The Husband has never quite grasped terminology that has traditionally been associated with more "feminine" things. For example, if I'm wearing a skirt he likes, he'll say, "Nice dress!" No matter how hard I try to explain the difference between a skirt and a dress, it just doesn't sink in – to him, a skirt is a dress and a dress is a dress.
I guess terminology for baby paraphenalia has also traditionally the realm of more "feminine" things, which is why he has the same difficulty retaining new baby vocabulary as he has remembering the word "skirt". So when I'm burping The Princess and I ask him for a towelling nappy, he can't fathom that anything besides Pampers or Huggies was ever used as a nappy and so he'll hand me a disposable nappy. Then he'll get annoyed when I throw it back at him and ask for a TOWELLING nappy. Just as I don't think he actually understands the word "towelling", so too has he been unable to learn the meaning of a "muslin", which I guess is a bit of a hard one for boys. In his defence, he picked up "compactum" pretty quickly, which I also had to learn when this whole baby adventure began. (A chest of drawers cum changing table for babys, for those of you who have no need to know what a compactum is). For the rest of the baby paraphenalia, he has simply decided to accept his weaknesses and has taken it upon himself to rename items so that they make sense to him.
For example, he was unaware that the word "Babygro" existed, so he proceeded to name all of The Princess' one-piece outfits a "uniform", as in: "That's such a pretty uniform!" Sometimes, there's a bit of variation on the term uniform and Babygro's are referred to as "suits" as in: "What a cute suit!"
The word "pram" is another one that just won't stick with The Husband, so we take The Princess for walks in her "trolley" instead. Like "uniform", "trolley" also has a synonym in The Husband's unique baby vocabulary. It's sometimes referred to as a "cart". I guess this is his American version – sometimes we push her around in her (shopping) trolley, sometimes in her (shopping) cart.
That's the babytalk for boys in our little family. If you have some amusing boy vocabulary of your own, please post a comment and share it. Happy Sunday!
Officially five days to go until our firstborn is due to arrive. Along the journey, there have been signs that The Husband may be getting nervous. Common examples (once a week, at least) have been:
"Will you still love me once the baby is here?" and
"What are we going to do about my cycling after the baby comes?"
But the real evidence of his internal panic came last week at our final ante-natal class. The trainer was talking about the pros and cons of circumcision, when The Husband turned to me and said:
"What are we going to do?"
I paused for a while before responding. I figured he was either talking about something completely different, or he'd realise his mad mistake if I just gave him a chance. Many seconds passed and he kept looking at me with raised eyebrows.
"Er, what are we going to do about what?" I said.
"The circumcision!" he responded.
I had to literally take his hand, look him in the eyes and remind him that we were having a girl.
This obvious panic didn't stop him from excitedly telling me that he'd managed to get a ticket for the Argus this past Sunday or that he needed to go to Cape Town for meetings last week. Luckily, our gynae calls a spade a spade. Her response to his questions on how wise it is to undertake domestic travel after 38 weeks, was simply:
"Depends. Do you have a private jet?"
I'm not sure what pained The Husband more: the knowledge that he'd been officially grounded by our medical practitioner, instead of his paranoid wife, or admitting that no, he did not own a private jet.
The result is that we are in Jozi and wondering if this baba is going to take after her parents who struggle to be on time for scheduled events or if she'll decide to surprise us and come early. Maybe she'll be a Human Rights Day baby and come on her due date. I guess we'll soon find out…
I believe I have a fine appreciation for most things French. I love their beautiful language, their sense of style, their magnificent gastronomic flair…but I have never understood their willingness to share all of this with their dogs. At a guest house in the Alps last year, I was horrified to find a rate card in our room for "nos amis a quatre pattes" (our four-legged friends).
As 2010 drew to a close, however, I learned that it is not just the Frenchies who treat their pooches like people. I learned this when I discovered we were sharing our Umhlanga hotel's fine dining restaurant with not one…not two…but THREE pampered pets. Since when do silver service and slobbering dogs go together? Admittedly, we probably would never have noticed the little mutts, had our waiter (the man has a sense of humour) not decided to quietly point them out to us. It wasn't so much their presence that he wanted to share with us, but the matter of their finely developed taste buds. Two of the coochy-coochy poochies apparently preferred still water, whilst the third had a penchant for sparkling, which our waiter had just served them in their silver-plated doggie bowls. Next up, the hounds were going for the Fillet Bearnaise, served with potato dauphinoise. This was straight from the menu ordinarily reserved for humans. For the more neglected pets out there, however, their owners have the option of a specially designed "pet menu" which the hotel offers. This menu doesn't offer Fillet Bearnaise, but instead Fluffy can feast on some delicious "Woof Waffles" – grilled waffles which are served with "a large boerewors sausage and gravy". Mmmm. Or if Fluffy has had a big night and wants a morning after fry-up, then he can have the "Full Doggy Breakfast" which consists of: scrambled eggs, pork sausage, bacon and hash browns. And all of this is on offer for the yummy price of 95 ZAR.
Who said pets were cheaper than kids?
Because it was New Year's Eve, this doggy-friendly fine dining establishment was offering a "dinner & dance" combo. When we saw the band, we suspected that the music may be a bit before our time – the average age of the musicians was about 75 squared. I guess it made sense since the average age of the guests was in that region as well. Which would have been fine, except that these people belong to an era when white men really could dance. Not so, for The Husband and I. Our little foray onto the dance floor went something like this:
The Husband: Okay, we can do this. We can show those old-timers. My mother sent me to some lessons for my matric dance and I know what I'm doing here.
Me: Great, because I have no idea what you're doing.
The Husband: It's easy. I lead, you follow.
Me: How am I supposed to follow when I have no idea what you're about to do next?
The Husband: You don't need to know because you're following me. That's the definition of following. Your problem is that you can't stand not being in charge.
Me: My problem is I can't read your mind.
The Husband: Just follow me, for Christ's sake. I'm in charge!
Me: I get it – you're in charge. You just don't seem to be in charge of your feet because you just crushed my baby toe with one of them.
During this spectacle we managed to collide with a Swiss couple a few times. They may have been in their twilight years but when they got moving on the dance floor, they did these one-legged jigs that would have put 16 year old gymnasts to shame. And they weren't the only ones who really knew how to shake a shoe or two. The rest of the couples were spinning one another around, looking like Strictly Coming Dancing for seniors.
Mercifully, we were put out of our misery by the ringing in of the New Year when everyone stood in a circle and did some kind of a folking dancing, can-can number in lieu of a countdown. Clearly, that's how they did things back then, before the war.
After the old Auld Lang Syne sing-along with the old folk, we discovered a venue upstairs with dancing and music from this decade. At least there we could steer clear of one another's two left feet. Only thing was, the floor was dominated by 21 year old girls in the highest of heels and the shortest of dresses. Not one to be up-staged after being shown up by the senior citizens downstairs, I was determined to get "low, low, low" with Flo-rida and the best of the twenty-somethings.
Not a good move at 29 weeks pregnant…Needless to say, I retired to bed soon afterwards, leaving the respective dance floors to the very old and the very young.
Happy New Year, everyone. Remember: never start a New Year's Resolution on a weekend!