Paint It Black
A mother, on the other hand, in my humble experience of less than two years, is more like the shell of a person. The stretched out, faded version of who she was before she was taken over by a body-snatcher or two.
These days, in the early second trimester of pregnancy in which you don’t yet have a proper bump, you just look like you ate all the pies, I feel like a pair of old black leggings. When you buy leggings, they are smooth and fit tightly; they are uniformly inky and bounce back into shape when you stretch them. When you have worn them for a while, though, and you have tossed them into the washer and the dryer and pegged them on the line in the hot sun a few hundred times, they stop being all those things. They come off the line with peg marks. They start to sag around the crotch. They pill and develop tiny holes. They’re not very black any more. And if you are feeling even a little bit sensitive, it’s very easy to see them as a reflection of your own shabby self.
This morning I refused to leave the house because I felt I looked like crap. Lately May Blossom has been going through a phase (please PLEASE let it be a phase) where my hair being anything but untied and dry causes her to burst into tears and howl “No hair, Mummy, no hair!’ at me for as long as it takes for my hair to return to a state of which she approves. (This is no exaggeration: as I reread this post, I just heard May Blossom, mid-nap, sleep talking about how bad my hair is.) Little effing dictator. There’s only so much of that I can handle right now, so I’m picking my battles. I have quick showers with my hair tied up into a hasty bun, and I wash my hair as infrequently as possible, and apart from that I’m rocking a look rather like Brad Pitt in the early 1990s.
This morning I had actually washed my hair but wasn’t allowed to dry it using either a towel (‘No hair!’) or a hairdryer (‘No noise!’) so I was walking around the house looking like a drowned rat. The energy required to apply some mascara and cover up my pregnancy spots was more than I could spare, and so I punished us both by staying in all morning. May Blossom and I tolerated each other, pretty much, and that was about it. I let her do some painting, but she painted every other colour in her paint set black (very much like this Fast Show sketch).
No-one was the winner. Except maybe evil pregnancy hormones. I think they might all be inside me high-fiving each other. I am no match for them. Or for articles about Kate Moss that make me want to paint my computer screen black.