The pregnant pause by Jo

[advert:mpu] I know several of my friends claim to have scary superior knowledge of the inner me. I am careful on my approach to telephone calls with these friends. I know not to start calls with “Guess what” because if I do, there is the inevitable moment of silence, secret hope, wonderment – the ultimate in pregnant pauses. No, I quickly interject wearily “I am not having another baby”!

I’m not quite sure where to start with this barrage of thoughts. I simply do not want a fourth body in the house, or a further demand on my time when I already feel stretched. It’s hard enough schlepping round three little ones to after-school activities, let alone the concept of a fourth being.

But saying all that when I see a cute little baby (obviously not screaming nor ugly – because surely that defeats the object of having a baby in the first place) I just go goo, ahh and smile inanely.

Which reminds me of the time that I went up with a friend to the Lake District (when Barney was seven months) because I was radioactive -  a story for another time I think - and couldn’t be near children –(but absolutely fine to sit next to an unknowing stranger on the train for three hours. What are these doctors on?).

We spent four brilliant days walking around the lakes, getting lost and approaching derelict houses in want of help (I can feel the movie rights in my grasp). I loved the time away from Barney, the opportunity to be me (well a glowing Ready Brek version of me) but missed Barney dreadfully. In fact I realised quite how bad I was getting when I noticed I was stopping complete strangers to chat about their dogs. “ So how old are they?” “What’s the dog’s name?” “How often do you take it out for a walk?” “Is your dog sleeping well at the moment?” - Okay things had got out of hand. Here I was (a previous dog hater) having to coo over dogs as I couldn’t find any babies to coo over whilst climbing a mountain.(notice the clever avoidance of gender reference because you just can’t tell – not too different from babies without the essential clue giver of pink or blue clothes!!).

I digress. The point is that I will always be an ooer and a gooer. If I were to act on every ooh and goo I would have well over 100 children, and perhaps well over 100 dogs.

Every time I ooh and goo, I take myself to that place in my head and visualise. “Stop” I say, think 4 boys jumping on the sofa, and catapulting themselves forward on to the floor narrowly missing the fireplace by 2 cms. Think food fights at breakfast time, marmite on the carpet and never ever being invited to friend’s houses. Think 4 big teenage boys trying to find room on the sofa to watch a film. Think bankruptcy, bailiffs and the fact that we’ve only got a small fridge-freezer.

And there I stop. Visualisation over. Ovaries back in place. No more babies thank-you. But perhaps a dog…….

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