Monday, April 23, 2012

I horrify people.

Given that I was due four (I think?) days ago, people are really giving me the look any time I am in public. I went to a gigantic kids' rummage sale FILLED with pregnant ladies and yet I still got the look. I don't know why I don't lie when people ask about my due date. I think from now on I'm just going to lie and say I have another week yet to go.

In fact, I think you should never tell people you are overdue. Their responses are never good. 

"That is going to be a 12 pound baby!" "I guess it could be." "You can't survive that!"

"WHOA! You should sit down."

(looking at stomach) "Doesn't that hurt!?!"  "No." "It hurts me just to look at it."

"Why aren't you in the hospital making that baby come out!?"

"You shouldn't be up and walking around! You should be at home, resting!"

Sometimes people don't say much that's offensive, but instead get this demeanor about them that suggests their newest, biggest fear is my water breaking all over their Nikes. Or maybe that my baby will suddenly, without warning, start crowning and they will be forced to tie off the umbilical cord with their shoelaces and rush me and my gooey, gory newborn to the nearest ER for evaluation.

If I really wanted them to freak out, I could tell them that I've been having weird irregular contractions since Thursday night.  I could tell them that I've lost my mucus plug. (Yes, that is really a term medical people use with a straight face.) I could tell them I'm walking around 5 cm dilated and can you believe my cervix is this ripe?

 But no, I am trying to be nice and not freak people out. So I'll just smile and accept their dumb comments with the minimum amount of sarcasm I can issue. I am so nice to people.

(For the record, if you ever actually were in a situation that demanded you deliver a baby, here is what you do: pretty much nothing. Basically, your job would be to not run away and maybe call an ambulance. Be a visible object for the woman to shout obscenities at, if need be. If the baby starts falling out, don't let it drop a long distance to the floor. Cover the baby with a sweater or towel or something warm-ish while the mom holds it.

That is about it.

I swear, you don't need to gnaw the cord off. You don't even need to cut it at all. You don't have to reach into anybody's vagina and pull a baby out. You don't need any machines, knowledge of babies, or medical degrees. You just need to not be an idiot. Tell the lady she's doing a good job and then let her work her magic uterus muscles until that baby comes out. It might be some secret that doctors don't want you to know, but having a baby is typically no big deal. It just sorta happens. It hurts a lot. It is really gross. And it super sucks. But then it sorta resolves itself. Case closed.

But I guess that would make for a terribly boring scene in a movie, right?)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Comment about my belly button and I will punch you in the face.

I am to that point of pregnancy where people think they can just say/do whatever they want and it's totally cool. For example: "Hey! Don't mind me. I will stop you from doing what you're doing to tell you all about my horrific labor and delivery story! Don't let me forget the part about my 6 inch episiotomy!!"

Or, "Hey lady! Isn't being pregnant  a mystical supernatural event that just lifts you off the plane of this universe and allows you to reach your true Earth Goddess Mother potential?!!"

The most common exclamation I get is the ever-popular, "WHOA, THERE. You look like you're about to pop at any second now! Let that baby out!"

Haha. Hahahahaha.

Those people are so funny. I have never heard that joke before. Please, continue with your witticisms and make the comment about my belly button popping out. That must mean that the baby is done cooking, right?! That one never gets old. That's comedic gold right there!

That last one is my favorite because it's like they're trying to tell me something I don't know. As if I'm not aware that this thing has been growing in me for the last 9 months and it should come out pretty soon. As if I'm not very keenly aware that my massive girth is skewing the rotation of the earth and knocking cans of Ro-Tel off of supermarket shelves.

Amen, I say to you, I am way more aware than you are that I am huge and that this thing needs to come out. Thanks for the gentle and tactful reminder.

Women are usually guilty of these things more often than men, and they often cite some sort of common-bond of womanhood law as an excuse to tell me whatever they want.

All women also get their periods, but nobody talks about that. No one sees an awkward 12 year old growing boobs and pulls her aside to say, "Listen, when I was growing my boobs I went to see Dr. Hansburg and he was so wonderful!"

EVERYBODY in the world poops yet nobody ever walks into the stall next to you and is like, "One time I took a dump so massive it made my large intestine bleed."

There are so many "common bond" things that humans have, so why is the pregnant condition so different that everyone must bring it up and compare stories? Why is it okay to bring up such personal stuff with somebody you happen to run into in the produce section? Long answer short: it's not okay. It's gross.

Somebody (besides my doctor) has asked me point blank how much I weigh. Multiple people have asked me how much weight I've gained with this pregnancy. A mall walker asked to see my stretch marks. An obese drive-thru worker gasped and commented, "OH, WOW." when she saw my belly resting on my lap, as if mine was so much more remarkable than her own gut. A worker in a lingerie store told me she could feel my baby's strong aura. At least half a dozen people have asked what gender the baby is and then commented, "I knew it! I could tell because your stomach is hanging so low/high/compact/wide/lopsided."

I couldn't even count the number of people who have asked if I will be breastfeeding, will I have a natural childbirth, how long was my previous labor, and don't I want a little girl? The birth stories I have heard from people are enough to make a woman want to jab out her uterus with a hot poker.

The worst part is that this madness hasn't just infected passers-by, it's gotten to my family too. Every day I get calls and texts from relatives I usually hear nothing from. Some ask outright if I've had the baby, others are more roundabout in saying, "So... ....Well. What's new with you? ...Anything going on?"

