There’s something a little endearing about people treating you like an invalid because you’re massively, bulbously pregnant, but it’s also a little . . . well, I’m not sure if humiliating is the right word, oh wait, yes it is.

Yesterday was my last day in Workplace’s UW-area location since Move Day is finally upon us—starting Monday, I’ll be driving from Bellevue to Magnolia, and while that doesn’t mean anything to most of you I bet any local readers are going duuuuuude, that fuckin suuuuuucks—and while I packed up my office in Workplace’s handily-supplied Rent-a-Crates my officemate kept fluttering about how I was making him nervous, like I was going to have the baby right there if I lifted one more box, and was I sure I didn’t want him to take my trash out for me because the idea of me going up and down stairs made him sad.

Granted, I wasn’t exactly the picture of health yesterday since the whole plugged sinuses/crammed-up lungs situation causes a lot of unflattering gasping and snorting, but sheesh. If I can still lift a thrashing, tantruming toddler who’s recently eaten his own weight in Goldfish crackers, I can lift a damn box of empty file folders.

Workplace has one of those water jug systems where if you’re the person who drains away the last drops in the current jug, you have to lift off the empty one and put a new one in. I live in constant fear of being the person who kills the jug, because the minute someone sees my giant self leaning over to get a new (admittedly heavy) full water bottle they feel compelled to offer help, and with certain people you can literally see the struggle going on in their heads: I should offer. No, would that be rude? Oh my god I have to offer, she’s going to have a baby right here on the floor, that would be so gross. No, it might be totally presumptuous to offer. FUCK IT I’M OFFERING. I work with a lot of engineers, you know. They aren’t comfortable making decisions unless they have all the relevant deciding factors on hand.

The thing I remember about this sweet/embarrassing tendency for people to hold doors and offer to lift things and so on, all while staring nervously at your rippling belly, is that it all ends as soon as you have the baby. Which is precisely the time when it would be most useful for some kind-hearted soul to hold open a door, when you’re staggering along with a carseat draped over one arm half-blind from staying up all night feeding a newborn while listening to This American Life on your iPod to stave off the oppressive loneliness one feels at 3:26 AM and you haven’t showered in 48 hours and there is a milk-barf stain on your left shoulder and OH MY GOD OPEN THAT GODDAMNED DOOR FOR ME RIGHT NOW.

But no, once the massive belly is gone, you appear all capable and shit. I am currently wallowing in fear about this, that I will NOT be capable. That the supposedly simple act of, say, taking a baby and a toddler to the grocery store in order to buy milk will literally kill me stone cold dead. I mean, how do people DO this? Sometimes I can barely handle one kid, and it’s been forever since I’ve seen the ass-end of 3:26 AM and I like it that way, and oh god.

I’ve been feeling more than a little whiny about the pregnancy lately, just getting overwhelmed by the discomfort of this never-ending shittastic cold combined with the sensation of carrying around a 30-pound backpack strapped to my front and thus finding myself acting a lot like this guy, but the truth is, at least the baby’s on the inside still. The other day he woke me up with a particularly brutal bout of wee-hour thrashing, and my first blurry thought was oh shit, the baby’s awake, I need to feed him/change him/try out that knee-jiggling method we did with Riley. But then I remembered: HEY! The belly is still a built-in 24-hour babysitter at this point! WIN.

I may look like an invalid, I may sound like a dying water buffalo, but by god I am still a very capable incubator. I have two more months to enjoy this surely never-to-be-repeated level of efficiency with two children, so I’d better try and appreciate it.

And now, for no particular reason, I give you: toddler as prairie dog.

prairiedog_07s.jpg

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
53 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
oregoncoastgirl
oregoncoastgirl
14 years ago

it’s gonna be ok!

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

I love the part about the water jug. We have those at work and I’m too damn short to lift the thing up on top of the dispenser part (?)

I feel for you with the new commute and all, my company moved in April and my drive is now an hour, it sucks!

I have no advise on the having two kids thing since I only have 1, sorry.

