Friday, 26 February 2010

No child should get a headstone as a birthday present

But that's just what Scott got, this year.
A friend of mine very sadly lost her child a year ago today. She had to terminate her pregnancy for medical reasons. Every day since then she has lived with the pain of the child she lost. She is pregnant again now and pulling her life back together. She's one of the bravest women I know. Today she will spend the day with him at his grave, his shiny, newly-installed headstone a present that absolutely no child should have for their first birthday.
My spiritual beliefs don't really give me any guidance in this situation, and that hurts. Most religions have a plan for death, an outline, an inkling. It's comforting. Mine say 'You just have to trust the universe' and so I do. I trust the universe is looking after Scott. I trust he somehow understands that his mother loves him. I trust he is looking after his new baby brother or sister.
Happy Birthday, Scott.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Thursday Blogshare: How Not To Dress Like A Mom

So every Thursday I'm going to start sharing some of the blogs I have bookmarked, because they're pretty awesome, and everyone should know about them. is the MILFtastic Jae's fashion blog, primarily directed at slaves mothers, but with a lot of fashion advice for everyone. And while she definitely has an eye for trends and for what's hot, she also gives advice that most women can follow without looking like they ran through Topshop with a butterfly net, putting on whatever they came out with. She doesn't want us to all look like 17 year olds (in fact, she advises quite strongly that we should NOT dress too young) she just wants us all to look good.

Sensible advice written with humour. Easy to follow, Jae doesn't expect you to have tons of cash, and she is more likely to suggest a style or type of clothing, rather than a specific item from a specific store and coming across a bit like a paid advertiser.

Whether you just had a baby or you just need some fashion advice, Jae has a tip for you.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


A loud wail starts up over the tinny static of the baby monitor. I tromp upstairs as fast as I can, but the wailing is continuous. Unlike usual, she doesn't even stop to wait and see if I'm coming, or when she hears my footsteps on the stairs. I climb over my sleeping husband and snuggle in next to my baby, releasing a boob. All the while, she shrieks. She latches on, and there is silence.

Me: You know, a quieter cry would have produced the same result, A.B.
A.B.: Pfffflllrn.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Who am I?

An interloper, I expect. Much like most people, who I am changes. sometimes I am the person sitting at the back of the room, quietly watching, who you don't notice until I disagree with you. Loudly. sometimes I am in the middle of the circle, speaking first and fast. Loudly. Sometimes I am the adjudicator between the other two people taking these roles, asking everyone to please just calm down and lets-all-get-along. Loudly.

I always have an opinion, until I don't. I am always friendly, until I'm not. I can always see the other side, until I can't.

I'm pretty much like a lot of people you've already met.

Like most bloggers, I am also helplessly self-obsessed, convinced I have many important and interesting and valuable things to say. I probably don't, really, but no one can stop me from blogging so for now I'm going to have my say completely uninterrupted. Bliss!

What makes me yoo-neek? What is my life like? Well, I have a wonderful husband, who we will call Mr Arienette. Mr Arienette and I met fairly young and got married very young. Not for any particular reason, other than that we were in love and impatient. We're on the cusp of celebrating our second wedding anniversary and our third anniversary of being a couple. We have a 7 month old daughter, called A.B. (well, she's not, but that's what I'm calling her) A.B. or Bug, as she is more commonly known, is of course the most intelligent, beautiful, and wonderful baby on the entire planet. This is a given. She is also enormously chubby. I say this with the utmost love and pride. Why am I so proud of my baby's vast, rotundnessitude? Because even at 7 months old she's almost exclusively breastfed. Despite the fact that she has a severe milk allergy, and so to do so I have to cut ALL dairy out my diet. Despite the fact that consequently I have a BMI of under 15. Despite the fact that not a single person believed I would be able to. Despite the fact that I live in a culture that vilifies the natural and normal use of breasts to feed babies. Despite the fact that I was surrounded day and and day out with the subtle but overwhelming message that breastfeeding was not normal, was distasteful, was too hard, wasn't necessary, was 'icky', was a little bit perverted, was only for poor people, was only for older mother, was unbearably painful, was not as good as formula feeding. Despite all this conditioning, I decided to feed my baby and once I made that decision, I didn't let a damn thing stand in my way. So that, in fact, is why I am really fucking proud whenever I see my girl's Buddha belly graze the carpet. Because with all that bullshit in my way I still steamroll past it every day with a smile on my face and my finger in the air. At 6 months with no food other than breastmilk we were a rarity, being part of less than 1% of the population exclusively breastfeeding at that point. I personally know of at least 2 mothers who were waiting for the 6 month half-birthday to stop feeding and 'know' many more from online parenting forums, so at 7 months still feeding, we are now extremely rare. How special are we?!

I live in London, near my husbands family but very far away from my own, who are scattered over two other continents and three countries. This sometimes makes me sad, but we are planning to relocate next year to be closer to a better way of life for our daughter. Mr Arienette is also looking forward to a reasonable excuse to wear shorts all the time, and hopefully a job where no tie is required. And watermelon. He is a massive fan of watermelon.

I have been writing most of my life, poetry and prose. I briefly attempted to do it professionally (and by that I mean I attempted to gain a degree in Creative Writing, because we all know being a student is the same thing as being a Proper Grown Up) but first ill health and then pregnancy got in my way. I will always be grateful to my teachers though, for what they gave me in the months they taught me. If I ever write a book, it'll be dedicated to them and to my A-level English teacher, who first informed me that actually, I was a writer, and not an actress as I had assumed I was in my very blinkered 16 year old way. I don't write anymore in the sense that I don't write poetry or prose. Motherhood is a tiring business and I've written one poem since I embarked on it properly. For now I don't have the energy to give myself over to it. My muse is busy campaigning for a better world for my daughter to grow up in.

I love crafty things, and reading, and listening to music, and watching things. I love to be entertained. I love to create things and to have things created for me. I love the magic of theatre and art and music. I love the escapism of TV and movies. These things bring me a very childish and satisfying pleasure.

I have a lot of health problems that I won't list in this post, because they are dull, and they make me dull. They will come up and I will explain them, but for now lets pretend I'm interesting enough that they don't matter.