One morning, we got our delicious bowl of fruit. Grapefruit, banana, grapes, pineapple, and then there was this weird white fruit. I put it in my mouth. Crunch. Like little bubbles of yummy. It was a bit citrus-y. But sweet. Bit tart. Hmmmm, interesting. I picked up another one. "Wow, this fruit is so weird. It has the strangest texture, but it is really good. What is this?"
"That's an apple."
I have defenses. In a bike accident in 1999, I knocked out my front teeth. Due to a fear of their structural weakness, I don't eat apples unless I cut them up and I am lazy. Also, the grapefruit/pineapple acid taste permeated everything in the bowl. But still, I grew up in apple orchard country. There were apple trees in my backyard. I have apples in my bones. I have the cellular memory of apples in my taste buds. Yet, in this common diner in New Jersey, I was convinced that I was being served some exotic, foreign fruit for $1.99.
Right now, that is how I feel. I have a living child. I have a dead child. I have gone through childbirth twice. I have even been induced before. I have attended my sister's three births. I have many friends with children. And I have no idea what I need to do for this baby. Every night Sam and I sit down together and make lists of things. What we need to do for the baby. What we need to do around the house. What the day of birth is going to be like. What are we naming the baby. And we always conclude the same way. Ah, well, we'll figure it out.
My sister asked me today if I had receiving blankets.
"What are those?"
"You have them."
"Those thin blankets that you swaddle babies in, remember? Swaddlers."
"You have blankets, right?"
"I think so. I have quilts that you made me. Does that count?"
"No. They need to be thin."
"Do I have to take them to the hospital?"
"Then I will worry about it later."
And thus is every conversation I seem engaged in this week. I have some diapers, and a few onesies. My one boob seems to be still in working order. I can't really see anything beyond that. Where is the baby sleeping? Don't know. Where is he getting changed? Uh... Do have bottles? Binkies? Socks? Hats? Seems rather extraneous right now. What are we naming him? Let's see him first, 'kay?
And yet, YET, this weekend we threw an early birthday party for Beezus' third birthday. There was an ugly ass unicorn pinata. Dora plates. A dozen and a half balloons. As I scrambled in the morning trying to prepare everything, I kept finding my husband with his foot elevated, and the Military Channel blaring. He would accomplish one task and sit. Then I would give him another task. Then, bam, there is a documentary on the B-51 again, drowning out NPR.
"Come on, dude. I need help."
"It's fine, Ang, geesh. It always comes together. It always turns out great when you host people."
"Of course it does. Because I make lists, and plan every single fucking detail, dude. It doesn't just happen. It doesn't just 'come together.' There aren't gnomes making the food. I do it. Every detail I do. That is why it is great. Come on, dude. I am massively pregnant. I need your help today." STOMP STOMP STOMP. Muttering "men" under my breath, and sons of...and other unmentionables. And as I continued preparing for the pinksplosion, I started thinking about what I snapped at my husband. Life doesn't just plan itself. What if I am putting up my feet in front of the proverbial Military Channel when I should be making lists to prepare for this kid? What if lists would help me remember what it is like with a newborn?
I have no idea what to expect now. The lists we make seem useless, because we qualify them with statements like, "But we don't want to spend money on that just yet..." or "But he might not even come home, so seems kind of pointless to pull it out now." Like preparing for a party the day before. You can't exactly put all the chips in a bowl and wait. You have to do it the hour before people arrive. I am going into the hospital Wednesday night, and hope to have the baby Thursday. I think the baby will come out my vagina. That is something I remember. That shit hurts. I also might be bitchy at some point. No list can take that away. Other than that, I am following my husband's lead. Feet elevated.
That I remember.