Emily
Emily
14 years ago

I don’t think that it’s physically possible to get a car from Bellevue to Magnolia. There are TOO MANY hills and lakes in the way; Clyde Hill, Lake Washington, Capitol Hill, Lake Union, Queen Anne Hill. Did I just make it worse by listing it out like that?? I am so sorry that you have to endure that. Just crossing that damn 520 is more than I could possibly handle and now you’ve got to get to the other side of the world.

Yeah for internally portable incubator still running strong. Oh and I am one of those rare few people who opens doors for people with kids. I don’t have any myself but I sure do know how hard it is to maneuver with all of them and all of their stuff.

Amy M.
Amy M.
14 years ago

Cute picture. Also has some meerkat charactersitics.

Sorry about the commute lengthening!

The other day, I approached a door at the same time as a man. He actually stepped back to let me get the door for him! So much for chivalry! And I’m pregnant! (Not showing yet, but still!)

Elissa
Elissa
14 years ago

“duuuuuude, that fuckin suuuuuucks” is EXACTLY what I was thinking. That is beyond horrific!!! I bet moving to Ballard doesn’t sound so bad right now!!!

Cari
14 years ago

I totally feel you on the door opening thing. People just look at you like “that must really suck, trying to push that stroller through this non-handicapped accessible door.”

I also have no multiple-kid advice. It must be possible, though, because lots of people do it. Just look at Swistle. She’s way outnumbered and yet still functional.

Also: Toddler as Prairie Dog made me laugh out loud. Thanks.

Christina
14 years ago

Ugh, you are totally echoing my thoughts… These are also my fears and I am barely seven weeks pregnant… I actually had this moment about two weeks ago when I thought OMG. WHAT. HAVE. I. DONE?!!?

It will all be okay and I just keep thinking after the first six months things are a breeze and HOW quickly the first two years flew with my son… Just (try to) breath ;)

Jess
14 years ago

Maybe people will be a little more chivalrous this time around. I’ve never had a kid but when I was a nanny for an eight-month-old I had people bending over backwards to help me whenever we want out. The stroller got carried up and down escalators, the diaper bag got carried everywhere, doors were held open when I was still several miles away, etc. I hope that happens for you this time too. I would hope that most people aren’t THAT oblivious.

Leah
Leah
14 years ago

It’s eerie how you just described the type of reasoning that goes through my mind on a minute to minute basis. You hit the nail on the head with “I work with a lot of engineers, you know. They aren’t comfortable making decisions unless they have all the relevant deciding factors on hand.” I’m worn out now, deciding to make this comment was tough.

Sadie
Sadie
14 years ago

if I lived in the Seattle area, Linda, I would *totally* hold the door for you and your rambunctious posse. I always hold doors for people, even though it would be easy to get jaded and start dropping them on people, like an old guy did to me this morning THREE SEPARATE TIMES.

Most pregnant women I’ve known hit the proverbial wall around month 8, which seems cruel of nature considering pregnancy is really nearly 10 months long. sorry dood

Shabbir
14 years ago

That looks like a toddler lair to me.

sooboo
sooboo
14 years ago

I like the idea of the womb as a built in babysitter. If you weren’t scared, you’d be a robot. I’ll bet that after a month of having the two of them, you won’t remember what your life is like now. We humans have an amazing ability to adapt quickly.

andrea
14 years ago

My condolences on the new commute, I feel your pain.

Love the shot of Riley, looks like he’s built himself quite a nest on the sofa.

Kari
Kari
14 years ago

I am trying to imagine what company would relocate to Magnolia, which is so much more neighborhoody than industry. That is a truly asstastic commute. I hope they give you flex time so you aren’t in the thick of rush hour.

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

Oh my god have you nailed engineers. Almost makes me miss working with them!

Almost.

Great prairie dog picture, too. I’m sure you’ll be fine with a newborn and a toddler, actually. One nice thing about a newborn is that you can just strap them in a Bjorn and go. Personally, I fear the time just after the younger one starts walking.

