You can put coins in my slot and you can take them out.
Who sings this?
If you guessed a perky bargirl on a tabletop in Manilla you would be wrong and also frankly go and look in the mirror and take a good hard look at yourself. But if you guessed a pink plastic moneybox in the shape of a pig, one that not only sings but comes with a hoard of plastic “coins” you would be right.
Along with those other milestones of Sitting Up, and Sliding on his Tummy, and realizing that Mummy’s Nipples can be Cruelly Wrenched When she is Looking the Other Way, Tricky has reached another important milestone – that of receiving a Very Annoying Toy.
This VAT sings when you depress its snout and chimes when you drop aforementioned “coins” into the ample “slot”. It also counts, snorts, sneezes and giggles. Mercifully it can be turned off.
It seemed merely a very silly song at first, one that made us smirk. But one weekend we accidentally left the VAT downstairs amongst the chess boards and packs of cards and other playthings of the Naughty Nephews. Because children have a natural affinity for things that annoy adults they gravitated towards it, played with it, AND LEARNED ITS ANNOYING LITTLE TUNE.
I AM A PIGGY BANK!
I HAVE A PIGGY SNOUT!
YOU CAN PUT COINS IN MY SLOT AND YOU CAN TAKE THEM OUT!
THE COINS GO IN THE SLOT!
CAN YOU HEAR THEM DROP?!
COME ON AND OPEN UP THE DOOR AND WE CAN PLAY SOME MORE!
You cannot imagine the horror of hearing this sung loudly in unison by three Naughty Nephews.
To be truthful it was only Naughty Nephew the 2nd who continued to sing it over and over, but he also had the accent down pat. As a result the VAT very nearly went the way of all loud annoying toys: a spell in the freezer.
But in other news, the book is in. YAY! Notes have been given and A Meeting had. Now for some rewrites and also some taking out of a few rude words. (The fuck?) Oh, and a title. Because it won't be L'Eggs Up And Laughing. It will be something else.
(Please don't pout. That doesn't help)
When will it be published?
Well here’s the funny thing. The editor and I were talking about it and she said February probably. For some reason I thought it was going to be way further in the distance and so February seemed kind of close.
Then she emailed back and said no, actually September. And that brought me down a bit because I thought…but September is so far away. Tricky will be over 2 by then and also of course we will have a second child.
It wasn’t till today’s meeting with another editor when she said no, September THIS YEAR, that I perked up because that seemed very jolly and close indeed.
And then, I realised the bizarre train of thought that had wound itself up in that publishing date. We will have a second child.
What I should have thought was we have a frozen embryo and because time is ticking on for me and my uterus that we would have at least had a go at bunging it in and embarking on that Great Big Fertility Ride again.
How could I have forgotten?
How could I just assume?
Was I insane?
The mind, I decided, protects its own. Just as the intensity of childbirth trickled out like water through the sleep deprived sieve of my mind, so too, it seems, did the memory of daily injections, bloodtests, dildocams and betas.
In that moment I was treating myself as... normal.
We will have a second child.
The line sings itself in the back of my mind, over and over, annoyingly persistent, smugly optimistic.
And it doesn’t take this half-Filipina bar girl more than the flick of a coin to realize that it’ll take more than a spell in the freezer to shut it the fuck up.