No, not actual running, you fools. I’m nine months pregnant. No way in hell you’re gonna catch me running! Today was a day of running errands.
First, I have to confess to a nice juicy white lie. If you’re reading this and you’re part of the Kang clan, please suffer me the indisgretion and help me keep my little secret that I’m about to share with you. I’m pretty sure the in-laws don’t read this blog, and Mom and Dad, if you’re reading this, sorry but learning the evil truth ain’t gonna kill you either. Here’s the awful truth.
Last week at my midwife appointment, everything was A-OK healthy again – my blood pressure is low, my pee is clean, the baby is head-down with a good heart beat, and never mind what the scale said, the midwives don’t seem all that concerned that I’ve eaten my way into beached-whale status. The nice one I’ve been seeing most often didn’t even cluck when I confessed to eating several handfuls of M&Ms the night before, despite the fact that they give me a headache. So, even though I’m to the point where I should be visiting them every week, I offered to skip a week, thinking why hassle with dragging the in-laws down from their sub-subburb, driving down to the Hub(which is a gawd-awful strip mall in South Minneapolis), sitting in a waiting room full of weirdos – uh, interesting people – peeing in a cup and all the other fun prenatal checkup stuff that you do during your 10-minute visit just to be told that everything is fine again? Why not save the insurance company a few bucks and maybe keep our premiums from going up quite so much again next year? And the midwife said fine. She’s pretty cool. She made sure I had all the right phone numbers to call in case anything interesting happened in the intervening two weeks and sent me on my way.
And here’s the really interesting part. On the way home, I realized that this would mean Julie would not see her grandparents for two more weeks at least, and in fact it would have been three since the next appointment happens to fall on a day of the week in which MIL works, so I’ll be dragging Julie along to the appointment with me. The Joy. I decided to LIE to them and make up a fake appointment during which I would actually go have a nice cup of coffee and do some knitting, or perhaps run some errands. So that Julie could spend some quality time with her grandparents, who she loves and needs to strengthen her attachment to so that she won’t freak out when I leave them with her while I’m in the hospital squeezing out a new sibling for her. I called Joe to run it by him, and he disapproved of the plan (I was going to LIE to his PARENTs after all) but I did it anyway. Long story long.
So today was the day. I left my happy kid with her happy if slightly groggy grandparents. I drove to the DMV and renewed my drivers’ license. Oh, thank GOD I didn’t have to do that with Julie in tow. I mean, I’m guaranteed to get a crappy picture, but at least I got to try to smile the right way for the picture without worrying where Julie was running off to. I went and had my nice cup of coffee and a pastry at Panera. I headed over to the library, planning to finally sign up for a card and check out some books on fun things to do with toddlers. They don’t open till noon, though, so I sat in the parking lot for 20 minutes and knitted on a sock while listening to NPR. The joy – 20 minutes of news and knitting without pissing of the child who wants to listen to Rubber Duckie for the third time in a row instead. Then, I realized it would be a great opportunity to get my car washed because Julie is afraid of the car wash and it was an incredibly warm, beautiful day. Did that, and then headed home.
Julie was happy to see me, and MIL had gotten her dressed. Yay! One less wrestling session with my little monkey while I feel like I’ve swallowed a giant egg. MIL and I had a nice chat and tour around the kitchen and Julie’s room, and she actually seemed interested and attentive when I showed her all the food and snacks and stuff for Julie to eat when the big day comes and they are in charge for probably at least 24 hours. This has been a major source of anxiety for me over the last few months – would they accidentally poison my kid with food she wasn’t supposed to eat out of ignorance stemming from inattention to my preparation and guidelines? Apparently, the answer is a lot closer to probably not than I feared.
As it was almost noon, I whisked Julie out the door as soon as they left to meet up with our meat pick-up. We order meat once a month from local farmers who make several delivery stops one day a month for people to come pick it up. Minnetonka is the closest one for us, but there is only a half hour window to get there from 12 to 12:30. We got there at 12:31 and I didn’t see their pickup with trailer, so I assumed we were too late and planned to catch up with them in Minneapolis at 4. This sparked an afternoon-long conversation with Julie about how we “missed the farmers” and how she was “going to walk and find the farmers”.
Instead of going straight home, we stopped at the library and got our new cards, picked out the books I was hoping to find, as well as some children’s music CDs (as if we don’t have enough already) before we headed home for lunch. Julie and I tend to be late lunchers. I managed to sneak in a 1/2 hour nap – just for me since Julie refuses to sleep during the day and I refuse to fight with her about it. As long as she agrees to play quietly upstairs and let me rest, I figure we’ll make it work out once the baby is born too. We’re pretty well baby-proofed up there, and Julie is pretty great about playing independently sometimes for up to an hour . Remember, I’m 9 months pregnant and haven’t been sleeping so well. I NEEDED that half -hour nap!
Time to go look for the farmers again. I plugged in my new MP3 player yet again and we headed east. Julie was out within 10 minutes and slept for the hour-long car-ride and pickup process. Poor thing opened her eyes when we pulled into the garage and said “We’re home again. Go find farmers?” I had to break it to her that we had already found the farmers and gotten the meat, and that she had slept right through it. She asked to “eat something else”, which meant time for a snack and I obliged.
Here is a part of my day of which I am particularly proud. Despite Sesame Street being overrun on PBS by the Alito hearings this evening, I still managed to cook up some pepper-steak and rice for dinner. And everyone ate it without complaint. We had a visit from some people picking up a desk that I had freecycled, Julie had a bath and Joe put her down, and now the evening is mine to clean up the kitchen and do who-knows-what-other-chore-or-entertainment.
Whew! Have I bored you to tears yet? Let me share one more thing.
Footnote on the interesting people in the waiting room: The midwife practice of which I am a patient has a great track record for natural births. They are the best in the Twin Cities, at least as far as I’ve been able to find, especially if you want to stick with a hospital birth. They have an 85% success rate for VBACs, 90% if the current baby is not breech. Considering that the national c-section rate is 27% overall – for anybody having a baby at all – that is downright amazing. And they have been nice to me. They have an extra five minutes to talk to me if I have questions, they don’t talk down to me, they treat me like a human and not like some kind of gestating farm animal. The only thing is that they deliver at the county hospital, and they practice at a clinic that is largely patronized by people on state assistance. So, it’s always an interesting crowd when you go in there and people with all kinds of disabilities, mental and otherwise, are sitting there often moaning or shouting at their caregivers who are waiting with them. There are also many poor or working-class hispanic families and other people of color, and then me – the middle-class housewife sitting there knitting or playing with her Sidekick till it’s time to pee in a cup.
Last time I was there, there was a woman in a wheel chair with a cast on her foot yelling loudly at her caregiver when I came out of my appointment and stood in line to make my follow-up appointment. I found her a little scary. In front of me in line was a woman with a little girl about Julie’s age, also trying to schedule follow-up appointments. She had to set the little girl down to pull something out of her purse, and I thought the little girl was going to cry. So I squatted down and chatted with her, trying to block her view of the scary woman and keep her distracted long enough for the mama to get her stuff done and get out of there. It worked.
I don’t mind going there at all – I find it interesting in a way, and I think it is good for me to be exposed to all kinds of people, and try to work on my stupid phobia of the disabled while I’m at it. I just hope nobody is screaming in the waiting room next week when I have my own two-year-old in tow.