Allison
14 years ago

Ugh. I have a 5-month-old (who is frantically trying to gnaw on my fingers as I type this), and I know exactly what you mean about the sleep deprivation. He started sleeping though the night a couple months ago, but three weeks ago got the cold-that-won’t-dye-and-progressed-into-an-ear-infection. He slept horribly for two weeks, and I about went nuts. It just made me realize that baby sleep patterns can change whenever they damn well want it to and my life was in control of my little monster.

Trena
14 years ago

I had to go to a week-long out of town conference when I was just about 7 months pregnant. Granted, I carried ALL out in front and was looking pretty impressive size-wise by that point, but seriously, every time I shifted in my (very uncomfortable) chair during the week, the instructor would nervously look over in my direction, I guess expecting to see me splayed out and the baby crowning–or something like that anyway from the the types of looks I was getting from both he and my immediate classmates.

LOVE the toddler as prairie dog–we play that alot at our house too :).

AndreAnna
14 years ago

I have a 19-month-old and am pregnant with the second one due in the summer.

And scared shitless.

I mean, it’s hard enough to get out of the house not covered in peanut butter and snot with one kid, how in the hell can I do it with two?!?

Perhaps I should buy all khaki clothing for the office. And invent peanut butter perfume. Yes, this plan shall work.

Mary O
14 years ago

I send my husband and my two year old to the store together with a VERY SPECIFIC shopping list every Saturday. It’s a fun outing for them, and I get to stay home and have some quiet time with the baby. WIN WIN!

missbanshee
missbanshee
14 years ago

That child is too cute for words. And if that pic doesn’t belong on Meercat Manor, I do not know what does.

Jennifer
14 years ago

You described perfectly my same office angst about the water jug. So I offer to you this way out. This is how I got a get-out-of-jail-free card to never ever replace the jug: I valiantly tried to lift the new jug into position once and my lower hand slipped and the whole thing collapsed on the floor sending a million gallons of water all over the kitchen, into several cubes, and down the stairs. Forever after, if anyone saw me opening up a new jug, s/he would RACE to my side, push me away, and take over. Score!

Philos
14 years ago

I’m not convinced that Bellevue to Interbay/Magnolia is actually that much worse than your previous commute. Presumably you’ll now be using I-90 to get over to Seattle, and although it can back up as much as 520 does, on a typical day it always clears up faster than 520. When I was working out in Redmond there were days I would drive down to I-90 to get back to Seattle – even after I’d moved from Capitol Hill to Queen Anne – because it was better than sitting on 520. I think the worst part for you will just be the transition from I-90 to the streets of Seattle; once you can get to South Lake Union, it won’t take that long to get around Queen Anne on Westlake/Nickerson.

biscuit
biscuit
14 years ago

I’m hugely pregnant myself, but am having the opposite problem. No one gives a shit! There was this super duper long line in the ATL airport a couple weeks back + did one bitch insist I go ahead of her? NO. What a bunch of cows. That is only 1 of the many restroom stories I have.

And where on earth are these expectant mother parking spaces I’ve heard about?!

On a happier note, I can’t wait to see what wonderful pictures you get with Riley + new baby!

Here’s the little stinker my belly is babysitting:

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j3/kellywmars/bw2.jpg

amber
14 years ago

Oh wow, Riley’s getting even cuter as he gets bigger. CRAZY. Pretty soon we won’t be able to look at pictures without drooling in a completely innocent, NON-flickr stalker way.

Makaila
14 years ago

Hah I thought that said “Driving from Bellevue to Mongolia, which definitely produced a “duuuuuude, that suuuucks!”

