Recap: Even though Zani and Jake both act as if they never had the baby conversation, Zani is right back at her computer googling ‘Perfect Parents’ – to have a goal to work towards, of course. This morning, as usual, her nose is glued to the screen.
I simply can’t wait to find out what the experts mean by ‘windows of opportunity’!
A window of opportunity is the prime time for a specific kind of development. In my notes, I jot down:
And that is as far as I get before my tea has gone cold and it is time to get back to work. Come lunchtime, I’ll get to it – for sure.
But then something rather unexpected happens. Jake calls and invites me to lunch. Jake never does something as spontaneous as this – certainly not during office hours on a weekday – and I am briefly tempted to say I can’t make it, make up some excuse (I need to get back to The List!), but something tells me I shouldn’t be fobbing him off, not at this delicate stage in our ‘negotiations’, so I agree to meet him at our favourite coffee shop.
We both order the chef’s special, a cappuccino for me and an espresso for Jake. (I can’t help myself and my mind swings back to what my research said about caffeine in the sperm-development programme …) Jake looks very serious as he slides a file of documents across the table to me. Gingerly, I lift the cover and look at the page on top. I duly burst into tears.
I am speechless. There, in the file, right on top, is a document Jake has compiled on preconceptual care!
“Hey, I’m still not sure that a baby is the best thing for us right now, but I’m cool with our talking about it,” he ventures. “And guess what? You were right, I am the perfect partner if you want to have a kid with a high IQ!”
We forget all about our food. We laugh and laugh, especially about all the silly bits he has pulled off the net, like if all the cells in a human body were joined end to end, they would stretch for 1000 kilometres – the distance between Rome and Paris.
He also found that a woman is born with a limited number of eggs and that makes up her total supply for a lifetime – she can either use them or lose them.
Also, says Og Mandino, 400 million seeds run the race of conception, but only two seeds need to succeed in finding each other – both with 23 chromosomes, each with hundreds of genes on each chromosome.
From these raw materials, God could have created 300 thousand billion humans, each one different …
With notebook, pen and Jake’s file safely tucked away in my big, bulky but oh-so-trendy handbag, I drive back to work, keen to jump right into the pile of work on my desk with absolute dedication. Remember, I still need to prove that I’m grown-up and responsible and therefore qualified to be a mommy. But prove myself to whom? Jake? The trio – Dread, Anxiety and Fear?
I need to prove it to myself. My self-esteem bucket is seldom full; there are lots of little holes drilled over the years by hurtful words, rejection, sibling rivalry and the lack of love, acceptance and understanding at home and at school.
That’s the one thing about me that really irritates Jake – my lack of self-esteem. He gives me loads of love, acceptance and understanding and even a generous portion of admiration on a daily basis, but it never seems to be enough. As quickly as he gives it, it all just seeps through those holes, and if it doesn’t seep out fast enough, the terrible trio start to drain it all away.
On those awful days when I feel like the chewing gum stuck to the sole of someone’s shoe, I sometimes think Jake makes up excuses to run an errand, or do some other chore. It’s like when I need him the most, he runs away!
Please understand, Jake is my fuel station – he’s the only one who manages to keep my bucket full. If he’s not there to shower me with love, acceptance, understanding and admiration, I often feel ugly, worthless and useless. And poor self-worth welcomes Dread, Anxiety and Fear.
It’s not that easy to focus when the bucket is overflowing with love and joy because of a simple ‘Jake’ file tucked away in my bag. That file is living proof that Jake has really heard me, and is contemplating things in his own way and at his own pace. That is a good sign. A very good sign.
It is a long, long afternoon at the office. However, I do manage to sneak a quick minute to Google ‘Valentine’s meal’ – it isn’t Valentine’s Day, I know, but I want to lay my hands on a menu for a romantic dinner for Jake. It isn’t long before I find one, print it out and tuck it in the preconceptual care file, smiling to myself. How appropriate is that!
At 5pm on the dot, I grab my bag and race to the shops to buy all the ingredients, pick up a bottle of wine and Jake’s favourite dark chocolates. (Note to self: check that darn sperm-development programme for anything that may be on the ‘no-go’ list!)
When I get home, I jump into the shower and lather myself with the ‘special occasion’ body wash and lotion, and then spritz a little of the matching perfume on my freshly washed hair.