Mr Breadwinner: "It is trying to tell you something: sit down."
But even the small stuff is thwarting me. Everyday tasks become fraught with frustration. Laundry involves numerous dropped socks that take a dog's age and old lady sound-effects to retrieve. Likewise every cup of tea: the spoon, the teabag, the milk top, something is guaranteed to end up on the floor. Every step I take in the slippery shower feels illadvised and high risk. And any attempt to simply 'keep on keeping on' is met with a barrage of taut practice contractions. Not regular, not breathtaking, but sore and impossible to ignore.
Last night reached a new peak. Something had to change.
Him: "How's your knitting going?"
Me: "The blanket's getting there, but I guess you might say it's got positive ease."
Him: "What does that mean?"
Me: "It's enormous, far too big for its intended body."
Him: "Why don't you sit down with it for a while, I'm going to make an apple crumble."
There's some scratchy and experimental Prom concert on the radio. My belly is thrashing painfully from side to side. He chops apples and talks baby names. I'm tearfully uncomfortable in my tight skin.
Him: "I'm going up to the garage to sort some boxes for the charity shop while the crumble cooks. I'll leave you with the oven timer."
Him (returning from the dark garden): "Here, I've brought you a walkie-talkie. I've got the other one in the garage, let's see if they still work."
The radio is playing Delius now, much smoother. The internal struggling is starting to subside.
Crackle-crackle-fizz: "Don't get up when the oven timer goes off... blip... just tell me and I'll come and get the crumble out... blip... over and out."
I look at The Boss' new pile of new library books and check their return dates. They're due back on September 12th. There's every chance we'll be a family of four by then, and therefore only the slimmest possibility I'll remember to take them back. As the panic rises, I get a couple of thrashing blows to the ribs. Deep breaths, listen to the Delius.
Me: "That's the crumble ready... blip... over and out."
Him: "Roger that"
Sitting on the sofa with bowls of hot apple crumble, the many-hinged creature inside seems to have fallen asleep.
That's what I call positive ease.