I submitted a piece for a competition that Motherland are running at the moment, the brief being any composition, less than 2,000 words, on the topic of Parenthood (current, or impending). It struck me that as parents to be, there are plenty of things we can spend our time worrying about, but ultimately, we're going to have to play it all by ear, and our baby is going to be happy if we are there for him / her (still a surprise!), and ultimately love them.
So, this is my piece about what our baby would ultimately tell us about parenthood, if they could do more than jab me in the ribs with their little legs (and arms, head, bum) to communicate. Fingers crossed for the competition x :
Parenthood: from inside the belly
I've only known you for seven and a bit months, but I feel like I know you inside out.
You've been my home, my transport, my sustenance, my playground (oh how I love hanging off those ribs), and I feel every concern, every flash of excitement, and every bit of irrational rage that you feel as we go through this journey together.
I know you worry about what kind of parent you'll be, and if you could hear me, I'd try and reassure you. Here is what I'd say:
· I'd tell you that three won't be a crowd. You and Dad seem happy, I hear you laughing, and I can tell when his hand is on your belly that there is so much love there, that no matter how many sleepless nights and poo-gates you face, you'll both get through it.
· I'd tell you that when you feel those jabs and kicks in your stomach, it's just me telling you that I'm here, happy and healthy (and getting into my football). I hear you swear, and take a sharp intake of breath, and I feel you wonder if I truly hate you at times, but I don't, really I don't.
· I'd tell you that I'll try not to cry, and I'll try to sleep, and I'll try to fit in and make life easy. But sometimes, I'll just be wondering where you are (I don't quite understand the idea of you leaving the room just yet), or I'll be hungry, or wet, and somehow together, we'll work out some way to communicate.
· I'd tell you to stop thinking that I'm going to cause you pain when I enter this world. I'll try and make it fast and painless, and just swim out as fast as I can. There might be a few jolts along the way, but I'll do my best.
· I'd tell you that I'm pretty flexible really. I'll go where you go, do what you like to do, and as long as I can see you, feel you, be hugged by you, I'll be pretty happy.
· I'd tell you that I won't care whether I have the right buggy, baby monitor, or on-trend baby-gro. I don't know the difference to be honest, I'm only little.
· I'd tell you that I don't care how you feed me. The boob sounds pretty great, but if that doesn't work, you cuddling me and feeding me in any way that makes you happy, makes me happy too.
· I'd tell you that some of the names you're considering are quite frankly ridiculous, and I hope to god that nickname you keep calling me doesn't stick. But I'm sure when you see my face, you'll make the right choice.
· I'd tell you that your body will feel like your own again. Any scars or changes will only remind you of what we've been through together. Bikini's won't be scary, I promise, you'll just feel proud of what we achieved.
· I'd tell you what a brilliant family we'll be, whether we stay as three or grow to more.
· I'd tell how excited I am to meet you. 9 weeks and counting. Almost a lifetime to me, but the somersaults will make it go faster.
· I'd tell you I love you already. You're my mum and dad. That's the only thing about parenthood you need to know.
Lots of love (and a few more punches, and kicks, just so you know I'm here),
Little Keylock xx