Weeknotes 074: There’s a mummy one coming

For three days this week we were all fit and well.

Piglet has levelled up and unlocked Independence Mode. There’s been a contingent improvement in her mood and earlier crabiness was likely her brain preparing for the XP boost. She’s more certain of herself and has opinions.

We acquiesce in outfit choices, leading to unusual colour combinations. The backup clothes are more coordinated, which was handy when she literally pissed herself laughing at Grandma’s house. One evening she announced she was going to climb into the bath and, worryingly, did. When she later got cocky and almost slipped, she let out an irredeemably endearing chain of stress farts.

When eating noodles she has a habit of twizzling one round her fork and then picking a different one up with her hand to eat. All while singing about the Gruffalo carrot and sweetcorn and their poisonous warts.

Her ear is trained to the cadences of English and Chinese. There are certain words and phrases we only say in Chinese and without this being explained she knows from the sound to ask, What’s that in English?” Followed by, Why do we high-five when we get things right?” Then, Why can’t I watch the gingerbread man again?”

That newest obsession has to be the musical pick this week, because I’ve been singing it on loop nonstop to myself. The Thank you song too.

Work continues to be a trudge of contracts, forms and forms about forms. But we’re set to launch in production next week and I get something of a life back with the fun bits again. At home, The Chef’s refusal to file anything makes tracking paperwork the chore, rather than completing it.

The Chef went for her second spa in as many weeks. (This one rescheduled by Covid.) That left me and Piglet a day in the sun on the bike to go wave at bunnies before pizza and pudding at the market. A postprandial bike nap and being woken up for an afternoon in the park was the proverbial topping to the earlier literal cake. Once tucked in, the adults were left with T-bone, zinfandel and more cakes.

The weather held for Sunday and we met friends-with-toddler for tree planting in the morning and Sunday roast in the pub. The kids diametric opposites in their approach to food. Then more parks.

They’ve also gone through miscarriage recently. Letting the kids run around the park gave us space to reflect on the experience and check on how they’re doing. He’s a stereotype of a man and finds talking about it difficult. He offered, I don’t want the sympathy of others.” And I disagree. We were interrupted by the kids before I could get to the advice to counter. But what’s the point in a blog if I can’t capture too-late advice for next time I’m with someone reticent. So here goes.

Write about it. In longhand on paper with a pen. I did morning pages, but anywhere quiet is good. There’s a lack of cultural examples of dealing with miscarriage grief for men. Try the few that do exist regardless. See where they do and don’t fit. Put words to your thoughts. See where those do and don’t fit too. Spread it over multiple days. I hadn’t intended to write about it and the intensity surprised me. I didn’t think I was bottling things up, but things were left unsaid. It’s a note by you for you and you can be as selfish as you like. But that gets old fast. You realise that you don’t end at you. There’s bits of you in your partner, your kid, your parents, your friends. It’s not the sympathy of others but the sympathy of yourself. Write how you think others are thinking. Not how they are—you can’t know that—but how you think they are. Put concrete words down to push and lean against. They’re almost certainly wrong but it gives space for the draft conversation you need to have with yourself first. First drafts are always bad. This was. When in a few days you want to talk, your thoughts are more defined and less of a swirling miasma. It’s a kindness not just to yourself but to everyone else touched by it.


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Weeknotes 075: I’m going to use the rowing spoon We’re on holiday. Our first fortnight away since maternity leave. It was less of a Herculean effort this time, but still ended with a dozen crucial