Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Eat, Drink and Be Merry (unless you're pregnant)

It is generally agreed (in the way generalisations are) that second children tend to grow up to be rather competitive and with an air of having been treated unfairly all their lives. Whenever a cake is about to be served, you can bet that it’ll be the youngest (even if they’re 25) who has the fine-tuned ability to detect any inequality in the size of the slices to the nearest millimetre.

This week I discover that - quelle surprise – this turns out to be entirely due to bad parenting. According to various child psychologists, such is our concern over sibling rivalry and our desire to keep the first sproglet sweet, that we virtually forget we have the second one (especially since it all seems so much easier second time round). The result? A lifetime of in-your-ear ‘me, me, me’ whingeing.

Naturally, I decide to put pay to any namby-pambying of the Impster and focus on the bump for a moment, only to realise it’s already too late. For a start, no one (including fathers) gives a bugger about the second pregnancy. You’re already drained of your reserves from nurturing the first little poppet, so the second time you’re exhausted at the outset. Not to mention fatter. This time round, K was late turning up to the 12-week scan, so I was already lying on the couch slathered in jelly. Then the Impster distracted everyone from looking at the baby on the screen by spilling an Innocent smoothie down herself. Then, the photos mysteriously disappeared, only to turn up a few days later stuffed in a pair of K’s shoes (whoever heard of antenatal sibling rivalry? At least I’m presuming it was the Impster’s doing, otherwise I’ve got more of a problem on my hands than I’d anticipated).

And another thing that totally sucks. As if to make clear the essential undesirability of pregnant women, on holiday in Cornwall I spotted the above picture on a bottle of Grolsch. What can it possibly mean? ‘Pregnant women: piss off’? ‘Pregnant women: singing ist verboten’ (a unlikely event given our enforced teetotaldom in any case)? There is pretty much an endless list of reckless acts that pregnant women shouldn’t do, unless they wish to be held any more accountable than they already are. Such as eating peanuts. I mean, the whole nine months is just total suckitude.

Uh oh, have I just been having a rant? Tcha, I’m a second child - blame it on my parents.

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