Yes, I've been a bad Gingerbread Lady and haven't posted in ages and ages. In case you've been worried about me, I have to reassure you that this was mostly due to the fact that nothing much was happening in my life. As I said, pregnancy is sucking out my creativity - it's being turned into valuable vitamins and minerals for my little Murkel. But I am doing a number of baby blankets - 2012 is awash with fecundity. This is one I just finished:
As you can see, I am expanding daily. Daily. As in, every day. My midriff now has a mind of its own and, as you can see above, has started to gatecrash photographs. If you've never been pregnant before, you might find it alarming to imagine that one morning you wake up and look down - and you've grown a potbelly overnight. Or so it seems. Even more unsettling is the fact that everyone congratulates you on your roundiness: what a great bump I have! How rotund I've become! It's like wearing a very silly hat: everyone feels compelled to comment on it.
In addition, I'm beginning to feel movement (strange) and see movement (creepy). Mr Gingerbread is currently reading a book about his impending fatherhood and this is giving him Notions, e.g. every time I mention that I can feel something squirming inside, he drops everything to get in on the action by kneading my stomach. Yesterday he had his hand on my stomach when the fruit of his loins decided to karate chop the wall of my uterus. He shrieked and whipped his hand back, as though stung. "I'm sorry," he said, "but that just feels weird." Haha. Bet they didn't tell him that in his stupid book.
See, gone are the days when men were present at conception (just about) and then, nine months later, were hauled out of the pub closest to the hospital, handed a cigar and told the sex of their offspring. No. Nowadays, they are involved from the beginning onwards and are encouraged to interfere.
"Your bag is too heavy, let me carry it."
"No, it's not too heavy. I took most of the stuff out of it so I could carry it myself."
"Give it to me, I'll carry it."
"I said I was fine, thank you."
"You're pregnant, let me carry it."
(tug of war with bag ensues)
"I'm pregnant. It's a condition, not a disability. Let me carry my own bag, please."
Worse still is the Battle of the Bicycle. Mr Gingerbread is not keen on my riding a bike. We have a battle of wits every time I try to mount my trusty velocipede. He's not so much afraid of my cycling abilities, but rather the possibility of me falling off, or being hit by some other vehicle. Clearly, there is more of me to hit than there was before, but that doesn't mean that the entire population of Gingerbreadtown has plans to whack me off my bicycle on the way to work (and if they did, they'd have to drive up into the bicycle path to do so.) On the rare occasions that I cycle, he stands in the doorway and watches me reproachfully, his big, blue eyes full of remorse at my wilful endangerment of our unborn child.
P.S.: Mammy, I know you're reading this and I know your fingers are itching to pick up the phone and lecture me the dangers posed by bicycles in pregnancy. I cycle at a snail's pace on bicycle paths, I will not fall off, go into premature labour or be hit by a bus, I promise. The husband has already outlined every possible danger from attacks by rabid squirrels to crashes involving out-of-control trucks.
No need to worry, honest.