Oh, I had such plans! Pregnant for Halloween! VERY, visbily, undeniably pregnant for Halloween! The possibilities! For offending people! Were endless!
But then I succumbed to gestational inertia, which, like an upsidedown deeply flawed economic plan, trickled up to my brain so that I didn’t even have the wherewithal to put on my Halloween socks this morning (ghosts and spiders!) and am instead sporting socks with shamrocks. Nice one, genius.
So, we have no plans for Halloween this year. We don’t know anyone who’s having a party (that they wanted to invite us to, at least), and it goes without saying that I’m not in the least excited by the thought of public-transiting into the heart of madness that is the Castro at this time of year, especially when (1) they city is trying to shut it down to prevent STABBINGS and (2) I’m pregnant, waaaaaaah.
The presence of pacifiers in our house reminded me of the year I dressed as the world’s lankiest baby (I was in third grade but probably about 5’5″ and 90 lbs.), and in that spirit I briefly considered spending this evening in an old pair of footed (feeted?) pajamas with a binky in my mouth and pigtails sticking out from my noggin. One small problem, however. Have you ever worn feety jammies past the age when you became responsible for taking care of your own bathroom duties? If so, you know what a pain in the ass it is to get half-undressed every time you need to eke out a teaspoon of pee. Not cool. Actually, it’s very, very cool. Freezing cool. (It’s rainy and gloomy and cold here now. Just in time for our indoor-outdoor party! Fie!)
So far my celebration of Halloween has been to eat a bunch of mini candybars that some enabler brought into the office. “I’m just taking these two, and that’s all I’m going to have all day,” I swore aloud. My dear, sensitive coworker was not fooled and told me so. “Yeah, you’re probably right. Next time you see me I’m going to have a milk chocolate beard and be springing around like Mike Meyers in the hyper-hypo Philip sketch.” Ha ha ha! What a funny, exaggerated image! Like that would ever happen… Flash forward fifteen minutes and I’ve eaten about ten mini-candybars (micro-minis, mind you), and although I don’t have chocolate on my face (wait…let me…no, I don’t have chocolate on my face), I do have little specks of chocolate melted onto my shirt. I always wondered what was up with pregnant women spilling things on their bellies–Does pregnancy make you more clumsy? More of an abject slob? What gives?– but according to Simon, I’ve always been a clumsy, abject slob, it’s just that before there was a belly in the way, all of my droppings fell onto my pants, where they weren’t as visible. So it’s not that I’ve lost my fine motor skills and/or dignity; I just never had them.
So, Halloween. It’s just not what it used to be. (Although I have to say that I’m SO relieved to be out of the geographic region/age bracket where haunted houses are considered a good way to spend a Friday night. I HATE haunted houses, am terrified of them (even the lame-o elementary school spook alleys I used to help set up!), and am so glad I don’t have to waste my sugar highs either (a) suggesting alternatives to my friends while making it seem like I’m not terrified or (b) faking a medical condition once inside the haunted house in order that some kind zombie will break character and let me out the emergency door before I’m even ten steps into the place.)
So, yes. Halloween. Good riddance. At the very least, we’ll still probably dress up the cats, but we’d do that on any old night, so I’d hardly call that a holiday. Maybe we’ll just pop some corn and watch something scary on t.v. Like Fox News. Guaranteed to make you crap your footed p.j.s!
It seems I haven’t much to say these days. All attention is focused on the party we’re having at our house (and yet not officially “hosting”) this weekend. Despite having warned Simon that if he insisted on holding the festivities at our place HE would be responsible for all the food prep and house cleaning and I wasn’t going to worry about it, I’ve still managed to work myself into a modest little frenzy about the state of the bathroom grout, among other unimportant things.
Well aware that I’m using party guests as leverage for pre-baby deep cleaning and organization, I nevertheless think that now is as good a time as ever to get the house in order, especially considering that we’re rapidly approaching the point at which, if labor starts, my doctor won’t stop it, which is one part exhilarating and about a dozen parts terrifying because THE HOUSE IS NOT CLEEEEAN.
Two parts of that terrified dozen is also in response to the latest pregnancy symptom, which is that I now experience shortness of breath leading up to every contraction (contractions that have, I should mention, slowed considerably now that I’ve learned to walk slowly, stand up slowly, sit down slowly, and not lift, carry, ascend or descend anything, or bend over). (I also get contractions when the baby moves around too much, which is a bummer because I do so love to poke at him. Someone should put a warning on my belly: Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Baby. Either that or tie my hands behind my back.)
