Friday, 25 May 2012

A poem for my daughter, Frances Leigh.

I tasted the salt of your tears before you did. I would kiss them away before they fell down your cheek.

I knew every groove, curve and bump of your head before it was dressed with its amber red locks. 

I gifted you music through my lullabies. Sent you to sleep on the wave of my melody.

My body, your first source of food. My naked skin against yours, your first source of heat.

I knew you before you knew yourself. And I loved you before you were real.

You are my daughter, my blessing, my life.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Bit behind the eight ball. Say it with me now. "Ball".

On the day that Frankie was born, entering the world via the 'sunroof' option and being held up to me over the plastic screen, she has held her head high. Three minutes after her birth the midwife said to my partner and I that she had impressive head control for a newborn. And from that first day onwards, she's just gotten stronger and stronger.

Often this is to my personal detriment. How I wish for a baby I could have cuddled up with, rather than one who pushed off me to explore the world at the ripe old age of 4 months. Or how sweet it must be to have a child that you don't have to pull off the furniture she's climbed up onto at seven months of age. But there are perks too, and it is nice to see your little girl get progressively quicker and stronger in front of your eyes.

All this emphasis that she's placed on moving around has meant that she's not had the focus or energy for other stuff. Like speaking. And I wonder - what is this mad race she's embarked upon cost her in terms of her mental development? Or should I just be sitting back and chanting the mantra, everything in good time?

Frankie has only started babbling this last month. We got "dada" repeatedly for a very long time, which made her father all puffed up with pride, despite the fact that it was indiscriminantly voiced. Now we're getting a plethora of sounds; delicious in their melody and often interspersed with giggles. But as other babies are connecting their words to things and uttering some very impressive statements such as "dog, here", Frankie is still speaking jibberish.

I'm now experiencing for the first time what it feels like to be on the later side of developmental milestones. It's never been a factor before, because our wee athlete's been streaming ahead physically. And it's not as though I haven't been trying with her. I throw her a ball and say "Ball. Ball. Ball" She throws it back to me and I say "Mummy's ball. Mummy throws ball back to Frankie". And she's staring so intently at the ball, waiting for it to be thrown back to her that she literally drowns out my words. She plain old doesn't care. Frankie looks up at me with furrowed eyebrows and, whilst no words escape her lips, I know what she's thinking "hurry up and throw the damn ball, mum, or I'm gonna come right over there and get it myself."

Well, I'm happy with her however she develops. She's beautiful, and healthy, and delicious. So what if she is no great orator at 8months of age. Perhaps she's a writer in the making; more of a listener, less of a talker. Whatever the reason, she just isn't interested in words right now which is a good thing to some degree. It'll be a lot longer before I hear her say "NO" to me. And that's not such a bad thing....

Friday, 4 May 2012

Your momma's so fat.....

There was a time - when I was about 13 years old - when I used to laugh myself silly at American "Your momma" jokes. My particular favourite was "Your momma's so fat, she sells shade in the summer".

I never thought I'd become one of those jokes myself.

Today I went shopping with another new mum, whose daughter is the same age as Frankie. Now, this mum-who-shall-forever-remain-nameless is one of those mothers that makes the whole thing look easy. She is so in love with her child that it radiates out of her like heat from a Smeg oven. She holds down a full time job, is completing her MBA, cooks muffins that make you drool worse than your 7month old teething baby, and she looks great. Always.

So here I am with my amazing mum-mate, looking for a new pair of jeans. I stumble across some cheap ones that will do me well while I'm unemployed....(good ones are a luxury I can't afford until I reenter the workforce, you see). Anyhow, I pick up a size 10 by habit, whack them in my trolley and continue along my way.

I got home twenty minutes ago and tried these new jeans on. And I was left pondering one thing; when is someone going to invent a 'shoehorn' to help people fit into their jeans?

And then it dawned on me - they have! It exists! It is called a diet and there are literally thousands on the market out there.

I took my jeans off and they were stuck so tightly that I managed to remove my knickers as well. Looking down on my naked self in shame I couldn't deny it any longer. I need to lose some weight.

Goodbye Old Jamaica dark chocolate. Goodbye full fat milk and cheese. I shall henceforth go sulkingly forward with my celery stick and Americano in hand. I have exactly 8 weeks until a certain trip to Bali which will require me baring all in a swimming costume and I don't want to scare the locals.

I am not going to turn into a living, breathing fat momma joke.  So help me God!