Barb
Barb
14 years ago

When I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with daughter, I happened to be in a very crowded toy store at Christmas time. As I walked down the aisles, they magically cleared. People saw how huge I was and were like “whooaaaaaaa, I’m outa your way”. Kinda funny but very much appreciated! And I always open doors for moms with kids in tow. Geez, don’t all moms do that for each other?

honeybecke
honeybecke
14 years ago

Ok, so here is how I go shopping with two 2’n under(alone during the week):
1. if possible, find a parking spot with an empty cart nearbys so you can just load up right from the car and don’t have to worry about your toddler running away from you into crazy cars
2. Toddler sits up front strapped in (that’s the important part! Stay! sit!)
3. Baby sits in carrier in the big basket part of the cart.
4. Meander into store with a casual, confident stroll all smug and yeeaaah, i’ve got this handled-like.
5. Find two of the little shopping baskets and tuck them under the cart.
6. First things first. Stroll through bakery and get free cookie (Fred’s does anyhow) break in half, give small half to toddler. Yum for you, and occupies toddler.
7. Shop your list, put crap into baskets under cart. They’ll hold a lot!
8. Get through line, toss baby a few toys or better yet, bring this with you: http://www.farmgoodsforkids.com/p-12159-iq-baby-busy-bee-playmat.html

This works for me, my 2 year old and 5 month old, so maybe it’d work for you too? good luck!

Melanie
14 years ago

Is that toddler in a trap? Or a lair???

Melanie
14 years ago

Or possibly a hive???

Josh
14 years ago

Wow. Reading your blog is sort of like taking a college course on the subject of pregnancy for me. I really don’t know shit about having babies, or how to properly care for them. In fact, I feel a strong aversion to them and try and avoid the horrid little beasts at all costs. And now, quite similar to the way your Aunt’s blog makes me want to die young, your educational and uplifting posts are driving home, like a stake through a vampire, the idea that I never ever, for the fucking love of god, ever want to have a fucking baby. Well, not me, but my woman. You know how all that works obviously. Yeah, so thanks for reminding me that ignorance is bliss, and that despite being incredibly manly, I am in no way equipped for enduring pregnancy at a close proximity or raising offspring.

Oh God, I wonder how long it takes to shrink up a big ass baby belly once the sucker pops out. Does it just flop down like an empty balloon, or does it slowly shrink in size back to almost normal, or does it happen all at once in some painful and grotesque manner that can’t be adequately described with mere words? Dammit, I know I’m going to regret googling this shit. I’ll see you tomorrow Sundry. And you really don’t need to be lifting water cooler tanks. Those bitches are pretty heavy, and the last thing we need is another painful symptom for you to find disturbing ways to tell us about. (grumble, grumble, grumble …)

Josh
14 years ago

Hahahahahahaha! Prarie dog! I just got that! Ooooh that’s a good one. I’m such a dork.

Heh, prarie dog!

Kristie
14 years ago

As soon as the baby is born no one will even remember who you are, until the baby cries or needs a diaper change. It’s total crap. Ha!

Trena
14 years ago

@Josh re: post-baby belly skin:

Here’s a visual–in some cases, you can grab the skin with both hands and have enough to really flap in the wind. Yet another trick of nature to make a hormonal new mother feel SUPER duper attractive!

Fortunately it sucks back pretty quickly–at least mine did. I think by about 3-4 weeks post-partum I just looked a little more squishy than normal.

LauraH
14 years ago

From the pictures you post you look adorably pregnant… tell yourself that when they offer to help. Say,”They’re helping me because I’m too cute to resist”…Say that 30 times… and then 30 more…and so on.

Jen
Jen
14 years ago

Riley prairie dog…I don’t know if I love it more than Riley shark boy but they’re both pretty darned cute!
Good luck with the commute. Maybe your new office will have some yummy cafes or bakeries nearby where you can recharge after your drive…?

ShannonJ
ShannonJ
14 years ago

I’d like to say I have all this sage advice but, to be frank, in the first several months, I did everything in my power to make sure I was never alone with both kids. Trying to feed and change a newborn every hour or so with a hyperactive toddler running around just seemed like too much. In hindsight, I was kinda stupid, but it can be overwhelming at first. My daughter kept her normal daycare routine so I had the weekdays alone with my son, then on the weekends my husband did a lot of bonding with my daughter. :) Eventually we just kind of figured things out and poof, we had a new kind of “normal”.

