Thursday 22 April 2010

Happy Birthday Dolly

On this day, 22nd April, last year, baby Dolly hurtled out into the world, with very little warning. I was two days over my due date and had resigned myself to the fact that I would be pregnant forever.

I heaved myself into bed that evening all settled with a cup of hot choc, and ready to watch my two fave Wednesday night programmes. Just as the start-up tune came on for Waterloo Road, I had one almighty contraction, my waters broke, and that was it, Dolly was on her way out. And exactly one and half hours later she was in my arms.

It was an eventful one and a half hours. I spent most of that time in the blinkin car, watching the clock and feeling overwhelming fear that I was going to give birth on the roadside outside KFC. A couple of miles into our journey my contractions were two minutes, a mile later, one minute apart, and half way to the hospital one long continuous contraction. Tom did not realise the seriousness of the situation and that the birth was about as imminent as you could get. He calmly told me to relax my face and breathe. I told him to put his bloody foot down.

At the hospital the lovely student midwife also did not realise the urgency of the situation. She informed me that in fact my waters had not yet broken and that labour often goes on for hours. I told her that the baby’s head was between my legs and if she didn’t do something quick the baby would land on its head. She told me that it was unlikely the baby’s head was between my legs and then went on to try to listen to the baby’s heart beat. I told her that she would not pick up the baby’s heart beat because the baby was half way out. ‘JUST HAVE A LOOK’ I begged. She promptly caught the baby and looked visibly shaken, even more so than Tom.

And here Dolly is one year later, and what a truly magical, entertaining, and wonderful year it has been. Dolly, you are a real character, and you make us laugh several times a day with your looks, your naughtiness, your bruiser tendencies, your feistiness and your absolute adorableness. You have brought such joy and amusement to us all in the last year, long may it continue, our beautiful baby girl.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Helter Skelter

We went to Cardiff the other day. Betty and I left Tom and Dolly in a coffee shop and went to try on something I had spotted in a shop window. As we walked down the high street Betty spotted a helter skelter and asked if she could go on it. Without giving it a second thought (or questioning the size of the slide versus the size of myself) I said, ‘Yes, of course we can go on.’ The helter skelter man told me that Betty was too young to go down on her own and I told him that it was fine because she would sit on my lap. Thinking back, he did give me a bit of a funny look at this point, but I thought nothing of it at the time. So excitedly we carried our mats up the steps to the top. We could see the bustling high street below and we tried to spy Tom and Dolly so that we could wave to them on our way down but they had marched off into the arcades.

When it came to our turn and we sat down at the top of the slide, all feelings of joy immediately disappeared and they were replaced with feelings of horror. I was wedged tight. I was too fat for the frickin kiddie slide. There was a whole queue of kids behind us blocking the steps, so there was no turning back. With me sitting on the mat and Betty sitting on me I used all the upper body strength I could possibly muster up and pulled us along one metre at a time, coming to a wedged standstill between each arm-pull.

Halfway down it began to rain and we lost our mat making it even harder to ‘slide’ and there were children backing up behind us shouting ‘Come on lady’. I couldn’t work out if Betty was making noises of excitement or utter humiliation. I prayed that Tom and Dolly weren’t there watching us from the ground, like the hundreds of other parents standing there gaping at me, either looking concerned or bemused, whilst they waited for their children to come down.

We finally got to the bottom and although still feeling unbelievably humiliated, and with arms aching like never before, I was massively relieved that the ordeal was over. The fact that I had oily stripes on my wet worn bottom where we had lost our mat and I had been sitting directly on the hard wooden ridged slide, just didn’t matter. We had made it down.

As we began walking away, the Helter Skelter man called after us and with a smirk on his face he said: ‘I am giving you two goes for the price of one love’ and handed me another mat. I seriously felt like punching him, specially as Betty had heard mention of another go and was already halfway up the steps. I managed to grab Betty and bring her back down, at which point she had the biggest most severe tantrum she has have ever had. In fact she has only ever had one other tantrum and that was about two years ago, so this was completely unexpected. She screamed and yelled and lashed out at me, for about 20 minutes, and nothing would calm her. I tried to hold her tightly to calm her and all I kept thinking was that passers-by were going to think I was abducting her and call the police. I then phoned Tom but I couldn’t hear a word he was saying and all he could hear was Betty screaming. He later told me that he thought she was being abducted. We went home after that.