Meet the foetus.
A little weekly ritual of mine and Tadpole’s consists of looking up on various websites the info for whatever week of pregnancy I happen to be in (the tail end of week 16 at the time of writing) and reading out the recap of baby’s development. ‘Ooh, it’s got fingernails!’ I shriek. Or ‘Ew, it can wee in the water in my tummy!’ (Which is the technical term for amniotic fluid, in case you were wondering.)
The one thing I dislike about these week-by-week foetal development diaries is that the writers, pursuing the laudable aim of making things as concrete and real as possible, tend to compare the size of the beast to that of a piece of fruit, say. In week 16-17, for example, baby is officially the size (but not yet the weight) of an avocado.
The problem with this, I find, is that when, after a week of eyeing up said avocado (and wondering why, if it’s that small, my belly is already the size of a large melon), I finally give in to the urge to EAT IT, French style, by cutting it in half, smothering it in French dressing and scooping out the flesh with a teaspoon, I feel somewhat uneasy. Not guilty, exactly, but let’s just say I don’t enjoy my feast quite as much as I should.
So, in order to remove ersatz-foetus from my diet altogether, Tadpole and I have devised the revolutionary Soft Toy Sizing SystemTM instead. (So, um, yes, the baby is the tiger, not the passport. The passport is provided for the purposes of scale.)
Tadpole’s soft toy collection is (dusty and) varied, and I look forward to the coming weeks, when tiger will be replaced by Wibbly Pig, for example, or Peter Rabbit. I must admit that I’m slightly less thrilled at the prospect of week 20, where my only correctly-sized option will be a big-nosed replica of Postman Pat, complete with spectacles and satchel.
But the real problem, of course, will come when we get beyond the week 30 watershed, which represents the largest teddy in Tadpole’s collection – a wopping 30 cm long. How, I wonder to myself, shooting teddy an anxious sidelong glance and ‘kegeling’ furiously on the inside, can I possibly play host to something that will actually end up being more like 50 cm long at full term? Something which, in food terms, is described by babycentre’s helpful website as ‘a small pumpkin’?
I feel there is an argument, from that point onwards, for abandoning the ‘concrete and real’ approach and adopting a policy of deliberate vagueness instead, while simultaneously outlawing every ruler and tape measure in the house.
And needless to say, pumpkin will be off the menu chez petite come October. As will Halloween.