Sunday, 1 July 2007

Cyril Says...

The writer Cyril Connolly once claimed that 'there is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hallway'. He could have meant a number of things:

1. Pregnancy makes us stupid.

2. We don't have a minute to spare because we're too busy doing fingerpuppet shows and creating nutritious meals from scratch while making sure there are no sharp or small objects within easy reach.

3. Long-term sleep deprivation renders us incapable of anything more complicated than watching CBeebies.

He could have meant a number of other, cleverer things but (a) I'm not (cleverer) and (b) I don't have time to find out who Cyril is or what exactly he meant and (c) I'm so tired I'm starting to dribble. 

So let's get the first one out of the way. Does pregnancy make us stupid? A recent study (a real one, in a university, with proper scientists) revealed that brainpower actually increases during pregnancy. Neuroscientists found that pregnant mice, rats and (rather more significantly unless we're talking about mouse art) humans experienced greater mental acuity while the bun was in the oven and when the bun was baked, put in a pre-washed babygro and plonked in front of a Baby Einstein DVD. The mice and rats had more energy, were more curious, ran mazes more quickly and retained detailed information for longer. Let me think, was I like that with either pregnancy? More energy . . . well, I somehow found the strength to give birth on my living-room floor without so much as a paracetamol (which apparently takes as much energy as running a marathon, though I have to say I'm still waiting for my medal . . . and waiting . . . ). More curious . . . yep, I was curious as to why the hell I thought I could handle two of them when one of them was already running rings around me. Ran mazes more quickly . . . do the narrow aisles in Mothercare count? Retained somethingorother . . . yep, probably.

The neuroscientists therefore found that, no, I have not been rendered so stupid by two pregnancies that I may not pursue my dream of becoming a published author. So far, Phil n Teds in the Hallway: 1, Cyril: 0.

And so to bed . . . 

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Sascha said...

Hmmm... I think having a kid on your living room floor without so much as a paracetemol might be the lesson here rather than mice energy levels - I am sure the neuroscientists will agree that after you can surely achieve anything?!

And not to say that your dream won't come true very soon but good to remember that the very same Cecil C also said it's "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."

I look forward to the next installment Mum's The Word...

Mum'sTheWord said...

That other Cecil quote is infinitely more useful to me - thanks, will use it in a future post.