Thursday, 30 June 2011

Korova Milk Bar

A quickie again, I am afraid. 

These days my life revolves around breastfeeding. Husband changed my nickname from Breadknife (A Cockney rhyming slang for Wife) to a Korova Milk Bar (borrowed from Clockwork Orange). This is what my life has become. To appreciate the whole extent of this metamorphose, you need to know that,during the dating stage of our relationship, he used to call me Rockchik

Oh, well. Never mind. My main consolation is that my bra size now is three times bigger than before. I am not making this up. The M&S sales assistant measured me up. 

But really, I was not going to talk about the size of my Korova milk bar equipment today. I just wanted to show you something my child made with her friend a few days ago.

So, you take a child whose parents are positively non-religious, and her Jewish classmate, leave them alone for an hour, and this 

is what they proudly produce. Yes. It is a cross, if you have any doubts. 

I hoped it might just look a bit like a cross. An accidental resemblance, so to speak. But when I attempted to throw it away earlier today, she confirmed it was indeed a cross. And the friend, according to her mother, commented that 'if you stand in front of it, it makes you look like Jesus'.

Thank you, I thought, Mrs X, an evangelical teacher in what is supposed to be a non-religious state school...Oh, well. Back to my main duty. Now, which side was it last time?...

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A short and sweet one.

A kind (Russian) friend stopped by the other day and brought me a lovely baby gift, a card and a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

‘What is it with you guys and the chushka chocolates?’Husband questioned. 

I laughed, as he always says that about poor Ferrero chocolates. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that they are, just like certain clothes or cars are as uncouth in the UK as they are posh back home.
Nobody local ever brought me Ferrero Rochers. But I still receive a box every now and again. Always from someone from an ex-Soviet country.
So, I tried to figure out what it is about Ferrero Rochers, or their lighter brother Rafaello that makes them chushkas. I mean, how can chocolates be chushka?
Husband could not answer the simple question. Maybe it is the advert, he said. The whole "Monsieur, with these Rocher, you're really spoiling us"? I googled it and came across the explanation on wikipedia: 

'In the United Kingdom the 1990s advertisement series based upon a party in a European ambassador's official residence has been repeatedly parodied in popular culture...and taken on a reputation for having limited artistic value.'

Perhaps, it is like that Baby Dior dress someone gave me for my first child when she was a baby. With Baby Dior letters carved into the material all over the little dress.. 

Or the typical New Russian must-have Louis Vuitton handbag, or the Rolex watches...

It all makes some sense to me. Too much money, too little style. But chocolates? Really?

PS There is a new law in the UK now, in case you have not heard. You don't have to be reported by the person you insult anymore. For example. You and I are sitting in an open plan office. I call you a chushka, and you laugh. You think it is okay to be called a chushka. However! Your colleague at the desk next to yours might be offended by that word. So he/she can go straight to HR and complain. Amazing, isn't it? So, should any of you get offended on behalf of Ferrero chocolates because I called them chushka, please feel free to complain. 

Sunday, 12 June 2011

A disability awareness video

While I am sleepy, lazy and useless with my blog postings, I thought I would share this disability awareness video by United Aid for Azerbaijan (UAFA), an organization founded back in 1998 by someone I know.

A while ago, we talked about disability in a country like Azerbaijan; and what my personal awareness of it was like back home. So, as you can imagine, I was touched and impressed by this video. Probably my hormones again. But I thought I would share it. The people in the video are all well-known for singing, sports, etc.

I just wanted to say thank you UAFA and everyone involved.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Where did my brain go?


I am kind of back. But not entirely. Ever since my baby was born, I have been watching the world around me from inside some bubble filled with gas and air. Slowly, I am beginning to emerge. But my brain is still very slow, affected by the lack of sleep and the trauma of childbirth.

Because, whatever those crazy masochistic natural birth fanatics tell you, giving birth SUCKS.

I have to tell you, that I am definitely not the natural birth fan. I am glad I never got lured into that midwives-led natural birthsection of the hospital I was telling you about. That would have finished me. I mean, WHY? Why would anyone in this day and age volunteer to suffer such horrendous, agonizing, all-consuming, and, most importantly, pointless pain? It is like asking your dentist to not anesthetise you before he pulls your teeth out. 

As it turned out, I still suffered, even though, if you look at the way everything worked out, it was a straightforward delivery. No complications, no emergency C-sections...No scary tools to pull the baby out of me. So really, I have nothing to complain about. 

I had a fantastic Nigerian midwife. She entertained me with stories about Nigerian men. Of course, not straight away, but after I finally got my epidural and sucked on gas&air pipe, which gave me hope that I might live. So, I could talk to my midwife and even make jokes. And, I enjoyed listening about Nigerian men. According to my midwife, they are culturally allowed to leave their wives or just have sex with another woman, if the wife does not produce a boy. So, as a Nigerian wife, even though she lives in the UK, my midwife had to keep producing children until, finally, the 4th one was a boy. She was very lucky, she said. Otherwise, her husband could have left her. So, not only I delivered my baby girl that day, I also learned that Nigerian men are bastards. Imagine having to go through this agony over and over again, not because you desperately want to have more kids, but because you have to give your husband a son? 

The midwife kept me going. Even when the doctor, who stopped by for a minute, decided it was a good idea to stop topping up the epidural, so I could push the baby out naturally. I did not think it was a good idea, personally.
‘Tell you what would be a good idea?’ I said, ‘To keep topping up the epidural until it leaks out of my nose.’
 But, the doctor thought otherwise. So, it was the midwife who was telling me I was doing great when I thought I was about to cark it. She was the one who told me to place my foot on her wide sturdy hip and push that baby out. That day, there was nobody in this world more special to me than my new baby and my Nigerian midwife.

So, in short, that is the story. I also realized that women are meant to have babies when they are young. Five years ago, I was out for a coffee morning on the day 4 after giving birth. This time, I wanted to hide in a deep dark cave with no humans around for at least that whole first week. I also realized that the 40-days- no- visitors rule back home is a fantastic idea. It would never work in the UK, but I totally understand now the benefits of such tradition. 

As for me right now, my calendar is filled with visitors. We live in the neighbourhood that I can only describe as breeders’ heaven. Everyone loves babies and everyone is excited for you. Besides friends, we had a card from my older child’s teachers, and the school dinner lady; and a huge bouquet of flowers from all the mothers in her class.  I had random cards and presents sent to me by people I hardly know. It is incredible, to tell you the truth, and wonderful but also tiring and overwhelming. I panic that I have not thanked people enough, I panic that I probably should write down who sent us what, so that I could later do my thank you cards...I panic that I have not responded to every kind wish on Facebook...But in reality, I have no energy or time. My brain is reduced to the size of a radish, and all I can focus on is whether my body is producing enough milk. 

I promise to be back properly soon, and we can talk about ethnic identities, or the importance of the Eurovision victory for democracy in Azerbaijan, or whatever else might tickle our fancy. At the moment though, all I can think about is feeding schedules, lack of sleep and whether I can handle more than one visitor in one day. 

 PS: It took me three nights to finish this posting.