I have heard it said that pregnant women often go through a manic period of spring cleaning in order to prepare the nest for the impending arrival. I have taken to my bed.
I have been here for three days now - only venturing afield (i.e. downstairs) for cooking and biscuit hunting. It may not look like it, but I am nesting. I am preparing my technological environment for the dramatic changes afoot. In fact, to look at me, you would be forgiven for thinking that I am attempting to remotely coordinate the global satellite network from my bed. That is if you can see me at all, so ensconced am I in a hedge of wires, plugs and Apple logos.
I have here in bed with me my new 15’ Macbook Pro - most beloved of inanimate objects. I also have my old Macbook, an iPad, two 1TB external hard-drives, an iPhone, an iPod and a pork pie (with some HP sauce). There also appears to be a calculator under my left ankle but I think Mr Oh left this there earlier when calculating my tax credits.
I have been organising my tax affairs, arranging photos into events, purging my iTunes of Bruce Springsteen albums, researching online photo storage/sharing options (I’m thinking Smugmug but would welcome views), downloading episodes of Game of Thrones and, once again, comparing my unborn child to vegetables (this week baby Hu is the size of a butternut squash). This is 21st century nesting. When my hard-drives are in order, I will be ready for baby.
There has, however, been one disturbing element of nesting that I cannot attribute to modern mothering. I have been absolutely convinced that this child cannot be born until I know how to make custard. It has been something of an obsession for the past week. Mr Oh is not complaining - he considers custard to be stand-alone food group. I bought vanilla pods and cream and golden caster sugar and rhubarb (you need something to eat with custard). I whisked and stirred and cooled and simmered. I made perfectly nice custard, but it wasn’t right. It wasn’t the right colour, it wasn’t the right texture and it wasn’t the right taste. I think it needs another egg yolk.
In my experimentation I came across an unfortunate truth - the perfect custard does exist and it’s made by Marks & Spencer. I am now going through a crisis of pre-motherhood. Do I really need to be able to make my own custard when it’s so laborious and awkward and unperfect and M&S do it better? I have a feeling that this issue will shape many of my future mothering decisions. I have resolved to continue to try to make my own perfect custard - anything less is substandard parenting. (I suspect this parental zeal (and possibly all types of zeal) will have exhausted itself by 2013 so I might as well be a martyr to perfection while I still have the energy and will.
Incidentally, on my quest for perfect custard, I came across the perfect cherry pie (also made by M&S). I have no intention of learning how to make cherry pie and am therefore delighted with this find. Mr Oh was reluctant to buy the cherry pie at first. He said he didn’t like cherries. It turns out he just doesn’t like cherry-flavoured Jolly Ranchers which is hardly the same thing. Now that he has unearthed a deep-seated love for M&S cherry pie and M&S custard, my star is waning. Luckily M&S is not carrying his unborn child, otherwise I might find myself surplus to requirements.
[Mr Oh has subsequently assured me that he will not leave me for M&S but cannot rule out the possibility that he will leave me for S&M] [or M&Ms].