It's been a bit of a surreal week so far. On Monday 3rdSister (aged 2) informed me that she had a 'little ball stuck up my nose.' I believed her, initially, but my cautious exploration made me think my fingernail was scraping on an inside bone of her nose (shudder), so I put it down to a snot bubble and shipped her off to Gran's while I did my antenatal pool workout. Later on, when I was changing her nappy beneath a direct light, I found she was telling the truth after all - I managed to help her push out a small circular bead, thankfully with a hole through the centre, and got on with making dinner. On the one hand, I just put this down as one of those normal, everyday things a mother has to do; but on the other, I thank God for being on this and ensuring it didn't get any worse!
Mess (not even our house, either, and we made it messy.)
The reason she'd found the bead in the first place was because, now I've got my 16-weeks-pregnant mojo going on, we had a bit of a house-sorting weekend and the sofas in the lounge were re-arranged, thus revealing an assorted array of toys, tissues, tiny playthings and dust. We also extracted ALL of the toys that were in there for a big sort, so in my kitchen I am trying to box up dolls/doll clothes/cot, lego/wooden blocks, books in a bag, and so on. The lounge, however, is completely empty, and I find it weird. "You like mess, " my husband said. "No, I like a lived-in look, " I replied. "Mess," he reiterated.
Since I wrote Take 1 above, coincidentally, a friend of 3rdSister's from church and Pram Service had to be taken to the Accident and Emergency department after lodging a kernel of SWEETCORN up her nose. Unlike my bead extraction, this required surgical implements and a lot of screaming at nurses. (The little girl's mum is a nurse. Uh-oh.) TOLD you it's a weird week.
During this second trimester I've been having seriously odd dreams. I know it's TMI, but some of them are emanating from some deeply-buried warped erotic subconscious. At the weekend, for example, Justin Bieber was begging me to sleep with him (and although I may enjoy his tunes, any other type of attraction to him just makes me go ewww!!) in real life. This isn't the weird thing, though (all the best pregnancy websites assure me these types of dreams are completely normal.) The weird thing is that I tweeted about the weird dream, and not long afterwards someone posted back that Justin Bieber was visiting my city soon and wanted to make a film with us both in it! (I can only guess what sort of film it would be based on my odd dream.) And then, mysteriously, the tweet disappeared as suddenly as it had arrived. Obviously, a case of silly spam and an efficient spam-removal service. But it made me feel like I was living in a parallel universe for a couple of hours, in which I imagined I was going to be walking the red carpet with The Bieber.
I'm frustrated today - a longtime friend who kept trying to make plans to visit when I was ill in my first trimester, cancelled on us today. In a way it's a relief not to be hosting, but I've spent the week focusing on some small details for the visit - ensuring fresh soup was delivered, a cake baked yesterday, and baking little cakes at 7.30am this morning. I even listened to the breadmaker kneading dough at 3.30am! I'm still planning to mop the floor though (after we've eaten lots of cake as a second breakfast), so at least domestically things are looking up, even if I feel exhausted because of an event that never happened!
Cake for breakfast
Another odd thing - I've recently realised how good 1stSister has become at lying. Not evil, bad lying, but lying nonetheless. She's been writing 'thank yous' from her eighth birthday. In fact she designed templates on the computer, which she then filled in with the gift that had received, and then wrote a little bit about it. About a book she had been gifted but wasn't bothered about (we're talking an 8 year old who's tackling Lord of the Rings, here), she wrote "I read it all the time!" and about a jewellry crafting kit which kind of fell apart when she tried to use it, she wrote "I've made lots of lovely things!" I find this a bit surreal - one the one hand, she's imitating socialised, adult behaviour, but on the other - they are complete untruths!
Finally - someone more superstitious than I would put the weird week down to the impending doom of Halloween. But we don't really 'do' Halloween in our family anymore, not even in a Fulwiler way (see pictures below which include FirstSister dressed as a ghost in a towel). Here in the UK, churches seem to be a lot more anti-Halloween, and I am an official church minister after all these days, and our church is throwing a 'Light Party' to celebrate all the good stuff in the world/Jesus, instead of trick or treating for charity, or something. To me, this misses the point a little bit, although we've attended previous Light Parties. I agree to an extent with Dan Lord's piece on why it's good to confront our evils in a fun-filled way. As a social anthropologist, I'm convinced that mocking the nastiness in the world is a great way of helping confront it. But UK Halloween stuff seems to take elements of what happens in the USA and just render it a bit lame, really. Almost ALL of the costumes are based around witches, ghosts, skeletons etc - no happy pumpkins or glorious fancy dress. People moan about children wandering around the dark streets unaccompanied frightening the elderly. Most kids tend to make little effort - I remember one year a teenager in a black binliner growling 'trick or treat' and seeming offended by the sweets which we gave (I think most kids expect money). FirstSister gets to go to a Pumpkin Party at Brownies, mind you, and I've compromised by focusing on holy dead people (we're reading the wonderful Lion Book of Saints this month and next) and having a saint party with party food with bright colours, and a saint's treasure hunt that copies Kate Wicker's. Oops - I think this turned into a Halloween post! Have a good week everyone - and those of you in the USA, enjoy Halloween for us!
1stSister & 2ndSister Halloween 2007