There are many things that I do not yet know about my child. I don’t know their sex, the colour of their eyes, whether they’ll have curly or straight hair, whether they’ll be talented at sports, or music or maths.
But there are a few thing I do know. For example, I do know that they will support the Brisbane Bears and Queensland’s Mighty Maroons. Family life would be too difficult otherwise.
This practical requirement for harmonious familial relations does however raise certain logistical problems. How does one ensure that their child supports a now defunct (in name if not location) football team and a State in which they’ll probably never live?
Part of me is attracted to Bill Simmons’ Pavlovian approach to child/team loyalty:
“When my kids were babies, I thought about holding Yankees hats and Lakers hats over their heads in their crib, then pinching them until they started crying (to condition them to instinctively hate those logos/colors).”
Such an approach would seem entirely justifiable to me when it comes to Collingwood colours (and would head off any malicious counter-programming from deluded uncles), but sadly I don’t think I’d be able to get approval from my co-parent for such a “Clockwork Orange” style approach of negative reinforcement.
As such, I’ve decided to settle for second best; positive reinforcement. During the all-important pre-language formative period Maroon and White and Maroon and Yellow will be accompanied by lots of hugs and smiles and laughter. To seal the deal, I’ve also managed to pick up an authentic Brisbane Bears plush doll for the cot so that not a second of waking life will be lost to the opportunity of sporting propaganda. It can’t fail.
Actually, come to think of it, I might also have to shield them from images of Trevor Gillmeister in Queensland colours until their teen years too just to be safe.
Pregnancy is definitely a curious thing to happen to your body.
For me in my first trimester, it’s involved life-sucking fatigue, an unfamiliar sense of breathlessness even walking up a flight of stairs, mild waves of nausea at all times of the day, beer lout-style burping and non-food-blogger-friendly bouts of indigestion.
One of the strangest things though has been my heightened sense of smell…and my developing hatred of men’s deodorant.
I first noticed it when I walked through the men’s department of Myer. The woody perfumed scents assaulting my nostrils made me want to gag and I practically ran to the lift just so I could get away from it.
Then I discovered that I’d feel a bit sick whenever Tim came to hug me (I guess my nose comes to about his shoulder height). Poor guy, I suggested that maybe he apply his deodorant on after he’d left the house but he drew the line when I chose to sit on our balcony in the winter chill rather than be in the same room with him. An hour after he’d had a shower, applied roll-on, left the house to get some milk and returned home, I could still smell that bloody Lynx. ‘I’m sorry darling, but I can’t not wear deodorant for you, I’ll be a social pariah!’.
The low point came when I was hemmed up against a guy with particularly strong deodorant on the 109 tram in peak hour. Nowhere to go, and trying to hide my dry-retching. I launched myself out the door at my stop, gulped in the night air and sat on a bench with my head between legs wondering whether I could elegantly throw up in the bin next to me.
The feeling passed and fortunately now that I’m nearing the end of my first trimester, the nausea seems to have too. However, I don’t think I’ll ever be wearing perfume again. And men’s deodorant? Forever ugh.
Ok, so finding out that you’re going to be having a child is a joyous occasion right? And if it’s your first child, you don’t have to think about it too much before you realise it’s going to be a genuinely life changing event.
Big news + major life change would usually = immediately talking it over with close friends. I’m really not smart enough to work these things kinds of things out for myself. And being an inveterate extrovert I don’t feel comfortable until I’ve canvassed the angles on something with the people I trust (maybe it’s my history in the ALP – I need to know what my focus group is saying!). Something as big as a first child is something that I would ordinarily need to workshop out over at least 3 or 4 pints at the local.
But not so fast. For very good reason, all of the medical, family and literary advice is not to tell your friends and family the news until you reach the three month mark. Now I’m not arguing with this approach. It’s clearly the most sensible, big picture approach. But I’m still going to give this a big fat NOT. I really hated this limbo period and am massively relieved that it’s over.
As it turned out, a number of our friends had worked it out for themselves when confronted with the otherwise inexplicable sight of JJ as a picky eater (saying no to soft cheeses and SHOCK cured meats). So in the end it wasn’t only frustrating, but pointless too apparently.
Eons ago I just had a cubicle-bound day job. Then I started a side project, blogging my travels and day-to-day life in London at LDN: HOT OR NOT. When I moved back to Melbourne the blog morphed into this here MEL: HOT OR NOT. Then my friend CazM suggested I help her start the decisive guide to Brisbane, cue side-side project BNE: HOT OR NOT. Along the way I thought ‘hey, wouldn’t it be cool to start an online business selling stylish bike accessories’, and so I launched the side-side-side project CycleStyle.
And now I’m about to embark on another project. In fact, this is a HUGE SPECIAL PROJECT involving me, my husband who you all know as RM, and a wee little 12 week old baby (henceforth known as The New Kid On The Block or NKOTB).
Yes, RM and I are going to be first-time parents come February next year. And naturally for two bloggers, we’ve decided to start a joint blog all to share all of our excitement, confusion and nervousness, a side-side-side-side project called (don’t groan) TOT: HOT OR NOT.
Why start another blog? Well, I think Pip from blog Meet Me At Mikes said it very well recently: “It’s about expressing and documenting and sharing and creating a legacy you are proud of.”
So TOT will be about us charting the unknown territory of pregnancy and parenthood, our experiences of the new world of baby stuff we’re now going to have to acquire and reviews of kid-friendly places around Melbourne. We want to share our stories with other parents and we want to learn from others – and hopefully it’ll be an entertaining read too!