I know I said I wouldn't be posting every day however we had such a lovely day today that I felt marginally inspired this afternoon. I thought that I’d sit down to my laptop and the words that had gone through my head would magically come flowing back to me however because I have Mother-brain and can’t remember anything that happened more than 10 minutes ago I am now sitting here with the vague memory of standing in the rain in Trafalgar Square with one of my best mates watching our boys battle it out from the damp confines of their buggies and thinking ‘so THIS is what it’s all about… must blog about it later’.
I always thought that one day I may have a baby. I never particularly wanted one more than I didn’t want one. I was sort of ambivalent. One of the clichés I had always bought into about having a baby is, well really it’s a handful of clichés. ‘Having a child lets you relive your childhood’ (but hopefully without the painful embarrassment and bullying); ‘You get to see the world through new eyes’ (which is good because my eyesight sort of peters out after 3 inches and everything gets blurry); and the old chestnut ‘They keep you young’ which is odd because I swear I have aged 10 years in the last 12 months. Taken together these are three seriously seductive concepts. Just think... all the best bits of childhood – toys you always wanted but never got, games you loved but never play anymore, that old jaded world stripped bare of rubbish and cigarette butts and suddenly revealing it’s secrets – and all that with a free face and body lift. Doesn't it sound ridiculously good?
Babies, however, don’t really give one the opportunity to experience all that doe-eyed loveliness. They can’t play games, you can’t put them on a rollercoaster or any other fun ride and besides watching them discover their own hands, which is, surprisingly, amazing, they don’t see enough of the world for it to look particularly new and unvarnished to their parents. And, crucially, they don’t let one sleep at all and make one worry oneself into the fast-track at the local Botox parlour.
What I’m getting at, I guess, is that up until now, while the spud has turned me from ambivalent female to gushing mother in a single bound, we’ve kind of just been taking it day by day and it’s been a fairly navel-gazing experience, not including the actual navel gazing done while we waited for his to shrivel up and fall off. Recently, however, he’s taken his gaze outwards and is noticing and, in his own way, commenting on the world around him. He’s starting to play and to interact with the world and it’s, well, sorta kinda maybe a bit cool.
Today, therefore, we ventured out in the hope of sun to see my good friend and her highly entertaining 2 year old for a day trip into the heart of London. Predictably, it rained, the sort of hazy, light rain that gets everywhere but doesn’t really get you wet. Starting in Green Park we strolled through to St. James’ park, ate in the restaurant and meandered our way via puddles and ducks through Horse Guards Parade and up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, just like in Monopoly. Mr. Highly Entertaining was brilliant. He hollowed out his bun and parked his car in it. He stood in EVERY puddle and gazed transfixedly at the horse guards. I was vaguely wondering what it will be like when the spud is able to do all those things when I noticed that he was staring in wonder at one of the big, bronze statues that litter London and was really interested. He was interested in the ducks, the pigeons, the squirrels, interested in Mr. Entertaining standing in a puddle, in the horses, the guards… I held him up to one of the lions in the square and he laughed and suddenly the air cleared slightly and it was like being on a school trip (or perhaps good drugs... but I digress...) and seeing it all for the first time… the double decker buses, the taxis, the fountains… my friend and I kept saying to each other ‘This is great! Why have we forgotten about all this stuff that London does?’ and grinning like idiots in the rain. Suddenly, London is new again, fresh. It’s no longer about nightclubs and work and taking the tube in rush hour but about all this great stuff I can show to the spud.
Roll on those clichés, I guess I’m ready now.