In honour of my attempt to turn my blog into a slightly funnier and slightly less mundane book (since getting my degree I am going to try a new career every so often, starting with this), I ventured into Waterstones in order to find some kind of writing aid to give me a kick start. What I found instead, however, was an obviously put-out Paul sat on the floor in front of the self-help section with his head buried in I Can Make You Thin by Paul McKenna. Apparently, his last date didn't go too well as his new potential mate waited roughly 30 seconds before blatantly ignoring any kind of social norms and demanding to know how much Paul weighed, declaring anything over 9 stone to be "disgusting". He himself was obviously no bigger than a new-born goat, and the runt of the litter at that. (I just took a writing break to Google whether or not goats actually have litters - apparently they give birth in a relatively similar way to humans, apart from the fact that the ending result is obviously a goat and not a baby. I would've preferred this information without the graphic photograph, but that's the internet for you). Anyway, back to the original point, how do people like this actually exist in the world? They're probably the sole reason for the sale of most self-help books, with the obvious exception of I Can Make You Thin, which, quite frankly, sells itself (seriously, he can make you thin!). I joined Paul on the floor and was amazed at the sheer amount of help, and life altering help at that, one can get for the small sum of £9.99. If you think life is hard, I suggest you take a stroll through the aisles of Waterstones and realise just how wrong you are. In the space of just a week, you can transform yourself into a successful, thin, self-assured organic vegetable grower with "joyous and honest relationships that serve the deepest life purposes of each partner". And you get a free Indian head massager. What more can you ask for? (Although, personally, I wouldn't recommend the head massager for people with big hair - once when I was younger I spent an entire day trying to de-tangle a toothed headband from my mane, the remnants of which are probably still there today). There are even books on child rearing, one in particular that caught my eye called How Not to Fuck Them Up. If I ever reproduce, this is probably exactly the type of book I will be seeking out, although I sincerely hope that this is no time in the near future.
I imagine pregnancy to be somewhat akin to that feeling you get during your first roller coaster ride, sat in the seat as the safety bar goes down, feeling pretty nervous but excited at the same time. Then suddenly, it starts clicking up the tracks and you realise that you have just made the biggest mistake of your life and you need to get off now. You try and explain your situation to those around you, only to be greeted by smiles and congratulations on your bravery as the peak of the hill looms closer and the people below get smaller and smaller; and then you are suddenly thrown forward at about 400mph as your body flies downwards, your stomach stays at the top and you basically wish you were dead. Pregnancy, right?
Even worse than pregnancy (I imagine), is the actual process of having and raising a child. I won't go into detail about how I imagine actual childbirth to be (I don't want my blog turning up in those kind of searches) but I feel that raising a child is a feat somewhat underrated. I always thought that having a baby wold basically consist of feeding it, putting it to sleep (not in the animal sense), and hoping it doesn't shit all over you - rinse, lather and repeat until school age. However, after spending not even and entire day with my cousin's two-year-old, I have realised that this is not the case. They need entertaining every minute of the day. Literally, every minute, and in exchange for a moment's silence you are required to sacrifice something of your own. In my case, it was the entire contents of my phone. I don't even know how he did it, he is the most tech savvy (/only) two-year-old I know. Despite being only two, however, he still managed (like the rest of the general population) to humiliate me by running his thumb up and down the screen of my phone until I was forced to explain that it wasn't an iPhone but a historical Nokia, very popular in the late 90s. Even toddlers can sense that I am uncool. However, unlike the two-year-olds that come into my work and scream obscenities, he does not make my ovaries recoil in horror and drive me to overdose on birth control pills just in case. (I did accidentally do this the other week - I was overly emotional for about a week but a least I didn't grow an extra womb. Or have a child.).
Obviously, I imagine that once you get to know your child, you probably like it a bit more. My mum obviously quite likes us because she took me, Kezia and Kezia's boyfriend Chris all the way to Leeds last Saturday to go to the pictures. We got lost and didn't end up actually seeing the film we had planned to, but the thought was there none the less. We somehow ended up spending twenty minutes circling The Light with no thanks to the SatNav, who was obviously having an off-day and was just being a complete bitch (a word to the wise, never choose "Sheila" as your guide or you will seriously regret it). Chris was slightly more helpful by finding out when the other showings were on his phone, although none of us were really up for another two hours of circling so we went to The Odeon and saw something different. Given that, as a trio, my mother, Kezia and I are relatively well-travelled, we do end up getting lost quite a lot. My favourite time was during a road trip through America when we somehow ended up in a US military training camp. At twelve years old, there's not much else more amusing than watching your mother try and explain that she is not a spy and, somehow, in the middle of the Nevada desert, after not passing another car for about 4 hours, she has simply managed to take a 'wrong turn'...