Tales from the Front Lines

No particular change with the contractions. I generally get one or two an hour, and flu-like fatigue most of the time. As a rule, going to the mailbox is too hard, and so is sitting in a normal chair for more than about twenty minutes. The relaxin hormone (the one that relaxes muscles) is doing its thing again, meaning more reflux, more back pain and more hip pain. Bones crunch in my back when I walk. When I turn over at night, I bite my lip to keep from crying out in pain.

The thought of another 24 hours of pregnancy – a whole long day and a whole long night – fills me with such depression that it borders on a panic attack.

It’s possible I still have over two weeks to go.

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Here are some true stories of early childhood – a perfect cocktail of humour and horror for your Wednesday afternoon.

My friend’s four-year old daughter was playing happily in their living room with toy cars. She drove them on a variety of different surfaces – the floor, the table, the chairs, and the TV. She is just old enough to entertain herself – what an exciting developmental milestone! Unfortunately, the TV was a brand new flatscreen and the cars had magnets in them. Thus endeth the flatscreen.

The following stories are all about my nephew, who is now six years old. To protect the guilty, I’ll call him Fred.

Fred is an unusually clever child, particularly regarding mechanisms. If you operate an electrical item – TV, laptop, phone – in the same room as him even once, he will know how to use it from then on. When he was about 18 months old, his mum was hanging out washing with him in the backyard. He wandered inside, and cheekily closed and locked the back door. Knowing that she always left the front door open, his mother was unconcerned. She hung out the rest of the washing quickly, and walked around the house to let herself back in. Fred had already locked the front door, opened the safety gate barring his way into the kitchen, and was “cooking” with large quantities of milk and flour on the kitchen floor. His mother was forced to smash a window to get in.

Demonstrating his remarkable independence and the ability to plan ahead with remarkable sneakiness, Fred ran away from home more than once, and was apprehended by the police (via neighbours) twice before he was three years old.

Last year (age six) Fred found a photo of his other mum (his birth parents divorced and his dad has remarried) that he liked, so he cut it out to put in his craft box.

Let’s pause here, dear reader, to imagine what the worst possible scenario could be, based on the above paragraph. I can inform you that Fred showed clear awareness of guilt, hiding the pieces of the photo and its surroundings inside his craft box where he thought they would remain undiscovered.

I bet I know what you’re thinking: wedding photos. That was my first guess too – but no. The reality was so much worse. Fred had destroyed his mum’s passport.

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These stories teach us two things:

1. Use contraceptives.

2. Don’t wish for smart children.

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CJ and I are currently working on teaching our cats what shiny new baby items are off limits (baby bouncer, stroller, bassinet, cot). It’s a lot for them to learn, especially since so many of the places they’re suddenly not allowed to go are extremely appealing (soft, and just the right size). We’ve left a certain amount of space for them inside Louisette’s room (not that they’ll be allowed in there with her for a good long time yet), and set up a pair of comfy boxes for their exclusive use. Here is Ana modelling both the open space and her towel-lined box (looking shifty because she’s not yet sure where she is and is not allowed to go):

Published by Felicity Banks

I write books (mainly adventure fantasy for kids and young adults), real-time twittertales, and a blog of Daily Awesomeness. @Louise_Curtis_ and http://twittertales.wordpress.com. My fantasy ebook is on sale at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/278981.

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