Monday, June 25, 2007

Best and Worst

One of the best things about late pregnancy is the toe-curling, absolutely frabjous orgasms. It's supposed to be because of the increased blood flow in the area. Myself, I believe it must also have something to do with the sheer size of the muscles involved. My uterus has got to be just about the biggest organ in my body right now, apart from my skin. I have informed my other half that as a more experienced mother I shall be putting up with no nonsense; he can expect no sex for at least three months post the passage of the (simply enormous - his fault!) baby, so he best get his quota in now.

One of the worst things about being pregnant is that having children stirs up all sorts of stuff one thought was done, dusted and dealt with long ago. It creates new relationships between me and my family, which can be abused and neglected in new and creative ways. It presents novel opportunities for people whom one thought could never hurt one again to stick their boots in hard. It creates new causes of unhappiness.

Within 8 weeks of no 1's birth I had a discussion, with my postnatal class, about not allowing one's own bad relationship with one's father to prevent one's children having a grandfather. Several people in the group had this problem. How to step back, and not get in the way. Lots of people are far better grandparents than they ever were parents. They're so much more relaxed, later in life.

But what does one do when one's father is just not interested?

Jen loves playing with her doll's house. She picked up a figurine of an old, bearded man from somewhere, a wizard, and often makes him knock on the door to be let in. He's Grandpa, which surprised me as the only grandpa she knows she has is my other half's housebound father. Once he's in, she's at a loss. What do grandpas do, exactly? My own father is 30 years younger than the other. He's physically perfectly capable of visiting her. In the last three years I've heard from him twice - an email congratulating me on my pregnancy, and a text message the day after her first birthday. No answering phone calls, no reactions to voicemail, no reactions to emailed photos. This is my father! I lived with him for 20 years! Now they will be two. Two grandchildren he can ignore. Is it so hard, even to send a card at Christmas?

My mother has a theory that he's started a new young family and is too busy with them. I hope that's it. It would be better than him being ill with something undiagnosed, like depression or something. It would be better than finding out he just can't be bothered. I am always delighted to hear from people I knew only briefly, in school for a year or so. The efforts that people go to to stay in touch, the joy when contact is established, are quite phenomenal. Consider Facebook, and Friends Reunited. Surely, it cannot be that I made so small an impact on his life that I can just be dropped and never thought of again.

It feels very odd, that I am so dull a person my own parent has lost interest as the years have gone by. I thought I'd come to terms with it, it stopped bothering me long ago, but with the advent of each child the wound is reopened.

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At Tuesday, June 26, 2007 , Blogger Seasons & Reasons said...

First time on your blog.
As a parent, I try not to let my parents failure influence how I bring up my children.

Congratulations on your soon to come baby and don't be too harsh on your father.

At Monday, July 02, 2007 , Blogger Mama Wangari said...

I think it's practically impossible not to let how you were parented affect your own parenting - if only that where you were poorly parented you make special efforts to get it right. But we're hard wired with stuff our parents did to us. They implanted all our emotional systems. Re-hardwiring oneself is slow, hard work. They're practically inescapable.


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