I’ve recently been a bit absent from the blog on account of the fact that I had a baby seven weeks ago. Firstly, I can’t believe that nobody ever told me they’re not actually delivered by storks. Secondly, I can’t believe that nobody ever told me how much they actually seem to enjoy crying. I mean I can see the attraction – sometimes I like nothing more than to sit down with a huge box of tissues, an even bigger box of chocolates and watch Terms of Endearment (Leigh also sometimes likes to sit down with a huge box of tissues, but that’s another story ...) but at least when I cry I don’t also crap myself at the same time. Well, not usually.
Anyway, it feels quite odd having produced a creature which has acquired Australian citizenship before us. There’s no multiple choice test for her, only the requirement to learn Waltzing Matilda and Redback on the Toilet Seat before her fourth birthday (or, in our case, Redback Nest in the Electric Box Outside Our House). Yes, Leigh recently informed me, three months after the event, that when he went out to spider-spray, he found a Redback and her nest inside the metre box. Being a mother now myself, I should probably be overcome by remorse that he sprayed that box full of spiderlings to kingdom come. But I’m not. Ironically, Tivvy's full name (Tivona) means 'lover of nature' in Hebrew - and I honestly do hope that she grows up to love and respects all of God's creatures. Except for spiders.
Since having Tivvy, there are certain things I’ve learned. Not about babies – I still don’t understand them. No, I’ve learned that the healthcare system here is very good (if you’re giving birth). Labour might not be the most fun anyone can have in a day (or, sometimes, if you’re very unlucky, two days) but, boy, did I have a great view from the hospital window. It was like a hotel suite and, as I wallowed in a bath, like a human hippo, I was able to enjoy uninterrupted views of the Adelaide Hills, along with the midwife’s head, as she kept bothering me by trying to monitor the baby. Yup, it sure was a great experience – they even offered me ice lollies but I declined. I’d have preferred candyfloss, but you can’t have it all, and it’s the thought that counts. I don’t recall the name of the midwife who delivered the baby, despite the fact I spent about 12 hours in her company. I do think she introduced herself at the start but – and here’s a tip – if you ever want someone to remember your name, don’t do the intro mid contraction. It was so good though that I managed to do the whole thing without even a whiff of gas and air and I'm thinking about going back next week to have pins stuck all over my body.
Having the baby has also opened up a whole new world to me – it has drawn me closer to wonders I could never have previously imagined; namely the joy of late night talkback radio. Wow! I never thought people were capable of speaking so much shite at five in the morning (well, not unless they’d just left the Ministry of Sound). It seems that there is an element of blandness and inanity running through certain factions of the Adelaide population that can’t be found in any other city. It’s a small town mentality that makes someone believe it’s hugely important to speak at length (40 mins in total – and 10 mins without drawing breath) about the ins and outs of town crying. And all this at five of the morning clock. As I sat there feeding the baby, listening to the Salisbury town crier talk about polishing his bell end, I suddenly realised why they were called town criers, as I for one was brought to the edge of tears through sheer boredom. It was clear to see that he could easily make a whole town weep profusely and beg for mercy. Not so much ‘oyez’ as ‘oy vey’. Did the man have no self-editing capabilities? And suddenly I realised, as the baby let forth another wail, that if I had to choose between his crying and her crying, I’d opt for Tivvy’s every time. At least she’s too young to know any better.
So that’s it for this time – something is stirring in the pram and about to test how loud and how long it can shout for. It’s either the baby or the Salisbury town crier ...