Perhaps my main (and most legitimate) obsession in preparing for this party is to get the nursery in order. While not a “baby shower,” the party is a celebration of Wombat’s imminent arrival, and I imagine that our guests will at least be curious to see, in absence of the child himself, where we intend to contain him. Remember what it looked like a few weeks ago? You couldn’t even take two steps into the room. What you can’t see in that photo is the inside of the crib, which is currently cradling a handful of stuffed animals, some wall art, an especially child-unfriendly extension cord (something about it being coated with lead?), and a set of screwdrivers, allen wrenches, and drywall mounts. I’ve also caught Linus in there a handful of times, which means the sheets definitely need to be washed before we put an actual human child in there.
Now, here’s where you get to feel genuinely sorry for Simon for the first time during this pregnancy. (Aside from my inability to make dinner, I’ve been surprisingly low-maintenance and pleasant throughout. He’s been a complete darling about everything, for sure, but I still think he’s had it relatively easy considering all the hormonal craziness I might have pulled.) So, I decided a while back that Wombat’s dresser/changing station needed to be sanded and repainted and that his bookshelf needed to be stripped and refinished. (They were both dark blue, which was unacceptable.) Seeing as how I’m in a “delicate condition,” however, Simon actually had to do most of the dirty work (albeit at his own insistence), and although I convinced him to let me sand and paint the dresser (after he convinced me to wear safety goggles and a mask), I wasn’t allowed to go near the paint stripper, and that is how, in the last week, he’s spent about six hours stripping paint off of this p.o.s. bookshelf that he never wanted to strip in the first place. I feel really guilty about it, but all I can do at this point is apologize and feed him chocolate and tell him that I would totally take over that burden myself if I could. (I expect him to do the same for me during childbirth–offer to switch places if only it were possible, and also to feed me chocolate to dull the pain.)
I don’t have pics of the finished nursery quite yet (because it’s not finished quite yet), but I do have some belly shots as well as (hopefully later today; WTF YouTube, COOPERATE!) a short video documenting the alien invasion of my midsection. This is what happens when you have unprotected sex, kids! Be ye warned.
So. Let’s say you have a coworker who constantly complains about how she’s overworked and has no time to complete her projects and grouses any time anyone asks her to do anything, especially things that ARE HER JOB TO DO. Let’s say that this coworker also comes in at 11 a.m. every day, leaves at 12 for an hour-long lunch break, leaves again at 2:30 for an hour-long shopping trip, and then probably leaves as soon as everyone else in her line of vision is out the door (which is usually around 4:30 because these people either (a) come in early or (b) are pregnant and can’t sit upright past 4:30, and even then, that person often takes work home with her). (HYPOTHETICALLY, of course). Let’s also say that for most of the time that this coworker is actually sitting at her desk, she’s either texting her boyfriend or doodling on her notepad while listening to music and podcasts on her headphones.
If you’re in this hypothetical situation, what do you do? Do you suck it up because she’s an adult and you’re an adult and you’re trying really hard to be mature and, besides, it’s none of your business? Or, because it is your business (because all her missed deadlines fuck up schedules for everyone in the office, including yours, HYPOTHETICALLY), do you tattle on her to the boss? And does it make it easier or worse to tattle on her when you know that someone else tattled on her for this very same thing last month and, what do you know, her productivity positively skyrocketed for about two weeks afterward?
If I were in this situation, I would really really really want to be the bigger person about it–and would have no trouble doing so if my gripe were just a matter of principle and not based on the fact that the constant slacking is a detriment to the entire company–but I also think there’d be a point at which I’d go batshit crazy to sit at my desk day after day, doing my part to meet deadlines and support fellow coworkers and be present to communicate with people during business hours, all the while she’s either texting or doodling or decorating jewel cases with markers or, say, digging things out from underneath her fingernails, which is what I imagine this hypothetical person would be doing in this hypothetical situation RIGHT NOW (and for the last ten minutes).
What would you do? Would you say something to the boss? To her direct supervisor? To her directly? Or would you just keep a log of her comings and goings* and then vent about it passive-aggressively on your blog and hope to god things improve without your ever having to confront anyone?
*Today’s log might look like this:
12:15 arrive at the office
1:00 disappear for lunch
1:46 come back in and get on the phone with a friend
2:12 get off the phone
2:13 text, doodle, decorate a jewel case with markers, and dig stuff out of fingernails while listening to podcasts until other coworkers go home