And so here we are again. It’s almost Valentine’s Day.
Looking back to this time last year, I see that my situation has changed radically in many ways … but my romantic situation remains resolutely static.
Of course, I’ve had one Bub-producing fling, for which I’m naturally grateful, but as far as being loved and adored goes, I can only give Cupid a pitiful D minus and send him to sit in the corner, wearing the dunce’s hat.
Yep, our arrow-slinging comrade has registered another year of romantic failure, but still, my optimism burns bright.
Who knows? Perhaps there’s someone out there who’s thinking of making my day by sending me a small but perfectly formed token of their devotion, wrapped in gaudily-coloured paper and delivered to my door?
Well, I can dream…
To be honest, most of the time I’m not remotely bothered whether I’m single or not. Of course, I’m a fan of kisses and cuddles and all of the rest, but I like myself enough to be happy in my own company. And at the ripe old age that I am, I’m finally brave enough to do (most of) the things I’d like to do, whether I’m accompanied or not. Even the thought of bringing up Bub alone doesn’t really feel like a tragedy … although I will confess to a very small wobbly moment in Mothercare just the other day.
I’d been spooked by the number of ‘Hello mummy’ emails from various hawkers of nipper-related merchandise, all of them jauntily informing me that, “it’s never too soon to prepare your hospital bag!”
Panicked by the idea that Bub might put in an appearance before I’d even had time to pack a toothbrush, I dutifully studied the list of must-haves … and very quickly realised that I’d need to invest in, “a post-birth nightdress, suitable for breastfeeding”.
Of course, I’d procured some nightwear to cover my modesty while delivering my child, but the concept of breastfeeding had completely passed me by. Somehow, the fact that my wardrobe would have to accommodate a whole new set of necklines hadn’t even entered my head.
Just one look at the list, however, convinced me that wearing my nightshirt round my ears whilst giving Bub his breakfast is not a look I’d be keen to attempt – particularly whilst endowed with the gigantaboobs of pregnancy. So off I trotted to Mothercare to check out the hot lingerie for breastfeeding mammas.
Now, it turns out that one doesn’t need to look appealing whilst breastfeeding – not even to oneself. Or at least that’s the conclusion I came to upon encountering the maternity nightdress section. I suppose that in a breastfeeding situation practicality is key, but I had been hoping for something slightly jaunty and uplifting, to keep my spirits aloft when it’s 4am and I’m holding my eyelids open with matchsticks.
So, unimpressed with the relatively dowdy selection, I was thumbing various pieces of fabric when a couple came along, equally intent on choosing appropriate night attire for the impending birth of their little one.
Naturally, I wasn’t really paying them much attention, but out of the corner of my eye I saw the guy hold up a couple of options, then lean over and gently stroke the woman’s bump and smile.
It was such a tender moment of complicit joy that it brought tears to my eyes. And then it crossed my mind that no one would ever stroke my bump like that and I had to leave the shop.
Now, I put this dramatic reaction down to pregnancy hormones, because I refuse to believe that I’m such a soppy old stick. And even if I am, is it really possible to get so emotional over someone else having their bump stroked? I mean – really! Where’s the logic in that?
Anyway, the upshot of all this soppiness is that I still have no bedroom garments suited to breastfeeding, so we’ll be having no surprise appearances from you just yet, Bub, thank you.
And as far as romance is concerned, I know we preggy ladies aren’t the easiest sell, but I’ll be expecting everybody’s favourite cherub to try much harder once Bub is on the scene and I’ve assumed my usual dimensions again. Because the simple fact that I don’t mind being on my own doesn’t mean I’d complain if I weren’t. Everybody likes to be adored … at least a bit every now and then.
So you may be off the hook this year, Cupid, but mark my words: if I don’t see an improvement in your behaviour soon, young man, you’re going to be in serious trouble.