Princess: Three months to go, but who’s counting?
“Gee, honey. Look how I’m so little and you’re so big,” my dad said the other morning as we were poking around the chicken.
I had just woken up, my hair disheveled, a waxy film still coating my mouth. I was in no mood for his little keen observation.
“Oh, he doesn’t mean it like that,” my mom said, rolling her eyes and doing her best to downplay a crisis-in-the-making. “He just means that you’re so tall — in those platform flip-flops of yours.”
They both did their best to back peddle, literally stepping away from me as if my fat/grouchy condition might be contagious, circling cautiously as they made their way to the couch so they could play with their iPads in peace.
They are like teenagers with those things, their noses constantly in their screens. Dad reads news and mom is addicted to FreeCell. Gone are the days when we sit around and have conversations where we actually look at each other when we talk. It’s funny how, at a certain point, your parents become your children. I always feel like I need to make sure their jackets are zipped and their backpacks are snapped shut. I have to remind them to eat actual meals and to turn their cellphones on and to let someone know where they are going, especially when they decide to head into the backcountry to go cross-country skiing when there is so much new snow that all the trail markers are buried (true story: Their dog Sabrina was the one the who led them out of the woods, only to make the paper the next day with a photo and everything).
Anyhoo, I just started my third trimester last week, and with it, a whole new slew of fun experiences and realities. So just indulge me for a second:
Here are some of the super fun things I get to share with you about late pregnancy:
The other day I went to Lowe’s to look at flooring for the baby’s room. Calling it “the baby’s room” makes it sound a lot more glamorous than it really is. It is heretofore what we have always referred to as “the secret room,” a bunkroom that is accessed through a trap door in the ceiling and is probably all of 200 square feet. You should have seen us squeeze a queen-size mattress through that tiny trap door. Ryan had to fold it in half and cinch it down with super industrial straps that have these ratchets on them. I’m actually not so sure we’re going to be able to get that bed out of there, now that I think about it.
Of course we’re doing some renovations and are going to connect the baby’s room to our room. We have to demolish all the built-in stuff the previous owner managed to cram in there, including a bunk bed and some storage and like 8 million outlets and lights since he was an electrician and made sure his house had enough voltage going through it to set the scrub oak on fire.
Anyhoo, so I’m at Lowe’s trying to make this big decision: do I go with engineered wood over solid? Dark over light? Wide plank or narrow? Do I even have the money to do this in the first place? Wait, should I be like, buying a crib or some diapers or one of those vibrating chairs you strap the kid into instead? I felt like my head was in a fishbowl, like, literally, as I had to pee four times in the 20 minutes I stood there flipping through the giant flooring sample things. Who can think straight when they have to pee all the time?
The other thing is I now have this bowling ball belly with a living thing inside of it. For the past two nights, he’s decided to disco dance in there at four o’clock in the morning. (Sound familiar, friends of Ryan Margo?) I really have no choice but to lie there while he’s partying since there’s no chance I’m going to actually be able to sleep through all that ruckus. (Newsflash: Welcome to your future!)
Living with 20 pounds sticking out of your front means little things, such as getting up off the couch or turning over in bed now take on epic proportions and lots of flailing arms and legs like a beetle on its back. It also means carrying on like some kind of Aspen mom (i.e. maintaining your normal workout routine) is almost laughable. I do it, but it’s not pretty. Yesterday, my pug had to wait for me at the top of Arbaney Kittle, and that is a first.
Then I have all these people telling me about all the horrible things I’m about to go through. How labor/delivery/taking care of a newborn almost killed them. They all say, “These are things I wished I would have known.”
I have people who want to know the name we’ve chosen, which I’ve learned the hard way is never a good idea. Once the kid is born, they won’t have any choice but to nod and smile and say exactly what they’re not thinking — a much better option.
Here’s the crazy part: I still have three months to go. My little dancing bear is going to get three times the size he is now, and I’ll likely gain 10 more pounds (which on my frame means I may have feet sticking out at the end, but you will no longer see my legs).
And I refuse to buy into all the hysteria and the hype. I asked for this, damn it. I paid good money for my little designer baby. I don’t care if he poops, pees, pukes, screams and keeps me up all night.
God knows I’ve had plenty of practice with all of that, what, having spent my 30s dating and partying in Aspen.
The Princess is ready for snow. Email your love to email@example.com.
Back in 2013, while working on a proposed box set of archival recordings, singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge came across a group of songs that had been recorded in the late 1980s but never released.
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