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.



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16 years ago

“a very capable incubator”…

I love it! Thanks

16 years ago

I just got to reading this because I was actually HAVING my child this weekend. And let me throw an “HALLELUJAH” your way, because damn, could you just throw me a frickin’ bone and pick that up for me? Please? Yes, I know I technically CAN bend over now, but jeezus, I just shoved a watermelon through a hole the size of a peach. Can I get some help? :)

16 years ago

I’m a new reader and also pregnant. I have a little less than 5 weeks to go, huzzah! I know what you mean. All of it. My first born is going to be 4 a couple weeks after my due date and I’ve begun to have nightmares about the grocery store trips with 2. I will be the walking zombie with the enormous car-shaped grocery cart because it’s the only kind of cart that appeases my son into sitting in the cart without pulling down whole shelves and domino-ing the aisles into one another across the entire store. I only hope the pumpkin seat fits in the up front seat and that I’m not so sleep deprived that I can’t drive the thing around corners. It’s like the limo of all carts and the Humvee one at that, with it’s bulk.

OMG life’s about to get scary. At least your blog will keep me laughing! I love it!