Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Cloyingly sweet

The air in our house is becoming steadily more blue at the moment. The normal household noise is being punctuated by soft utterings like "Oomph. You little bastard" as the baby uses L's insides as a punch bag.

This raises the question of ownership of our child-to-be. Whenever it's kicking hell out of L's bladder or something then it's always my baby. Said in the right tone, "Your baby is being a little sod" leaves absolutely no doubt in my mind that the fault for this is entirely mine. I'm sure this is a pattern that will continue well after birth.

Blame does have its lighter side, however. In that sickly cute way that we swore we would never stoop to, the slightest hiccough is blamed on the baby 'bouncing off the diaphragm'. It's the baby rather than L who is hungry or tired when she is snacking on biscuits or yawning her head off. If she feels a little off-colour then it's because the baby didn't like what we had for dinner. This feels like the most natural thing to be saying, even if it has long since ceased to be funny. How we have managed to avoid giving it a nickname like peanut or alien, I just don't know.

Bile-inducing as this behaviour is when viewed from the outside, I think it actually plays several important roles in our new lives. At the most basic level, even though we may be disguising the truth in what we say, we are at least talking to each other about what is happening and that's definitely a good thing.

It also allows me to feel more involved in the 'physical' side of the pregnancy. It's too early yet for me to be able to feel the baby kicking or anything so these comments give me an insight into what L is feeling at the moment.

The most important effect that it has, however, is that it helps to create a bond between us and the unborn baby. The human characteristics that we are bestowing upon it by talking in this way engender a feeling of affection for it that wouldn't otherwise (for me at least) exist yet. That in turn makes you feel more protective.

So if, when you next see me belch, you hear me say "bloody baby" under my breath, please understand that I do it for the best reasons. ;-)

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