Never stand between a pregnant woman and her dark chocolate gelato

 The only thing I want to eat at the moment is bitter chocolate gelato.

The universe has done me a small favour in that there are no gelato vendors within walking distance of my house, so when I can’t convince Rufus to ride a few kilometres there and back to pick me up a small cup of fabulousness with a lid, I have to venture out myself in foraging mode.

So the battle commences: will torpor and pregnancy-fanned laziness win out over cravings?

The other day, the cravings won out – weighed down by shopping bags, I got out of the cab for a special gelato pitstop, walked down a few flights of stairs and lodged my order.

Lumbering back up the stairs with bags in tow, and my precious cargo in hand, a beggar woman with babe in arms made a beeline for me. Maybe she thought I would be especially sympathetic given I am about to bring my own child into the world.

And in my defence, I am not normally rude to beggars, or to anyone in particular. I am an almost unfailingly polite person, even under pressure, and constantly hear the voice of my mother ringing in my head when I am tempted not to be: “Manners are the lubricant of society”. In my years in Peru various beggars and shoe-shine boys have cheerfully tapped me for cash, food, nappies and chemist supplies.

But not this one. She made a fatal error.

At first she just asked me for a donation. Then her eyes locked on my gelato, and she fixed me with pathetic glare that said everything about how little she had and how much I had and how unfair the whole world is etc etc… which is all true of course. And then she said, “Invitame“, which is Spanish for “invite me”, or “Hand over the ice cream”.

I didn’t hesitate.

“No!” I barked at her.

We were both a little startled by my ferocity. She scuttled off to her next likely target. And I walked away feeling guilty, but mostly, if I am honest, I was just REALLY pissed off that she had tried to get her mittens on my gelato.

“This is MY chocolate gelato,” a primal voice somewhere inside me kept saying. “What would a baby want with chocolate gelato anyway? Why should I share my ice cream? I need this ice cream.”

She really would have had better luck just asking me to hand over my shoes.

If I am capable of this, I have to wonder, what else will I be capable of when the baby arrives and the sleep deprivation begins? I fear it won’t always be pretty.

Another, less dark, side of my character emerged today to surprise me when the paint guy came to strip the mustard yellow from our spare room walls. I can’t tell you how excited I got, seeing the walls stripped back to a kind of pale whitewash over brick.

I have never in my life got a thrill out of home furnishings or paint finishes. This must be the fabled “nesting” phase.

But stage one of the nursery painting project was not enough to sate me. I called the curtain people as well and made an appointment for them to come over. And then I started fantasising about repainting the lounge and our bedroom as well. I wasted a good hour flipping through the paint swatch booklet, and I enjoyed every minute.

Now I am dreamily wondering whether we should get a very pale-coloured soft voile curtain to hang over the blackout. Seriously, who am I?




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