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Thom's Seed (part V)

About how Deirdre settles into Planet Mum. In Holland. With her baby, her boyfriend Thom, and all his seed.

Afbeelding blog 'Thom's Seed (part V)'

Frustration mounting, and with no idea where Thom was or what he was up to, Deirdre trudged up and down the stairs military style. Summer sweat sloshed between her oversized milk bags. That’s what her once sensuous breast had become; portable feeding troughs.

What with Amsterdam being such a crowded city, including many bums, beggars and pickpocketers, bringing down all the baby necessities was risky. Each time she raced up the skinny stairs for the next installment of baby things (or her actual baby), horrible scenes unfolded in her mind’s eye where mischievous men nicked her expensive pram and bags. Once, when Deirdre had hauled everything down, she realized she’d forgotten one very essential item: her phone. In this time and age, no mother should willingly leave the house without her mobile phone. What if Lilly choked on a tiny object with no one around, and that one phone call could have saved her life? However difficult her new life here with a baby, she would never forgive herself if something was to happen to her little one. She’d sped up the stairs three steps at a time, and practically jumped down again. With hindsight, it would have been better if she had unstrapped Lilly from the pram and carried her up with her. Deirdre blamed her leaky head. It had completely lost the ability to think logically and responsibly. Thank goodness no one stole her baby- that would have been pandemonium.

Luckily, the morning sun was blazing preternaturally. No one in their right mind, criminals included, would want to steal anything in this heat. And if Britain had taught her one thing, it was to be extra grateful for sunny days, as they are scarce. Dutch weather isn’t too different, she now knew, and so she pushed the pram onto the pavement, and a smile onto her face.

 A young woman greeted her. “Goedemorgen,” she said.
There was no way Deirdre could pronounce good morning in Dutch. Ever.
“Hi,” she replied.
The woman’s skin looked radiant. Her clothes were ironed immaculately. Her hair was brushed and blow-dried, and she wore red, polished high heels that must have come straight from a catwalk in Milan.
AND she was pushing a baby in a pram.
How could this woman look that perfect, with a baby? Why couldn’t she-

“Goedemorgen,” chimed a friendly-looking couple with yet another pram.
“I, eh…I mean,” Deirdre spluttered.
“Oh, you’re English,” the man said. “We were just saying good morning. It’s just such a wonderful day to be out with your little one, right?” He lovingly stroked his baby’s head. The man’s face gave off a peaceful glint. It was almost enchanting.
A manicured woman. A devoted father. It was too much. Deirdre gulped, nodded to the couple, and quickly walked to the side of the canal. There she sunk onto a wooden bench. It was covered in pigeon poo. Of course it was.

OK, she thought. Quick recap:
Why do I feel like wallowing most of the day? Why do I feel so super sorry for myself? Why do I feel my life is sort-of over? Why do I avoid mirrors as if they're murderous ISIS members? Why do I feel so alone, even though I spend all my life with Lilly? The baby-blues was only supposed to last those few miserable days after birth, wasn’t it?

Why does everything I do take massive amounts of effort? Cooking: thank God for take-out. Unloading and loading the dishwasher: forty-five minutes. Hoovering: an hour of staring and sighing at the mechanic contraption before I begin. Then, at least fifty minutes to suck up all the filth, and afterwards, I want to shower and sleep (but having a baby prevents you from these indulging activities). Mopping and Dusting: an eternity. Ironing: oh, just fuck off.

But, I have a beautiful daughter with all twenty fingers and toes. I live in a wonderful apartment, in one of the most sought-after cities in the world, at a prime location. I have a god-like handsome boyfriend with a high-end job. Then why am I not feeling great? What on earth is wrong with me?

Deirdre stared miserably into the lapping water, taking stock of her life. She absent-mindedly rocked the pram back and forth with her right hand. A clip-on umbrella cast a wide shade over the pram.

Remembering her shelf of self-help books she used to own in London (a girl sometimes needs help moulding herself into the best version of herself), she recalled a book entitled, ‘Your Kinder Self: a guide to being your own best friend and lover’, by Dr. [insert endless string of professional abbreviations] Nút.
What was it Nút wrote? “One way to preserve one’s sanity is by showing understanding and compassion to oneself.”
Hmm… Alright.
First, the understanding part. Let's give it a crack. She’d moved house and countries, leaving behind her job, family and friends on the other side of the English Channel. She’d committed to a serious relationship. She’d just had a baby.
Listening to herself listing these accomplishments, she felt a flutter of pride. It was quite impressive, actually. And all within such a short period of time. With that, a veil of compassion befell her. It made her feel calmer than she’d felt for months.
Life with Lilly is fine, Deirdre said to herself, nervously drumming her fingers on her knee. It's OK to feel a little lost. At least Lilly is OK. That's the most important thing now.

Suddenly she felt the need to hold Lilly close to her, to see her smiling face, to smell her immaculate baby scent. She pushed the umbrella aside, and-

OH FUCK!

(Stay tuned for more entries on Deirdre's new life- and Thom's Seed.)

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