Friday, 3 December 2010

birthday week '10

Well Birthday Week is beginning at the other end than usual this year. Yes it's my birthday today so Week celebrations will continue right through until next Friday. I'm 38. I'm sitting at the kitchen table here on a lovely sultry tropical Melbourne day looking admiringly at the sort-of present which an Australia Post worker just brought to my door: 6m of Marimekko fabric with which to make curtains for the rather dark unoccupied bedroom on the south side of the house. How I will prewash six metres of fabric I don't really know. It's a sort of present because actually I bought it myself, online from the US, a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to sales and the exchange rate it was only $20 a metre.

I just went and draped it over the curtain rod in there to see how it looked:

Nice and bright, yes. Actually the walls, which are off-white, looked a bit grey next to it. That's OK. The room needs some painting done on it too. Not much, but some.

The design dates from 1971. Who'd have thought. Actually the reason I'm putting up new curtains in there is because I'm going to have a baby in a little while and it does seem crucially important to me that a child receives new curtains upon entering the world, most particularly curtains which come very precisely from the childhood of his own parents. I say 'his' because the baby is a boy, as we learned a couple of weeks ago. I haven't written about being pregnant on my blog until now because I would have had to use singular they in alluding to the baby, or called him 'it', which I don't mind personally but which does seem to disturb some people.

The sex of the baby is the thing pertaining to it/him that people have asked me about most of all. They ask me how I'm feeling (OK, but more of that later perhaps) and then they ask me if I know what I'm having. 'A baby' is what I am tempted to say sometimes, or perhaps 'a little Chinese man' or maybe 'we don't know but we are hoping for a gay.' Ultrasounds and genetic testing have confirmed that he is a human baby, interestingly, given the number of times I dreamed early in the pregnancy that I had just given birth to a litter of lovely kittens. For a while I thought this was a dreaming habit specific to ladies who like cats, but I went to a health lecture run by the hospital I'm having the baby in and the midwife said 'you will have strange dreams' and yes, having kittens was the example she gave. She didn't say though whether this is usually the very happy dream it was for me. I suppose if you don't like cats then it wouldn't be that enjoyable.

But why wouldn't you like cats? I go for a walk every evening after dinner and there's always a few cats sitting in their driveways, just at the fence line, waiting for someone to come along and pat them.

I am past the kitten litter dreaming phase though and onto the boring prophetic dream phase. Last week I dreamed Sam and Dave came to visit us - and the next day they did! (not entirely unexpectedly.) On another occasion I dreamed that Optus cut off the phone because we hadn't paid the bill, and guess what, this one came true too.


Ampersand Duck said...

I'm losing count of nice people who blog whose birthdays are this week. Is this a sign?

Yay for boy kittens. All boys should have cool parents who buy them Marimekko curtains. Hopefully if we seed our boy children through society we will start a new generation of thinking caring males. I'm including in this statement all the people I know at the moment with wonderful boys, which is a goodly number. They balance out the awful boys I witness at, say, last night's Lasertag birthday party.

I'm glad you've blogged, I'm so bad at Twitter. Happy Birthday, my gift is a Good Fairy's wish for all to Go Well.

lucy tartan said...

Thank you, dear. I appreciate the Good Fairy wish very much. I owe you a letter, actually, after the very cheering snail mail we got from you a week or so ago. Are you feeling a bit better today?

Mel said...

You know, when I was a kid my brother had this extremely '70s mural in his room that was an illustration printed on stretched canvas.

It depicted a class of children, stylised in a cartoonish, flat-colour sort of way, and also very '70s in their dress, arranged in rows as if for a school photos. They all had different facial expressions. I seem to recall all the colours being yellows and browns but they could also have been bright primary colours.

Has anyone seen anything like this, or knows an artist whose work it could be? Obviously Google has not been my friend on this one.

librarygirl said...