Even more stealthily, some people call to tell me they found some good coupons for Tide and trust them they were calling about the coupons and not to harass me about the baby.

Does everyone in my family think that I will labor quietly in the alley and then hide the baby? Do they think I am just going to show up one day to the family Thanksgiving and shout, "SURPRISE!" when I reveal the 6 month old baby on my hip?

Trust me. When something happens, you will be notified, if only because I can't take another person asking if I "feel anything different yet."


Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Pictured: Sickliest boy and laziest dog companion.
Oliver has a pretty gross, phlegmy chest cough going on right now. Yesterday he was in a pretty good mood. Today he is grumpier, which is part of my problem. The other part of my problem is that I am unbelievably tired today and I keep falling asleep. Oliver is very angry about this. He gets inches away from my sleeping face and yells, "No, Mom. NOT SLEEP. TAKE CARE OF ME NOW."

So... there's that. Which is... charming. Especially the projectile spray of sputum that mists my face and slaps me from my slumber.

When we came home from his (first) gymnastics class on Monday night, we realized he had a fever. It may or may not have contributed to his (lack of) skills that he showcased. Embarrassing or not, he had a good time and I'm confident he'll do better next time. Some of the kids had already taken the class before so he was at a bit of a disadvantage, but he doesn't seem to compare himself to them yet.

I've been showing Oliver some YouTube videos of kids doing gymnastics so he has more of an idea of what to do. He seemed supremely confused by everyone's enthusiasm and demands of "walk across this" or "jump off of that." Part of this confusion is probably because he wasn't feeling great.. the other part is probably because, well, those people are a little bit crazy.

I had a hard time telling if he was really enjoying himself or not. He wasn't very.... ...emotional. At all. But when we finished he said he had fun and he wants to go again. So we'll go again, and I'm sure he'll get the hang of it. Eventually.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Oliver had his first experience colouring eggs last Friday. He actually did a really good job. I don't think he broke any and he was very gentle dropping them into the cups. I was especially impressed by his ability to move the eggs with a spoon and not the fancy egg wire thing. His clothes and his hands didn't get any dye on them either.

Today we went out for brunch and then went back to my parents' for an Easter egg hunt.

On the way home, Oliver insisted on carrying the bag of eggs and candy. Ten minutes into the car ride home, we looked back and found that he had opened up the bag and helped himself to some more chocolate.

Happy Easter, everybody.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A sign that we really should get a screen door. And a new dog.

The weather is so nice that I've been opening the back patio door each afternoon. The only problem with this scenario is that we don't have a screen door. It's on my list of things to buy and do, but as you all know that list is long and few things actually get done. I should start adding "sit on your ass all day" or "go to the bathroom an unbelievable amount of times"  to my lists so I could at least check something off each day.

But anyway.

This afternoon I was writing my grocery lists for next week when the dog came bolting out of nowhere to hide behind me. Usually Mya is afraid because of something Oliver is doing/did to her, but Oliver was asleep and I doubted he was the perpetrator this time.

I shoved the dog off of me and went back to my lists until I heard a noise over by the garbage can. I looked up and saw a beady-eyed  squirrel staring at me, just over the threshold of our house. I've watched a lot of Animal Planet in my day, and I know that it was a big squirrel. We're talking a huge, fat, neighborhood-fed squirrel that knows no fear. It was Squirrelzilla, and it was standing right in our dining room.

Being the NPR listening family that we are, we've heard several stories about the dangers of rodent encounters. In particular, we've heard a This American Life story about a squirrel being loosed inside somebody's home and causing great damage and embarrassment several times. I would not allow us to become an NPR statistic like that one.

From the look in his eye, this squirrel knew that I knew it had the upper hand. It was small, maneuverable, and unpredictable. I am.... not.  It was taunting me, you guys. It wanted to harass me. I knew something had to be done about it, and since the dumb dog was even more afraid than I was, I had to man up and attack this thing wild west style, guns ablazing.

For a while, the squirrel and I regarded each other. We needed to size each other up. The squirrel would have been excellent in a staring contest.  It was quite intimidating. I am sure the squirrel was inspecting the peanut crumbs on my shirt and finding me quite delicious looking. It was an intense stand off before battle.

Thinking of nothing better to do, I grabbed the Mr. Potato Head body sitting next to me and chucked it at the squirrel. It ran out the door and off of our deck. I haven't seen it since. The end.

(What, you thought that was an anti-climactic ending?)

Patio furniture.

So... I know you're not supposed to covet your neighbors' goods and all but...I really want patio furniture.

Everybody in our neighborhood has patio furniture. And they are ALWAYS out there enjoying it.

I do not have patio furniture. I drag out a plain old kitchen chair and soak up my white trash vibes as I sit out there eating lunch. And it's not very comfortable. And it's hard to get the chair back inside.

I am sitting on a a plain wooden chair completely alone on my completely empty deck. While eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. While Oliver runs in and out of the house with peanut butter and jelly smeared on his face.  Meanwhile, our neighbors wave across the lawn from their schnazzy patio sets as they grill up some tasty dinner on their shiny mega-beast gas grills. Presumably, they're grilling rack of lamb or some other fancy pants meal like that. I am certain of it. Surely people with such nice patio furniture don't just grill brats and burgers, right?

I have a goal for my rummage sale-ing this season. I need to find me some respectable sittin' pieces.