So, here I am at the last day before I go on maternity leave. I'm not due back at work until April 14 which seems a very very long way away but I daresay the time will go extrodinarily fast. I'm bad at goodbyes. I always mess up the hugging and kissing protocols and say awkward things that come across as sounding really rude. As I had my work farewell some time ago I'm hoping to sneak out this afternoon in a fairly anti-climactic manner. And then I'm anticipating a fairly anti-climactic first weekend on leave as everyone seems to be heading out of town except for me, the earthbound pregnant lady. Thieu is going to Adelaide to see his gran who hasn't been well for some time. He's taking out of hospital for the weekend so she can go home and see her cat. I shall probably spend some quality time on the sofa watching DVDs and crocheting the blanket. Which suits me fine. The only slight problem is that I'm not very good at concentrating on two things at once. As the current project is an alphabet blanket I'm a little concerned that I am in danger of missing some of the letters, or getting them in the wrong order and thus confusing poor Bump for life.
I had a funny conversation on the phone with a friend yesterday who has a very pragmatic and down-to-earth approach to life. 'My baby was really weird looking for the first six months.' she told me. 'People kept on saying 'oh she's so cuuuute!' and I'd say 'Don't lie. She's funny-looking.'
We also discussed the annoying things people say to you while you're pregnant. She, like me, is living in sin and had to put up with the continual 'Was it an accident? question. Unbelievable. Do people not realise how rude it sounds to ask something like this? And then there's the questions that I guess everyone gets asked, like 'Are you hoping for a girl or a boy?' S had a good answer to that. 'I just started saying 'We're hoping for a Jack Russell because we've already got two at home and we think it'll fit right in.'
I don't know what will happen about blogging after today. I haven't organised the internet at home but at the same time I can't imagine how I will go without it. Perhaps I will be happy to spend my time watching the lorikeets destroy the seedbell I bought them this week or preparing containers or soup for the weeks after the baby arrives. But then, maybe I'll be seeking out the nearest internet cafe and planting myself in there for several hours a day. We shall see. And on that non-committal note I will sneak out this side door and leave you wondering if that was, or wasn't, goodbye.
I am acutely aware that I only have three more days at work which, as we don't as yet have the internet connected at home, means three more days of blogging. At least for a little while. So I should be blogging like the wind but unfortunately I don't feel like I have much to say. I don't think it's even really sunk in that this time next week I'll be on leave. And what will I be doing, exactly? Folding little socks? Labelling things? Watching videos? Scrubbing the house with a toothbrush? I won't be sleeping in as that seems to be impossible at the moment.
I guess one thing I'll be doing is going to baby shops and the supermarket to get those bits and pieces we need. Like a mattress for the cot. And something to keep the nappies on with. And I'm only a third of the way through crocheting the latest baby blanket so there's that, too.
I suppose I could blog about the Turkish shop across the road from me at work. I go into it every day to buy bits and pieces. Bananas. Walnuts. Figs. It's run by seven brothers and I know a couple of them well enough to greet them by name and exchange a moment or two of small talk. So when this pregnancy thing happened I wondered if I should tell them the news. It felt weird though, because they're not friends, just people I see a lot. So I didn't say anything, just waited for them to notice. But the problem with that is that I never got exactly huge and at lunchtime I'm often wearing a big coat that conceals the bulge altogether.
Yesterday it was warm enough to venture out with no coat. The brother in the shop smiled at me. 'You're pregnant,' he said. 'Rather,' I agreed. And we left it at that.
On Saturday T came over and we sat in the Room of Fear and I asked lots of questions about what I need to get, what I had enough of and what to do with all the various things I already have. She was very patient and very reassuring. We decided that I definitely don't need any more 000 sized clothes. We discussed swaddling, barrier creams and the different flows of bottles (who would've thought they'd have different flow speeds? Sounds like a good way to get you to buy a new teat every month to me).
Then I was so overwhelmed that despite my scornful claims that the AFL grandfinal is a great day to do anything other than watch the AFL grandfinal I actually spent the rest of the afternoon laying on the couch... watching the AFL grandfinal. And it was acutally quite exciting. I even found myself making (involuntary) barracking noises towards the end.
On Sunday, armed with a list created with the help of T, Thieu and I headed off to the land of babywear stuporstores. 'There are so many pregnant people in here,' muttered Thieu, as if it was a surprise. I was more surprised by the amount of women in there looking at prams who weren't showing at all. Such organisation. Such faith that everything was going to be alright. Impressive.
We looked at change-tables, which always remind me of torture racks with their little straps and buckles and I think we've decided just to get the foam insert and not bother about the table itself. We looked at cot mattresses but didn't get one of those either. I looked at some hooded towels which I am far from convinced I need (although I like the idea of having a baby that gets around in a hood). Baby towels seem extrodinarily expensive for a bit of cloth with an elephant sewn on the corner. 25 bucks, for instance. In the end we went to Spotlight and bought some plain white towels for 6.99. I may go to Lincraft and buy the elephants to sew on myself. Maybe.
So we only really came home with the towels and some bunny rugs and some muslin wraps and a plastic cover for the pram but it felt like a start, at any rate.
On Friday I sent the latest drafts of the third kids' book through to my (absent)editor then, for some insane reason, immediately started working on a proposal for another one. When I imagine that I'll get a chance to do that I'm not sure. I think it's probably just a desire to 'keep busy' at this stage.