I have just sorted three different kinds of toy blocks in to their separate piles when I turn to see Reservoir Mum is standing in the lounge.
‘It feels like I’ve been constipated this whole fricking pregnancy…’
‘Huzzah!’ I say.
“…and I’m so over people touching my stomach all the time,’ she says.
‘That’s assault,’ I say, taking her hands in mine. ‘You should tell them all to get stuffed.’
‘Yeah, I’m sure I can just tell a patient to get stuffed,’ she says.
‘Just tell them to get stuffed with your eyes,’ I say, brushing the hair from her brow. ‘You can do it. You’ve got the best get stuffed eyes I’ve ever seen.’
When I try to read her face I am reminded of Christina Ricci playing Wednesday Adams in The Adam’s Family. ‘Okay,’ I say, resigned, ‘I didn’t really want to tell you this… but I knew this day might come. I’ve been picking up some pretty deadly moves while watching Archie’s Karate lessons. I’ve learnt a lot and I think it’s time to pass my knowledge on to you. Now… I want you to reach for my stomach.’
When she extends her arm I drop my forearm and cut her hand away effortlessly. ‘That’s called Gedan Ude Uke,’ I tell her. ‘Now you try.’
I reach for her stomach and am pleased to feel my arm is butted away. ‘You learn fast,’ I say.
When she smiles and says, ‘Thanks sweetheart,’ I sense that there is still some debriefing to do and to help her through it I insist that she call me Sensai and continue with her Karate training as she unburdens herself.
‘Yesterday at the pool, when I was getting changed with the boys,’ she says, ‘Archie yells out “that’s the biggest belly I’ve ever seen. It looks like it’s gunna explode. It even has little cracks in it!” And I said “Those are stretch marks Archie”
‘Shit, I know how you feel about the stretch marks,’ I say. ‘Remember when my bench press increased dramatically in a short period of time and I got that stretch mark on one of my pecs?’
‘Yes, Sensai,’ she says.
‘That was awesome,’ I nod.
‘And then,’ she continues, ‘with all these people around, he asks “How does the doctor get the baby out?” and I didn’t want to get into vaginas and everything and so I said “He just makes a cut and gets it out” and then Archie says “How do they cut the skin? Do they stick something in to make a hole and then cut it open?” and I just said “Yes Archie, something like that.”’
‘Wow,’ I say. ‘Do you really think it’s better to tell Archie that his Mum’s guts are going to get torn asunder instead of just letting him in on the fact that babies come out of vaginas?’
‘I don’t know. I guess so… I mean yes, Sensai.’
‘Maybe we should just start answering those questions more honestly?’
‘You think they’re ready for that?’ she asks, as her forearm bone butts my hand away with speed and precision.
‘Dunno,’ I say, a little forlornly, ‘Maybe.’
The rising wave of sadness I had been feeling for Reservoir Mum becomes too strong to ignore and so I counter her next Gedan Ude Uke with a more advanced move that I can’t quite remember the name of and pull her close. ‘You look awesome,’ I say. ‘You’re pregnant and beautiful.’
After a moment she lifts her head and says, ‘So, we gettin’ jiggy with it tonight?’
‘Shabang!’ I say, ‘I didn’t see that coming…’
‘You know – the house demolition, moving in to your Mum and Dad’s house… the constipation, the stretch marks, the people touching you all the time…’
When she says, ‘Better get yourself sorted stud,’ and slaps me on the cracker, my posture corrects itself and I feel like a Monster Energy Drink in human form. My mind is instantly sharper and my senses keener – I can smell a wet dog two blocks from here.
A moment of post coital silence passes before Reservoir Mum says, ‘So, Mum and Dad will be back from holiday in three weeks.’
‘Yay!’ I say, ‘We should celibate… I mean celebrate.’
‘Ha Ha,’ RM says, ‘Things will have to slow down at some stage you realize? I’ll be nine months pregnant in the not too distant future…’
“What?’ I say, pointing at her belly, ‘So that’s not a tumor?’
When she finishes laughing she thinks for a moment and says, ‘I really don’t think you should blog that. People might not get our tumor humor. They might take offense.’
True,’ I say. ‘I won’t blog it… but that reminds me….. pregnancy tip week 26! babycentre.com.au says you may start experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions. They can be more frequent when bending over, climbing stairs or having sex. But there’s no need for concern unless they become frequent and painful, or if you are also experiencing them with back pain.’
‘Nice one,’ she says.
‘Thanks,’ I reply before chuckling and saying, ‘It is kind of weird though, isn’t it?’
‘What?’ she says.
‘That babies come out of vaginas… you know? That they just come right out of them. I mean it’s fricken crazy.’
‘I still can’t get my head around it,’ Reservoir Mum says. ‘…the boys won’t be ready to hear that yet, will they?’
‘Hmmm,’ I say, ‘I think we should just stick with tearing your guts asunder.’