22 August 2018

Carter's Steam Fair

When my parents were in town, they discovered this beautiful little traveling steam fair. Their photos were so lovely that I've been eager to go and take some for myself. Apparently, it's the same carnival that's featured in Paddington 2, the Theory of Everything, and Call the Midwife, and you can really see why. All the vintage typography and whimsy and cohesiveness.... it was a visual treat. 

We got ourselves some fresh doughnuts which, though not quite at the level of a Pippin doughnut, were several degrees of yum. Actually looking at them now makes that seem extra good since today is officially week 6 since Ezra was born and it is time to face a sad reality: what's left on my belly is not the result of a uterus that is still going to shrink. It's fat and it's got to go. 

I was so good while I was pregnant about what I ate-- no ice cream, no chocolate, and a green smoothie almost every day of my last trimester. But then I went through the trauma of labour and thought "time to treat yo'self, mama" and I did and it has been divine. 

However, no about of pumping is going to burn the calories off my belly if I keep this up, so it is time to exert a little self-control. My diet starts... tomorrow... yeah, tomorrow. 

The other day Jon said to me, “You know, society is going to see you completely different now.”

It's a thought I’d already been considering for the last few months. Ever since my bump popped out, the catcalls have vanished. Weirdly, they’ve been replaced with people coming up and asking me for directions. My current daily record stands at 4 separate occasions. Apparently, a baby makes you look both non-threatening and like a local. 

It is specifically with men that I’ve noticed the biggest change in the way people interact with me. This was made especially clear to me when Jon’s dad took us out to an Indian restaurant on his last night in town.

Mid-meal, Ezra decided to get fussy, so I took him out to the lobby for some quiet bouncing. A man walked in—tall, muscular, with several vulgar tattoos. He’s the kind of guy I would expect to lean in—if you got too close—and whisper “eh loave… lookin’ niiiiice” (this is based on actual experience in the cereal aisle where a similar-looking bloke ruined my day).

Fortunately, the only thing on the menu THIS evening was the guy’s takeaway. As he waited, his phone absorbed his attention.

Eventually, he looked up at me, motioned to Ezra and asked, “Is that your first?” I smiled and said yes. 

“So….. do you like being a mum?”

For some reason (probably the surprise at the question), my voice shot up at least two octaves and I much too loudly said: “um, it’s amazing!”

He smirked, then turned to his phone and continued swiping right. 

The contrast between cereal-aisle-dude and Indian-takeaway-dude was pretty stark. Perhaps the latter was actually just a really lovely guy, but I'm realising more and more that even if I look (and apparently sound) like jailbait, guys now see me as more of a mum and less of a piece of meat. I could not be more pleased about this unexpected perk if parenthood. May my stroller continue to be my shield against smarmy men.

Luckily, in the boy department, God gave me two of the best.

I am so grateful God chose to intiate me into motherhood with an easy baby. With rare exception, Ezra is a good sleeper, eater (at least by bottle--we've yet to crack the breastfeeding thing) and is easily settled.  He's a very robust little baby with a surprising amount of muscle tone. On Sunday, Jon and I watched him roll from his tummy on to his back several times on his own, which I don't think is normal for some time yet. Part me of me is like "whoo-hoo! I have a super strong baby!!" and the part of me is like "Stop it! I can't have you be mobile in this tiny flat. Act like a newborn!"

My favourite thing about this little nugget is that he lets me snuggle with him all day long. Jon often teases me that my emotional state is like a leaky teacup. Sometimes I bombard him when he comes home from work with an "I'm empty, give me a cuddle!" But now, I strap my baby to me and it's like an IV of love and warmth and affirmation right to the heart. Honestly, baby slings are the best and I can't for the life of me understand why people awkwardly carry their babies in carseats when they could use a sling. Wearing one is genuinely one of the loveliest feelings in the world.

This is a #humblebrag but it is something of which I'm quite proud. I bought our pram (which came with a swappable bassinet [above], carseat, and an older child stroller seat) for only £50 even though it was valued at £300.

I found it on Gumtree (UK's Craigslist) and talked the owner down to that price, even though it was a brand new stroller. Apparently, her sister had purchased a VERY fancy stroller, but then tripped over it in her last week of pregnancy. Being overly superstitious, she couldn't stand to have it in her house anymore so she gave it to her sister. That meant the sister had an extra stroller of which I am now the proud owner. All I can say is that I'm grateful for superstitious people.

And there it is. Carter's Steam Fair with the beautiful rolling hills of Bath in the background. I sure do love this wonderful place. 

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