I found myself sitting in one of the Calgary Lab Services offices last week; confined to the reception area for a whopping two point five hours whilst they tried to determine if I was lactose intolerant.
I can’t even say the words without thinking of Chris Rock’s hilarious rant on the matter. [Disclaimer: it’s Chris Rock, the language is appalling.]
Regardless, I arrived at the appointed hour, downed a chalky white lukewarm beverage and waited.
In order to be effective with the block of time I’d inadvertently been given, I’d brought along the notebooks I’d started for each of the boys when I was pregnant with them.
It had been a while (okay, ages) since I’d written anything in those books and each time I’d catch a glimpse of the little stack of unopened, unused notebooks, a wave of mother-guilt would wash over me. That my boys will be adults and have no clue what they might have been like as little people.
[This, of course, assumes they will (1) wonder what they might have been like and (2) care.]
When I was pregnant with the Gort, I bought a red leather notebook at Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road and filled page after page with little notes about the pregnancy and our lives up to that point.
By the time he turned one or two, I’d filled up an entire notebook. I had to buy a second one.
For the Hen, I bought a little green Kolo notebook, either from Paper Source or online; in which I recorded a few gestationary (is that a word?) observations and the odd, illegible scribble post-birth which read something along the lines of: ‘wow you cry a lot’ and ‘wow I’ve never been this tired in my life,’ but ‘man, are you cute.’
The Hen will turn five in two weeks and his notebook isn’t even half-full.
And then…..there’s Percy. In true third-child fashion, he is the least-documented of the boys. Well, except in photographs – where he’s decidedly over-documented.
So, feeling another stab of guilt over my lack of diligence, I picked up Percy’s notebook first. Determined to give him the best of my withering brain and nanosecond-long attention span.
I opened the book in the middle and began searching for the most recent entry. The pages were blank. I kept flipping, backwards, looking for my chicken-scratch penmanship. And, as I neared the beginning of the book, I found it.
My last entry was September. 2010.
That’s two years ago.
Essentially, his notebook reads: ‘I’m pregnant.’ ‘You’re going to be a boy.’ ‘You’re 9 weeks old’. ‘You’re one.’
And now you’re (almost) three.
But don’t lose heart, here’s a photo album with 50 photographs of you sitting at the table eating.