Wednesday, September 29, 2010

0.0003% Alcohol

A few years ago, back when Roberto and I were free and easy, we visited friends of ours who had two small children. After a fun day of us thinking perhaps this having kids business wasn't all that bad, it came to that time in the evening when children are exhausted and go a bit nuts.

We watched our harassed-looking friends try and corral their offspring for baths, bed and beyond. The father, noticing what were evidently terrified looks on our faces, quickly said, “It's not all terrible, you know,” while being gripped around the leg by a howling child, and attempting to hold on to another using a sort of fireman's lift.

Small children suck you dry, there is no two ways about it. In the case of my baby son, quite literally. He nurses so often I may as well invest in a grass skirt and just let it all hang out. It would save me a lot of time, money on ugly nursing bras that do nothing for your silhouette, and probably make the Amazon delivery guy’s life a bit more interesting.

In my daughter's case, she is still incapable of understanding that other people, i.e. my husband and I, have needs outside of hers. Sometimes it’s somewhere between 8 and 9pm and I am dead on my feet tired. I haven't yet eaten dinner, and I'm at that point where I just want to crawl into a corner, gnaw on my hand for a bit, and fall asleep. I'll say something like, “OK, I'm going to say goodnight now. I'm very tired and hungry, and I need to go and take care of myself.” And she'll respond, quite cheerfully, with: “Read it please,” shoving the eighth story book of the evening into my angst-ridden face.

I don’t think we have a budding sociopath on our hands; it’s just that she doesn’t quite have empathy yet. A bit like some of the people I've worked with over the years, the difference being that she is actually two going on three, and not just acting that way. It’s starting to change though, the other day I woke on the sofa to find she had partially covered me with a blanket of hers, and shoved our son’s plastic toy keys in my armpit for company.

Our son is getting bigger, quite a lot bigger actually. Although he has just gone four months, he fits into 6 to 12 month clothes, some of which quite snugly. I’m kind of kicking myself for my over-zealous shopping at the start, as a lot of the stuff has gone unworn. He's not really fat, but more so kind of big with large paws for hands and long feet. I'm thinking American footballer, in his spare time, that is when he's not inventing life saving vaccines and writing Pulitzer prize-winning tomes.

To deviate briefly from the fascinating life I lead right now, I find it genuinely strange that people are so shocked and surprised by the recent spate of footballers cheating on their wives and girlfriends. Or rather, let me rephrase that; the recent spate of footballers getting caught cheating on their wives and girlfriends. I thought that when you dated or married a footballer, it was like marrying into the mob. You kind of know your husband does stuff you'd rather not spend too much time thinking about, but you enjoy the lifestyle enough not to let it worry you too much.

A funny moment for me (I imagine not so funny for poor Coleen) came when one of the prostitutes Wayne Rooney slept with reported that he wasn't particularly good in bed. I think the word she used was 'boring.' I’m not sure anyone was too surprised by that. At least, according to one of the many women Tiger Woods slept with, he had some moves to go with that monstrous appetite. In the case of Rooney, I imagine his idea of doing something risqué involves removing his socks before getting into bed.

We are looking to buy a house at some point in the future. This means we have had the pleasure of getting to know our local real estate community rather well. These guys dress like Wall Street bankers. I'm assuming the thinking is that it makes them look successful, and thereby bound to be successful at selling your house or finding you one. But to me all those expensive suits are just a reminder of what big a cut they get from selling your house. Or indeed how much they are going to try and drive up the price of the house you are buying. On our recent holiday in America we met an estate agent who actually owned the agency. He wore an old shirt, a pair of faded shorts, and trainers. That man I trusted.

I'm not sure how it works in other parts of the world, but where we live a favourite little caveat beneath the price on the brochure is 'guide price.' There's no such thing as offering low, going up a bit, and then eventually getting the place for something around the mark the sellers sort of wanted anyway. No no no, that little caveat means the extortionate amount listed is just for starters, you've got to offer even more, and quite possibly get into a bidding war.

And if that isn't bad enough, the estate agents have a way of making you feel cheap if you aren't capable of chucking in an extra 50 grand or so. I mean, it’s just another 50 grand right? I’d really love to see where they live. And then there are the dirty tricks; take my advice, if someone says to you the house you want is going to a silent bid, save yourself a lot of anguish and walk away there and then. These things, as we learnt from bitter experience, never turn out well.

My mother, who is visiting with us at the moment, is obsessed with weight loss shows like ‘The Biggest Loser.’ I always know when she’s been watching one, because she’ll sit down for lunch with a worried look on her face and say something like, “Just a little for me please, I don’t want to get Type 2 diabetes.” My mother resembles a piece of string and eats like a bird, so I don’t know what her worry is.

I on the other hand, eat like a horse. Everyone tells me this is normal when you are nursing. My concern is that my stomach is going to stretch and get used to all this extra food, making it tough to go back to the way things were before. Not to mention getting a taste for all the sugary stuff I enjoy right now. I think I’m going to have to go cold turkey on the Chocolate Digestives and mini Magnums.

I’ve got some sort of bronchitis-type thing. I went to the chemist today to try and get cough mixture that was nursing-friendly, but that would be effective enough so it doesn’t feel as though I’m about to cough up my left lung. She found something, pointed at the ingredients, and told me it had a tiny bit of alcohol in but nothing that should be harmful. I reflected on the large glass of red wine I allow myself at night, but said nothing. You’d be surprised how superior people can get when it comes to your breasts and what you do with them.

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