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  • jdettmann

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

An optimist is one who happily rides her friend’s bike with no pants on.

I am a pessimist. I specialise in negative visualisation. Much of my spare time, which these days is usually from 4 to 6 am when I can’t sleep, I spend constructing imaginary conversations with People Who Are Out To Get Me.

At the moment, those people are usually involved in one of my many worst-case scenarios surrounding the birth of our new baby. I’ve made plans for how to stand up for myself and talk back in politely forceful language when, for example, I end up having to have another caesarean birth and they tell me the new baby can’t stay with me in recovery, like they did with May Blossom. I’m still cross about that, even though it was only about half an hour and she spent that time stuffed naked down her father’s shirt, which got them off to a brilliant start bonding. This time, I’ve got my arguments and my plans all ready to fire off when I am thwarted.

I think my reasoning for this comes down to Murphy’s Law: if I imagine the bad things happening and prepare for them, then maybe they won’t come to pass.

There is, however, an alternative. May Blossom practises conversations she is going to have with people in which everything goes beautifully. Being two, she practices them out loud. H just came home from dropping her at my Mum and Dad’s house, and reported that on their way in she was quietly rehearsing a dialogue with my mum.

‘“Hello Amah.” “Hello May Blossom. Would you like to watch Play School?” “Yes, Amah, I’d love to watch Play School.”’

That’s all he caught of the imaginary chat, but I’ll put money on there being another act in which Pretend Amah offers Pretend May Blossom a babyccino and more than one cookie.

Maybe I need to try to be more like my little optimist. But probably with pants on.

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