Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Free Will, Ageing Armpits and a Truly Original Valentines Present

So the last few days have been revelatory in many ways.

My 19 month old daughter has just discovered free will in a big way. Every parent reading this will need no further explanation and can just nod in empathy remembering their own particular moments of public humiliation at the hands of a tantrum wielding toddler. I have been there before with my son, yet somehow I thought my daughter would be different. I had convinced myself that her amenable, giggling babyhood was indicative of a truly sweet and placid temperament. I am an eternal optimistic fool.

The difference this time is that I know it will not be for ever. This phase does come to an end. My son is now peeping shyly around the corner of becoming a reasonable human being. He is within touching distance of rational thought and basic decency....if he can only......stretch that bit.....further........ we'll be there.

In the meantime I will ride the crest of my daughters moods and it will all be fine. She may look like she has come straight from a Mabel Lucie Atwell illustration, but she has the fire of a true warrior. Let battle commence.

Leading me to the second revelation of the week. Historically I've not really given much thought to my armpits. They get a daily dose of deodorant and are casually threatened with a wafting razor and that's about it. I now realise I should have paid them much more attention. I should have revelled in their tautness; the tight hollow between arm and torso. I should have gloried in their smooth contours because seemingly overnight they have become the first part of me to significantly and irrefutably look OLD.

At some point between September (when it was last hot enough to wear a vest outside) and Saturday night, gravity has extacted such a precision targeted almighty pull on my armpits that I now officially have an armpit wattle.

I noticed this as I tried on a sleeveless dress to go to my friends 40th birthday party. The dress always looked fine on before but this time something jarred. It took me a few minutes of squinting and trying different angles in the mirror before I realised what the subtle difference was. Before I had nice armpits, now they look very much like the photo I chose for this week's silent sunday;

My armpits have now been formally retired from public view. I am distraught.

And the final word is reserved for my husband. I love you so very much. You are thoughtful, loving, supportive, generous and do all the laundry. You are my hero and I know that your heart was truly in the right place. It reflected my love for history and collecting quirky and interesting anecdotes about places. At any other time it would have been the most wonderful present, but somehow buying me a guided tour of Manchester's underground sewer system for Valentine's Day seems to err slightly on the side of unromantic.

I'm just saying.

(I love you. x)