Yesterday, I was a tight little ball of bright red rage, so I thought I’d spare you good people my spectacularly filthy mood. I went for a walk while the sun was back (at the moment it really can’t seem to make up its mind), and I was giving myself a stern talking to about it, along the lines of, “People want humorous anecdotes about pregnancy and the sexes and the domestic carnage that ensues when a couple’s expecting – no one wants to hear the tough stuff! So shut up! Keep it to yourself unless you can be funny about it!”
And yesterday, I could not be funny about it. I was acutely unamused. So I couldn’t write anything – except a four-page letter to Llew, giving him a piece of my mind in several parts.
And no, I don’t think it’s the exploding pregnancy hormones, although I’m perfectly prepared to trot that out as a convenient excuse for a multitude of sins in the coming months. Indeed, so far this week I have had an uncontrollable giggling fit and a Linda Blair-style temper tantrum, both while in bed, so my moods are certainly oscillating wildly. But this was just me being really, really angry with Llew, and no amount of hormone imbalance is behind the reason why. Nope, he’s the reason why I was so angry with him, plain and simple.
I expect a lot of Llew – it’s a very high bar, and it’s not easy being him. I know that. But I won’t apologise for it – I expect a lot of myself too, and I work really, really hard so as to be the best partner in life I can be. I apply myself to my relationship with Llew the exact same way I apply myself to everything else: there’s a lot of laughter involved, but that doesn’t mean I’m not dead serious. I’m not suggesting Llew doesn’t try equally hard – he busts his balls – I’m only saying that sometimes I have expectations Llew does not meet. And now that we’re (still!) pregnant, some of those expectations have necessarily changed. In fairness, I think Llew’s probably looking around, lost, extremely confused to find himself playing a rather bloody game of catch-up, and here I am charging at him, seconds before I mow him down. Because I, you see, am carrying the ball.
So if we take this metaphor just a little further, this pregnancy is a game changer. The rules have changed overnight. And I guess in such scenarios it must take some players longer to adjust than others – the men on the team, for instance, who may struggle to make the distinction between yesterday’s game plan and today’s. They aren’t quite clear on the implications for the position they have traditionally played. It looks the same, it feels the same… what’s different? On the other hand, the women on the side don’t have to ask. They know the answer because they are instantly living it: everything. Everything has changed.
So what to do? Well, I think the team has to keep talking. That seems pretty vital to me, especially while these adjustments are being made. And I think I have to expect a lot of trial and error from each member of the team. I really don’t like trial and error, I’ve never enjoyed a single one of my countless mistakes, and I hate it when I can’t do something, but I have reached a point of maturity at which I accept that they comprise an inescapable and in many ways invaluable part of life. Failure has benefits – so says J.K. Rowling (courtesy of NorwichRocks, whose reach across the web for the perfect link apparently knows no bounds – much like our friend Fugitive Pieces, who kindly supplied this to help console me about my unbroken losing streak), and I think she’s right.
What else is happening? Well, inspired by Shuckin’ Charlotte’s own snazzy hand-warmers last year, Darkling C hatched a plan with her mum Bundy B to keep the Darklings toasty at the keyboard for the coming season (without question my least favourite of the four. I both feel and dislike the cold). We now each have our very own short version of the writer-friendly hand-warmer that Bundy B knitted for us specially – mine are orange and I luuuurve them – how fabulous is that? They are so nifty and so toasty and I think Bundy B is absolutely tops!
Otherwise, it’s been a week of redrafting. Except for yesterday, when I was too dark to draft. But the first major milestone of this MS redraft is getting closer, and hopefully it will put me in good stead for stage two. I’d like to get the first part of this monster job done and dusted today, in fact, so I’d best get back to it.
Have a great weekend, everyone. Next week: comfort food, the Sydney Writers’ Festival, and what the hell is happening to my body?