Amblus
14 years ago

Oh, Riley. Such a good prarie dog!

Amanda
Amanda
14 years ago

That is totally a toddler hive.

Danielle
14 years ago

Aww! I am sorry you are feeling anxious! I think everything will be okay, after a fun little period of utter hell. :) And yeah, what the hell is up with no one opening doors for us moms!?

Heather
14 years ago

I pass a lot of engineers in the hallways at work and I’m always surprised at how much room they give me. It’s as if the Titanic is coming through or they’re afraid that if they upset the molecules around me, I might spontaneously burst. I wonder if I wore a childbirth countdown clock across my chest, they’d relax?

Swistle
14 years ago

Hm, or meercat. No, you’re right: prairie dog.

When I was only a couple of weeks from being due with my secondborn, we had tons of snow and I was worried we’d be snowed into our driveway, so I kept going out to shovel. I’ve never had anyone stop to ask if they could help me shovel–until then, when pretty much every other car did.

kalisah
14 years ago

I always thought the best part about being pregnant was that you never have to wait in line to use a public restroom.

biodtl
14 years ago

That has always been one of my pet peeves – everyone goes out of their way to help you when you are pregnant – not that I didn’t appreciate it – but when you REALLY need it (like when it’s -377 degrees and ypu’re trying to get into the damned mall door with your stroller, bag and toddler) no one gives two shits. Except for other moms (but not necessarily dads) – they always help.

Wendy
Wendy
14 years ago

My office moved when I was about 5 months pg and I hardly got the chance to even move a box! It was so annoying. I kept having to tell them “I’m pregnant, not an invalid.” However, I would never take that last little drip of water because I didn’t want to change the water jug (whether I was pregnant or not.) As the mother of two kids (now 2 and 4 years old) I’m not sure how I did it. I remember being really freaked out, too, but somehow you just do it. As for the grocery shopping, our Fred Meyer has one-hour free childcare for kids 2-5. I would drop off the older one and enjoy shopping with only the baby. Bliss!

Shannon
14 years ago

I have to second what two other commenters said: what company moves to Magnolia (which is just a neighborhood, isn’t it?) and the I-90/Nickerson commute may not be as bad as you think! Anything is better than 520.

One cool thing about the Magnolia move–you can get some running/meandering in on your lunch break at Discovery Park!

Josh
14 years ago

Trena: Nasty! That is so nasty! Ewww! I’m not normally squeamish, but everything about this baby making and raising process, minus the initial baby making, seems like one long exercise in how gross life can be. Although, I can grab two fist fulls of belly if I’m siting down, so maybe it’s not so bad. (crosses fingers and begins saving for a vasectomy)

Jenny J.
14 years ago

I see your Bellevue to Magnolia Commute and I raise you Tacoma to Redmond.

Tacoma. To. Redmond.

Every. Day.

My record longest was 3 hours and 30 minutes. It’s usually more like 1.5 to 2 each way, though.

M.A.
M.A.
14 years ago

Finally. An accurate portrayal of Someone I Know And Love Who Might Be My Husband with a cold. Fabulous! And Linda, you’ll be fine, although let’s no kid ourselves, in about, oh, 12 months. Having recently babysat a 24 month old (verybusy boy) and an 11 month old (very needy girl) last weekend I tip my hat to ALL of you Mom’s with two toddlers. Holy hell, the DIAPERS! There. Don’t you feel better?

Matt
14 years ago

My girlfriend introduced me to blogging just a couple of weeks ago, and she showed me this site. I just want to let you know that I think you are hilarious and an extremely talented writer. Also, I know it’s a lot to ask (what with babies attacking from both inside and out with nobody to even hold a door), but if you could read an entry or two of my blog and tell me how I’m doing, I would be eternally grateful..:-)

One more thing..that video was the most accurate representation of a husband and wife being sick that I’ve ever seen. My parents are EXACTLY the same…

maggie
14 years ago

Oh my God it’s Bellevue to Magnolia that would kill me dead.