Tuesday 27 January 2015

Being pregnant is like being a minor celebrity but the aftermath is just a little boring

After settling into post-pregnancy life with himself, Sophie White sometimes longs for the interest pregnancy brought upon her.

Sophie White

Published 28/07/2014 | 02:30

Mother and baby
do nice things for you that really 
aren't necessary, such as carrying a 
net of oranges and a litre of milk 
to your car.
Sophie White

Being pregnant is like being a minor celebrity. Strangers want to talk to you.

They take an interest in odd things, such as what you are having for lunch and how you are 'dressing the bump'. I didn't actually notice my bump requiring any particular dressing or maintenance - I just kept dressing myself and the bump just fell in line with whatever I was wearing. People 
do nice things for you that really 
aren't necessary, such as carrying a 
net of oranges and a litre of milk 
to your car.

It really is such a comedown that, once the baby is out in the world, nobody is interested in you anymore. You become just a bit player in your own life. Even where the Bitchherd is concerned, if I arrive somewhere sans baby, there is a palpable air of disappointment.

It is cruel that so soon after getting a taste of the fame thing you are then cast aside, a mere conduit or host body for what really mattered: the Baby.

Then, there is a subtle transition. Initially, you take to the streets with a brand-new baby and people get very excited. They come up to you to commend you for 'getting out' - this is the easiest praise you will ever earn, so bask in it. Especially as the goodwill is fleeting, and gone completely once the baby starts to more closely resemble a child. This is around the time that I began to perceive a kind of low-level generalised hatred directed at me.

I get it, the pram is annoying, babies cry and vomit. My one really enjoys being nude, which is jarring for someone who is just going for a casual gawk in the pram. The irony is that once this stage hits, you really need the kindness of strangers, but now that you've got your hands full, nobody wants to carry the oranges for you.

Last week the child was screaming, I was sweating and grappling with the buggy in a cafe, with no offers of help forthcoming. Then I noticed a heavily pregnant woman was putting on a jacket assisted by no less than four kindly strangers. I was irritated but smiled at her anyway.

I realised I had been on the receiving end of this smile several times when I was pregnant. I always thought it was a 'welcome to the club, co-conspiratorial, secret mother's handshake' type of a smile. But now I know it means: "soak it up, soon they won't want to know you".

Now, whenever I see an expectant first-time mother I have a strong urge 
to say: "quick, have another fried 
peanut butter and banana sandwich 
and go stare at a wall for 10 hours straight while you still can" - oh, 
the luxury.


The Elvis

Serves 1 - You'll never convince anyone else to join you in this tasty heart attack

You will need:

1 teaspoon butter

1 banana

1 tablespoon dark-brown sugar

2 slices of buttered white bread

1 generous tablespoon peanut butter

Honey, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, 
Gas 4. Heat the teaspoon of butter in a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Slice the banana in half lengthways, and leave the skin on. Sprinkle the cut sides with the dark-brown sugar and place the banana halves, sugar-side down, in the pan. Fry for about 5 minutes until they are nicely caramelised, then set aside.

Heat an ovenproof pan over a high heat. Place one buttered slice of bread, butter-side down, in the pan and spread the other side with the peanut butter.

Slip the banana halves out of their skins and arrange on top of the peanut butter. Place the other slice of bread on top, with the buttered side facing up.

Fry until the underside is crisp then flip the sandwich. Put the pan in the oven for 5 minutes to toast the underside and melt the peanut butter. Cut in half and drizzle with honey.

Sunday Independent

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