What are you meant to do when you've ticked off your to-do list and the baby still hasn't arrived? Make up stuff to do.

Waiting for a baby to arrive is like waiting for a bomb to explode. I am the bomb. 

Two weeks ago I was encouraging the boy to stay put—I was too tired to even think about dealing with birth and then a baby. Now I am so sick of waddling around with my stomach peeping over the top of my trousers like a friendly dolphin that I am trying to figure out how to bring on the labour. Meanwhile, I have been entertaining myself with pointless pursuits.

* After showing up at the wrong branch of an ultrasound franchise to find out the boy's weight and wasting everyone's time, I went for a coffee, taking advantage of the fact that I can still follow my whims. I sat at a table next to two mums who spent 40 minutes talking about nappies while I ate an Afghan biscuit the size of a side plate and grimly contemplated a future in which I too would spend 40 minutes talking about nappies.

* I bought the dog a new collar embellished with 70s-style orange and brown stripes. He looks very handsome although when I fastened it round his neck he shook dramatically as if it were a snake.

* I made two batches of ultra-buttery chocolate chip cookies, which were excellent, and one batch of M&M cookies which are not so impressive—a bit dry and clownish in appearance. I have been fielding well-meaning hints about making meals for the freezer but I am not the main cook in our household so I can't see the advantage of socking away over-salted stir-fries and watery cheese and tomato omelettes.

* We went to see Milk, which I thought was fantastic. I cried and cried at the end as if a member of my own family had been shot by a sexually confused Twinkie-eater, even though I knew exactly what was going to happen and had never before felt any special affinity for Harvey Milk.

* I watched Rachel Ray make three fatty, beige meals out of leftover ham and mug for the cameras. I don't like her at all. 

* I kept vigilant watch over the front gate. Some of the neighbourhood children like to open it and see if the pup will run out to play with them. I am now the kind of boring person who hangs out the bedroom window and shrills, "Leave the gate, please." 

* I read a novel about a long-term lesbian couple who were just as dull as any other long-term couple, which is a victory of sorts for the gay rights folks, I suppose, but made for a rather dull read. 

* I watched Jeremy Kyle yell at under-educated British couples who went on telly to learn the results of DNA tests to sort out the parentage of their babies. And then I watched the couples yell at each other and their in-laws and the security guards who came on stage to sort them out. And I laughed like a hyena.

* I researched the boy's star sign. He will be an Aries, enthusiastic and adventurous on the one hand, selfish and quick-tempered on the other. Apparently he will also be prone to headaches and sunstroke. Which makes perfect sense cos the one thing he doesn't have in his hipster wardrobe is little sun hats.

* I became a mailbox-watcher, padding down to collect the mail as soon as it arrived, only to encounter bills which I then didn't open. 

As you can see, life has taken a downward spin and the sooner this kid arrives the better. For all of us.

Comments (6)

by Rhiannon on March 21, 2009

Oh My GOSH, I absolutely LOVE that program with the teenage mums who slept with so many people at once that they don't know who the father is, so they decide to go on live television to find out :-D It was on all the time when Mum and I were in Sydney and we became addicted. There was once girl who had been on the show 9 times, and STILL hadn't found the father!!!

This article made me laugh the whole way through. I can totally imagine you doing all these things :-P I am dying to bake some m&m cookies, but my silly homestays don't bake so they have no ingredients in their pantry (actually, they don't have much of any food... only beetroot, sour cream, and some yucky microwave soups). Yum... not.

by Don Donovan on March 21, 2009
Don Donovan

Uncomfortable as it is (or, we hope, was) at least you've had time to get used to the idea. We could never make babies (although it was fun trying) and so, after thirteen years of marriage, adopted. We finished up with two girls, now aged 41 and 38. The change from dinkies to parents was abrupt, profound and astonishing. One day we could shut the front door and go anywhere, do anything. The next day we were in bondage. We wouldn't have missed it for anything but it was a bit like being caught in a heffalump trap while out for an innocent country stroll!

Bonne chance.

by Eleanor Black on March 22, 2009
Eleanor Black

Thanks, Don. Haven't been caught in the heffalump trap yet, but I like your interpretation better than those offered by parenting mags!

Now, Rhi, don't go getting any ideas from those hilarious who's-the-daddy programmes. Sounds like you're going to have to get in some provisions. Who eats beetroot and sour cream besides Russians? Ex

by HIlary Stace on March 22, 2009
HIlary Stace

Best wishes Eleanor. I look forward to your reflecting back on this post in a year's time.

by Jono on March 23, 2009

Ah memories, its now five months since we were where you are now. As I think i mentioned the last time I commented, it went by in a blink. Some random thoughts to help you fill in some more time:

~Enjoy the puppy while you can, it becomes so much harder to be a responsible dog owner/lover with an infant. My partner said last week she never knew how much more she would love our son in comparison to the dog, who was our "training baby" and previously the apple of our eye. She now feels guilty for not being able to lavish attention on our first born.

~You are absolutely correct re the nappy conversations, I know spend my chat time at the coffe machine talking about the most recent (blessedly minor) illnesses, neat trick and weight gain with office mates who also have children.

~Star signs !bah! My wife is an aries and she is the most selfless person I have ever met, although she is definitely everything else you mention.

~Parenting will lead to unhappiness (as study after study would seem to confirm, although not that anyone is allowed to admit it without the protection of double-blind anonymity). That being said, while the lows can be very low, the highs are so much higher and as I think someone on the Hand Mirror said a few weeks ago, its like having your heart running around outside your body. I am getting misty just thinking about his smiles as I type, the best part of my partner and I and the best thing we will ever do.

by Victoria Kelly on March 27, 2009
Victoria Kelly

Dear Eleanor,

My baby is now 2 years old, but I haven't forgotten. 

Here's a tip.  Astrology is fine, but to really make the time fly, combine it with numerology.   For instructions, a quick Google search on numerology will suffice.  You can work out the destiny number for every possible combination of names you could give your newborn.  You may even be able to determine their personality in advance based on the name you choose!  Then, you can while away the hours working out the myriad of possible lifepath numbers for his/her birthdate using a 2 week radius either side of the due date.  But why stop there?  You can also calculate Soul Urge numbers, Inner Dreams and Master numbers on any of the above combinations.   It may be a useless waste of time, but it's your absolute right, if not your obligation, to waste time in a state of advanced pregnancy.  Enjoy every moment.  Hell, you could even do a comparative study about the ways in which the astrology and numerology conclusions intersect.  I did.

I also found it helpful, in the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy, to obsess about buying an antique bathroom cabinet.

I hope it goes well.  It's a wonderful journey.


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