Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 160: Ainsley, part 1.

There are times in your life when you think "Wow. This feels like a movie... is this really happening to me??"

In my life, I've had that feeling three times:
1. Laying in a field of wildflowers next to a sparkling aqua stream in the Alps, nibbling on bread and cheese.
2. The night my true love proposed.
3. The night I had a baby on the couch.

To kick off my return to writing life, I present "The Tale of the Night When the Nurse said it was Gas Cramps so the Paramedics Didn't Make It On Time and We Had to Get a New Couch Cover."

This story begins actually about 6 weeks before Baby was due. We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl. We thought the surprise would be fun--you know, the big announcement at birth by the doctor. We thought it would be fun. For about two weeks after the ultrasound. Then we realized that it was one of our stupidest decisions. But too late. So, anyway,6 weeks before my due date, I felt like I was still carrying this baby in the breech position. I had an appointment with a new doctor at the practice, whom I shall refer to as Dr. Doogie.

He walked into the tiny office and tripped over my two children who, as usual, were playing with plastic glove balloons on the floor. He looked disconcerted at the presence of other children, and his eyes kept skittishly flitting to them as he looked over my information. While he did this, I was noticing the lack of wrinkles on his forehead. He seriously looked like an 18 year old doing a "Try Out a Profession" project for their civics class. He asked me the standard questions, and then asked if I had any questions for him.

"Actually, I think I'm still carrying this baby breech." I stated.
"Oh." he said, eyeing the two year old, who was busy stacking the little pap smear tests.
" there any way you can tell?" I asked, without confidence.
He felt my ample belly and then said "Nope. Can't really tell."

Cue awkward pause.
"So. Um. Who in this practice is best at external versions, just in case?"
"I don't think we keep that kind of information."
"Oh... Is there any way to get that information?"
"Um. Well. When I was in medical school, we googled how to turn a baby. We lit some herbs on a lady's toe and it worked. It set the fire alarms off in the hospital though."
"In medical school?" I stuttered, "And how long ago was that?"
"I graduated two months ago." Dr. Doogie stated proudly.

At this point, alarms of my own were going off inside my head. Dr. Doogie offered to schedule a c-section, on the spot, but I tried to decline politely. I didn't want to be his first, you see.

I went home and proceeded to put on my old lady maternity swimsuit and do headstands in the local swimming pool at every opportunity, trying to get this baby to turn. I had a new purpose in life: to avoid having Dr. Doogie deliver my baby at all costs.

And so a month passed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day... uh....

It has been a long time since I've written. The well dried up. Seemed to have hit the rock bottom of my creativity and imagination.

It was depressing to know the true depths (or not) of my abilities.

So I had to decide: force myself to keep writing, and feel frustrated in the process and unhappy with the result? Or step away. Close the laptop. Wait and see if more would come.

So that's what I did.

And for a long time, nothing came. Not a thing. I would try, on occasion, and find nothing there. So I tried to be patient and keep waiting.

Then this past weekend, I took Thing 3 and got on an airplane to fly to meet some good friends up in New England. It had been a cloudy week here in Charlotte. The very definition of muggy, without a single ray of sunshine. Not typical for here. I was looking forward to the flight and the utter assurance that we would pull above the clouds and see the sunshine, even if it was only for a couple hours.

We boarded the plane and found our seats clear at the back. The flight wasn't full, which was nice. I put Thing 3 in the seat next to me, which was open, and stretched out. Waiting for take off. Then I saw a teenager coming up the aisle. He caught my attention because he looked familiar, and out of place. He looked like the kind of teenager who should be hucking hay bales in hometown. He looked like the kind of quiet teenager that would be much more comfortable all alone on a mountain then on an airplane headed for Baltimore and beyond. In my head, I knew he was a cowboy. This is not a title I give lightly. True cowboys are very rare. They work on farms and ranches. They are quiet a respectful. Cowboy is a title you earn through back breaking work in sweltering heat and freezing cold, not something you buy at a Western Wear Outfitters. This was a cowboy. He nervously found his seat. Struggled with the buckles. Looked about apprehensively. Not long after, I noticed another figure coming up the aisle. I knew immediately that he would be sitting in the seat next to the Cowboy.

He was older. Well into his sixties, if not seventies. His face was lined and had a deep, permanent tan. His silver hair combed carefully. He looked just as nervous as the Cowboy, who I'm guessing was his grandson. He clutched a blue duffel that had written on it "THE SPA at ARCHWOOD" in a familiar font, circa 1986. He saw the Cowboy with relief and nodded. He
"Excuse me, ma'am"-ed himself past the flight attendant, and settled himself into the aisle seat. The Cowboy showed him how to put on his buckle. They were looking around, quickly--like chipmunks or prairie dogs.

The engines revved. I handed Thing 3 a "TAKE ONE" copy of a Herz rental car pamphlet to chew on and continued to watch what was happening directly across the aisle from me. The flight attendant stood in the aisle for the safety demonstration, and they hurried to grab the safety instructions from the back of the seat pocket in front of them.

Their first flight. A grandfather and his cowboy grandson. I wondered where they could be going. What could be so important that it would get this grandfather on a plane, after so many years. The Grandfather stood to get his blue duffel out of the overhead bin after takeoff and I noticed the tag still on his navy blue jeans. Brand new. From Walmart. I wondered if some sweet wife somewhere had bought them for him--for his trip.

And suddenly, I wanted to write again. I had something to say. Something to write about.

I was breaking through the clouds into the sunshine again.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


You know those little vacuum cleaner robots? The round ones that zip around and (kind of) vacuum your floor, without you having to do anything?
I have one of those. Kind of.

Only it's a lot more efficient model. It can really get under things and in things and around things. It moves really fast. It does awesome with cat food. I'm pretty sure it could handle just about anything. Including shirts, toy cars, Barbie shoes, and papers that your child's teacher may or may not have sent home with important lunch numbers on them.

No. It isn't actually a Roomba. Or whatever they're called.

And it isn't a goat. (Although that's a nice thought.)

It's Wee One. Very soon to make official Thing 3 status.

Watch out for your toes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I have this really awful habit.

(That got your interest, didn't it???)

Well. I do.

I never bring stuff in from the car.

I'd like to say that it's because my arms are so full of Almost-One-Year-Old child, not to mention Thing 2 who wants "UP" so he can "PUSHTHEBUTTON!" while trying to open the back door, let the cat in, and not trip over or otherwise injure Thing 1 that I just don't have the energy to go back out and gather all the STUFF I left in the car. But there's a good chance that I'm just lazy. So the stuff gets left there.

Which may or may not include the following:
An assortment of children's books.
A toy microphone.
A stale donut.
Empty water bottles.
Rotten baby bottles.
Raisins in the carpet.
Papers. Always. Papers.
Broken Happy Meal toys.
Receipts that I don't remember where they were from or why.
Frosties cups.
Frosties spoons.
deflated pool toys
possibly used swim diapers
1.2 tons of graham cracker crumbs

I think that's a fairly comprehensive list.


So what is that smell in my car?????