1. Happy Birthday.
2.Congratulations!: new babies are
the present ever. Even a bit more than cats.
3. I've notised the Da Vinci code in op shops too. Also, very occasionally, a Harry Potter.
4. Lucky baby to have such stylish curtains.

librarygirl said...

You tell I've just woken up from an afternoon nap: pretend I typed the BEST present ever, and ignore the mis-spelling of noticed.

lucy tartan said...

Yesterday it took me nearly half an hour to figure out where the tram stop was in the Bourke St mall. I'm not passing judgment ;)

librarygirl said...

When I was pregnant I had a meltdown in either Bourke Street or Collins street one Christmas, walking up and down looking for the RACV office - I was in one and was convinced I was in the other - it was hot,the baby was due March, I cried and felt stupid ( had worked in Meyers Place for three years and knew the city backwards...)

Mindy said...

Hooray for birthdays and babies! What lovely curtains to welcome him into the world. I hope Baz likes having a little brother. I rather like the limey yellow colour for the walls, but it could be a bit overpowering, especially if it's a small room. I'm sure you'll choose something fab and I'll think - yep, good idea not to let me loose on the decorating I just don't have the touch by Laura and Dorian obviously do. Hooray for good exchange rates too.

Mindy said...

by = but.

Anonymous said...

Landromat for the pre washing?

They will be very cool curtains. Of course, if you never get around to the sewing part and the fabric remains draped just as it is now, the baby will still be fine and will still grow up to turn the laundry basket into a space rocket and refer to his bedroom as The Moon. Ask me how I know.

We took to referring to our son as "the new housemate" when he was in utero. Given his estimated date of delivery he was also referred to as Lord Tinsellina, Noel, and Jesus.

Elisabeth said...

Splendid news. How wonderful.

I once dreamed that I gave birth to a chook, a deformed chook at that.

It's part of the angst of pregnancy but it's all good. The unconscious and all that.

Congratulations on such joy.

Lara said...


Stephanie Trigg said...

"...I haven't written about being pregnant on my blog until now because I would have had to use singular they in alluding to the baby, or called him 'it', which I don't mind personally but which does seem to disturb some people...."

That's the best gift a baby can have: good grammar.

Wonderful news! Congrats to all at Sills Bend.

meli said...

happy birthday!


i'm expecting a little boy too in a couple of months. and i've had recurring dreams of giving birth to kittens for years - long before i ever thought about having a baby. in my dream i try to love the kitten very much but i am sad when it runs away and i can't shake the feeling that something isn't quite right...

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Many happies for Birthday Week, and very glad all's going well, erm, otherwise. Look after yourself in the heat. xx

Zoe said...

When people asked what we were having, we told them a professional tennis player. We also told them we were planning on calling him Osama.

There is so much stupidity thrown in the face of pregnant women and new parents it seems like the least you could do to get some preemptive revenge.

I agree that it is most important that a child reflect the time of their parents' upbringing, which is why Sage has a Storm Boy haircut :)

You two are going to make magnificent parents. Lucky, lucky little boy.

Marshall-Stacks said...

Lovely Marrimekko congrats.
I went to your FaffBook Wall to post happy birthday and it wasn't there so I posted on DJ's wall instead.
All my children were born back when the s*x was a surprise, so we referred to their Early Drafts as The Little Dot, and later drafts as Dottie.
I am hoping his name-to-be starts with D ...

lucy tartan said...

Ah, thank you all. Meli, congratulations. That's so wonderful. I hope you're keeping well.

Zoe, I actually don't mind too much the questions about the baby's sex. No doubt that's partly because the people who've asked have been people who I know really care about me, and I think it's a way of participating in the excitement. It's a thing that makes the baby a little bit more of a specific human being and less of a generic baby, and there can't be many of those known about at this stage. They do amuse me though, especially the questioner who begged and begged to know what I 'wanted'.

lucy tartan said...

Mel, I am unable to suggest anything useful in the way of leads about the mural, but I can't get it out of my mind that it looks like a Believer cover drawn by Charles Burns. Not that your description makes it sound anything like that at all.