Thursday, May 18, 2006

Letter To A 28 Week Old Mathematical Genius

Dear Tiny But Feisty Person Currently Occupying My Uterus

It’s been a while but I’m finally putting fingers to keyboard. How’s it all going in the Pink Palace?

A little snug is what I’m guessing, what with all the feet I keep finding in my bellybutton.

The other morning your father was feeling you kick about and he decided he’d do a little gentle prodding back and then suddenly the two of you were engaged in some sort of bizarre poke-off where he would poke at you and you would poke back.

I was banned from laughing because the movement was preventing C from feeling the full force of your amazing new power and anyway who am I right, I’m just the large warm fleshy barrier lying between you both.

When you both finally collapsed with exhaustion, C said he was teaching you how to count.

This week C is away setting up a new project. I told him that you started doing that belly button poking thing again and he got sad because he was missing you. So then I said that I didn’t poke you back because that was a special game you have, just between the two of you, and that made him feel better.

Of course I was lying through my teeth and when he gets back on the weekend you can show off your Long Division skills.

A couple of weeks ago your aunty N did the Scientifically Proved Ring Test over my belly which said that you must be a Boy. And then, while I was at a Playwrights’ Conference on the weekend a woman told me that according to every Italian woman she had ever known, my bump was boy shaped. But one of my friends had a psychic episode and declared you were a Girl and then last night I dreamed that I had already given birth to you and you were indeed a Girl.

So who knows?

The dream actually went on to reveal you were also incredibly slippery and I dropped you a couple of times and then decided you really would be better off back inside me and I'd only given birth so prematurely because I was impatient to meet you and then I was working out the best way to swallow you whole and then thankfully I woke up.

Your cousins the Naughty Nephews have been very helpful with suggesting names and because we’re not sure of your gender (although that woman with all the Italian women friends was very persuasive) they have given me both sorts.

Naughty Nephew the 1st has provided a selection of lovely names all based on girls in his class he fancies or boys who are among his best friends. Among the girls he rates Chloe and Phoebe very highly and I was pleased to note that the other day he included Bronte as a suggestion. I am yet to meet Phoebe or Chloe but I have met Bronte several times and she is a lovely thoughtful polite little girl.

Naughty Nephew the 2nd, with his finger firmly on the Literary Pulse, has suggested Klaus, Violet or Sunny (being the names of the Baudelaire Children in Lemony Snicket’s delightful “A Series Of Unfortunate Events”). Violet gets extra points because she is also the daughter in “The Incredibles”.

And finally Naughty Nephew the 3rd, he of the blue saucer eyes, has suggested…his own name. But with a 2 on the end. You know, like with Shrek 2.

Today, I went to visit Grumpy Grandad (That’s Grumpy Great Grandad to you) and he suggested that I could use my deceased mother’s name.

Just on the off chance that it hadn’t occurred to me.

All suggestions are gratefully received of course. But at the moment I treat names the same way I treat gifts of baby clothes and baby items. I just don’t know what to do with them so I shove them in a cupboard or a corner to deal with later.

Even now, at just on 28 weeks, it still seems a long time till you’ll be safely in my arms.

Even with the dreams and the Ring Test and Poking Belly Button games, it still seems surreal.

Yes, you might be a baby, but you also might be my liver wearing boots and equipped with tiny fists.

Which of course would explain why you keep trying to beat up my bladder.

But despite the regular thrashings of various internal organs, despite the necessity to sleep sitting up, despite the sore back and shoulders...things are good.

Sometimes I look at my belly in the mirror and am shocked at how quickly my body has changed. But shocked in a good way. I can be hypnotized watching the ripples in my skin caused by you turning over, or stretching, or sculling a little amniotic fluid (like I know you do). I feel you when I'm driving or watching Very Boring Plays or when I'm meant to be having important business type conversations and it makes me smile.

I don’t mind too much when old ladies and friends of my parents touch my belly because I think it’s amazing too. In fact I think it's a complete miracle and maybe it's my civic duty to provide a Belly Touching service to anyone who needs it because that's how incredible and wonderful it all is.

And above all, I'm happy.

That's you who’s done that.

So thankyou.

And give the bladder a break some times, ok?