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Old Sod Wonderments and Maternal Delusion

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- the continuing diary of an accidental mother - Week 23

Boy Wonder and I were back in the Emerald Isle. It took us over an hour and half to leave the airport and when we did, it was in a scratched up rental car. Dublin looked faded and downbeat. We drove through the city centre to Sandymount, and parked by a café I used to frequent. Like the economy, it had taken a nosedive and the food was fair, fair-ly foul.

Primarily we'd come to celebrate a friend's success. She was undergoing a career renaissance with the recent publication of two books and her first dramatic piece of art. The latter was a three minute play, one of 25 performed in a piece called, 25 Tiny Plays of Ireland; a synopsis of contemporary Irish society distilled into two and half very entertaining hours. By the end, it felt like half my life had evaporated and I had never left, having bumped into and caught up with people I hadn't seen for eons. Turned out I went to school with several of the audience and acting college with one of the leads.

But there was also another reason to visit. My script, Hannah Cohen's Holy Communion won the Pears Foundation Award. Hurrah, fit to burst with happiness, I was now responsible for two productions, a short film and a baby, both due to be delivered in the summer. Double Hurrah, officially I was having twins!

Thus what should have been a leisurely visit was dense with meetings and location scouting as Boy Wonder and I rushed hither and tither.

Over the past 12 years, my son has proved to be an ace travelling companion. We have criss crossed the world together, and have a well-established repertoire of car/plane/boat/train games. A favourite is for him to initiate a line from a song, usually a rap and for me to guess the ending. My sieve-like memory decrees that I always manage to get this wrong, which he invariably finds amusing.

This coming year will have an immense bearing on him - on the home front he has had me all to himself since forever but now would have to accept the arrival of, not only a half sibling, but also a Glam Rocker. Added to that pressure were, the taking of his 13 plus exams, a new boarding school, new friends and his Bar mitzvah (a milestone in every Jewish boy's life which happens to coincide with my due date... Oh vay begorrah is all I will say on that issue at present). Anyway conscious of these immense and fundamental changes my maternal aim was to make his journey as pain free as possible.

My son has a creative bent and philosopher's mind. The how, why and wherefore of life, existence and death is pondered, and thoughtfully preened. 'Why' is a word he has been using since toddlerdom. In truth, I am jealous of his open and ravenous brain. His intelligence has already out-stripped mine. Over the next few years as he soars intellectually, it occurs how I will be back at the elemental stage, the genesis of communication; beginning with the baby mimicking my facial expressions, to the realisation of its own physicality, as it discovers its fingers and toes which will invariably be sucked upon and finally nearing the end of the first year we will move on to conquering those one syllable sounds.

I remember loving this stage. Boy Wonder and I were fluent in monosyllabic squeak. 'Ah bah' translated, (depending on intonation and mood), as 'over there' or 'what's that?' or 'let's go' but mainly, 'I love you Mum, you are the best Mum in the world.'

In fact the pre-teen/teenage grunt, a noise I have come to love, is somewhat similar though lower down the vocal scale. 'Awww grrr' translates, (depending on intonation and mood), as 'I'm bored.' or 'There's nothing to do.' or 'Leave me alone.' but mainly, 'I love you Mum, you are the best Mum in the world.'

TO BE CONTINUED

Ello... Ello... Ello.... Finger and footprints
This week your baby begins to have rapid eye movements. Your baby's tongue will soon develop taste buds. Fingerprints and footprints are forming. For boys, the testes are descending from the abdomen. For girls, the uterus and ovaries are in place -- complete with a lifetime supply of eggs. With intensive medical care, some babies born this week might be able to survive.

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