ours to kick him).
"How the hell can ANYONE want to cuddle BLOODY cold, hard, plastic things??" She has recently been bought a very plush Teddy, and loves it, PHEW!
I know what you mean about not really appreciating that although you may be pregnant, there will be a baby at the end of it, I was the same with all three of mine!

Iota said...

The sad truth is that you never feel so excited about pregnancy after your first. At least I don't think so. Maybe someone will leave a comment disputing that statement.

It's exciting in a different way, I suppose. You are more aware of the baby that will result from it, but you aren't concerned with every little detail of the pregnancy's progression.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

That is so sweet. My toddler is so uninterested in anything soft and cuddly. He has taken a liking to a glow worm our sitter got him and likes it because it plays music. Maybe he will become attached to something besides mommy's boob soon...I hope.

Unknown said...

I think it's lovely that children get so attached to certain toys - even if they are falling apart, stink etc etc the love continues, unconditionally.

ha ha ha ha - you are brilliant Pig! - i loved the fact you said 'up the duff' - i always use that term with friends and i get a telling off!

Our rule with the duck is that it is not allowed to leave her bedroom - which betty accepts now.

Betty was a little angry that I was getting the duck to pose for the camera, and snatched it away - not before i got that snap though.

Thanks for all your lovely comments and thoughts.

PS - A DUCK PLEA - if anyone knows of anyone who has this particular duck in the back of a cupboard somewhere, and it's unwanted, pleeeeease let me know!

She's like the wind said...

My daughter had a huge white cellular blanket with satin trim which she would snuggle altogether and then sleep hunched on top of, it had a small hole which started and ended up huge, so huge that she could walk through the middle of the blanket, I decided then it was a tad dangerous and had to bin it, we then went onto a yellow cellular blanket and only the yellow would do, she would watch it in the washing machine and I would often find her fast asleep under the clothes horse 'silkying' on the wet blanket, then thankfully as she got older she would 'silky' on anything, teddy's with satin bows, labels many a car trip has involved thumb in mouth and other hand on her knicker's label and if there is no satin to hand and your in public and using your own knicker label was not an option she would settle for the inside of my arm.

Now that she is 8 and not allowed to have her thumb in her mouth at anytime other than bed, she has a satin handbag, a purple teddy with satin ribbon and a satin stocking and she's in heaven.

Somebody out there will hopefully have a duck, next time, if there is a next time, buy 2 or even 3, they don't tell you that in the pregnancy books!! 'Should you buy a toy for your unborn or newly born child, buy 2 in case of loss to ease the trauma for you and your baby, don't be tempted to buy different colours an this will not sooth traumatised child who wants the white one!'

Let that be a tip for the next pregnancy book.

Love your pregnancy story, I thought pregnancy number 2 went really quickly but only because I had a toddler to deal with and I didn't think it was such a big deal as the first, not until she was born and then I thought I was fantastic that I had produced not only one child, but 2 and one was a boy and one was a girl, how fantastic am I, I am now slightly jealous of people who go on and have 3 or 4, how super are they, stealing my thunder and being more fantastic than I am!


Anna K. said...

I ran across your blog on my cousin's blogroll (boondock ramblings). I started reading and I just couldn't stop! I hope you don't mind if I add you to my blogroll as well...?
My pre-baby shopping weakness was for books. Turns out it's a good thing I did 'cause David now loves to read them!

DJ Kirkby said...

Sweet post as usual....think the duck is probably a bit easier to carry round than the lion, eh?

Poorna Banerjee said...

i remember my mum getting pregnant with my sister and complaining all the time.

loved this post, though.

Sparx said...

Aw! I have tried to get the spud onto one cuddly toy but he's just not interested... Elsie sounds like such a character, this is another great post!

Motheratlarge said...

What a lovely posting. I remember thinking after all those pre-natal classes I was going to sit an exam - not have a baby! Cute duck. No wonder Betty's so fond of him. A little girl of good taste.

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