Picture the scene, it’s 1982 in suburban North London, my sister and I are are jumping around on the bed to Madonna. The conversation turns to what we want to be when we are older.This is not an unusual scenario. I decide to be an archaeologist (which I became) but I also recall discussing marriage and kids. I would get married at 21, that was ever so old and have 2 children; a girl and a boy.
Twenty eight years later and I’m living the dream, baby. Except I didn’t get married at 21, in fact at 25 an email was sent around to all my friends asking whether they wanted to come out and celebrate the birthday of ‘The Bridget Jones of archaeology’. It was a fair analysis, but on that birthday my husband managed to have enough to drink (at Bar Madrid in London’s West End) to ask me out in a rather drunken manner. I said yes, and he drunkenly kissed me whilst we were standing up against a wall. Probably to help steady himself. I felt mildly embarrassed, all my friends had seen it coming and had been analysing the courtship, they were all watching (and all drunk).
We had a lovely wedding in the local church where everyone was invited for cake and champagne afterwards and a few friends and family came to a meal in a nice local restaurant. The next day we stayed at The Vineyard hotel in the poshest room I have ever stayed in and had a Michelin starred dinner and breakfast. We then honeymooned in a lighthouse in Cornwall where we had one of our only (ever) arguments about not taking water to drink on an extremely long hike and a lovely dinner at Rick Stein’s restaurant. It was all perfect.
Everyone assumed I would be pregnant within a week. We had been living together for a few years, owned a house together. In their eyes this was why we got married. It wasn’t, so we left it. For quite a while. Then a few people we knew started having kids, the clock was ticking, thirty wasn’t far off and it seemed like a now or never moment. Except it didn’t happen, for months and months which turned into a year and more. I started getting distraught about it. I would never be a mother, it wasn’t for me. I made the husband take one of those tests which measures sperm count. He laughed, I stressed. I read about all sorts of things to do. It was the subject of endless conversations. Then my sister suggested reflexology and I found a dodgy mole.
The date was booked for the removal of the mole, I had had two sessions of reflexology. The operation was done, it was a big mole, I felt a bit weird and had to take the day off work to have a rest. That week I became pregnant with Toddler boy. I was over-joyed and sad at the same time. Was it the right thing for us? And so is the contradiction of me. Partly it was a bit of vanity, I had finally managed to get a flat tummy and a bit of a six pack, for the first time in my entire life I was un-ashamed of my flabby tummy. If that is not the Law of Sod in action I don’t know what is.
So you see, I’ve actually achieved my dream of what I want to be when I grow up. When I ask Toddler boy he is fairly consistent in his dream of being a pilot. Fifi wants to be a vet, at least this is what I am drumming into her. Except I haven’t grown up. I feel the same as I did when I was seven and now I want to be a housewife, an explorer and adventurer, a pop star and an international jet setter. But most of all I want to achieve a household of fun, music and laughter.