If I had the energy I'd kick myself. Imagine what a beautifully chiseled stomach I'd have if I'd just done 20 sit-ups everyday for the last month. This falls into the same category as 'if only I'd saved £1 every week since I was 16' etc etc. Doh. Everyday I think, ok, I'll start today. Clean slate. Be positive. You can do it. You moved to Italy on your own with just a few quid in your pocket. You gave birth in a foreign language in a country where they think gas and air are for hot air balloons. You can manage a couple of sit-ups. However, I challenge anyone who's been up since 5.30am with a teething baby to start leaping around doing gymnastics as soon as said infant collapses asleep mid-morning. You think going to work every day is hard? I can barely drag my saggy tummy to the kettle to make a cup of tea these days.
So what's the solution? Well, I've found it. Come to England for a couple of weeks. English people have all become so fat and gross (ahem, friends and family excluded) that I feel as svelt as a Swedish super model on a diet of Tic Tacs and toothpaste. Of course, as soon as I get back to Milan I'll probably commit Harakiri on the pushchair handles when I realise that just one of my can't-blame-it-on-the-baby-anymore thighs has roughly the same circumference as four Miu Miu Mums roped together with a Louis Vuitton luggage strap. For the moment though I'm smugness personified and reward myself at least once a day with a chocolate brownie or Snickers bar. Yum.
Problem no. 2 these days is how to deal with said teething baby. Nobody warned me about the mucus. She's so congested that the other day she sneezed and snot came out of her eye. Truth. Luckily, I found a kind of solution this morning at the local café: while I was smugly enjoying my slice of cake, I noticed a couple in the corner with a tiny, fresh-from-the-box baby. The parents had the kind of harrowed look of people who are only just beginning to realise that they've intentionally sabotaged their lives FOREVER and may never sleep, eat, read, have sex (what's that?) again. Thank God, I thought, that I survived those early days and what a relief that little Isabel now sleeps at night, plays happily, loves ripping books to shreds etc. Maybe teething isn't so bad after all. And although some days she's more of a Grizzabel, or Decibel (as my dad has baptised her), or Alarm bell (as I like to call her), on the whole she's just plain Isabel.