40 Weeks and Counting…

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Well, I’m officially overdue. Again. This baby is apparently very comfortable in there and in no hurry to move out, in spite of what feels to me like very cramped conditions. I’m trying to keep in mind that there are lots of parents out there with preemies in the NICU who would have given anything for their babies to stay safely inside for 40 weeks, but I am so ready for this little boy to get here.

I’ve spent the last few days cleaning the house, making sure I’m all caught up on laundry, and just generally trying to be ready for any visitors who might come by after the baby arrives. This is not to say that my house looks (or will ever look) perfect. It looks like exactly what it is: home to an active 3-year-old, two adults, four cats, and a dog.

Speaking of trains, we went yesterday and got The Boy’s much-anticipated electric train. It was his reward for the amazing progress he’s made in the past few weeks. After understanding the theory for about two years, he’s finally decided to start using the toilet consistently, and he’s suddenly sleeping in his “big-boy bed” all night every night. We’re so proud of him! He knows it, too — every morning when he wakes up with a dry pull-up, he says, “Are you so proud of me and so impressed?” Anyway, he was thrilled to go get his train. His daddy built a great, sturdy table for it yesterday afternoon, and he was out in the Florida room first thing this morning to play with it.

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He keeps asking me about the hospital — how long I’ll be there, what will happen, how soon I’ll be home, etc. He’ll have his Nana, Aunt Gigi, and cousins to play with, so he’ll probably handle the separation better than I will. I’m dreading it. I haven’t even left for the hospital yet, and I already can’t wait to get home.

I go to bed every night thinking, “OK, this is the night. Tonight the real contractions start.” And I wake up the next morning thinking, “Crap.” At this point, I’m scheduled to be induced next week, and I’m praying like crazy that this child will decide to come on his own before that. I’ve heard it said elsewhere, but it really does seem crazy to avoid so many things throughout pregnancy (including any and all medications that actually work) and then pump our bodies full of multiple powerful drugs because it’s suddenly supposed to be safe. I do not want this pregnancy to end that way.

This post isn’t meant to be a pity party. So to lighten things up, I’ll tell you about one of our cats. Gilligan was born the week before Ben and I got married in 2005, under the back porch of the guesthouse we lived in for the first five years. He and his mom and littermates lived in a big dog crate in our living room for about six weeks after we got back from our honeymoon, and when we got home from work at night, we would let them all out to play. Gilligan would sit inches from the open door of the crate and watch forlornly as his siblings jumped out and wrestled on the rug. But he literally could not find his way out of the cage without our help.

He grew into a huge, sleek, jet-black cat, but he’s always been a few bricks shy of a load. Before The Boy was born, the cats slept in our room, and most nights, Gilligan would wake us up by knocking something off of my dresser. We would turn a light on and find him standing on the dresser, wide-eyed, looking totally shocked by the racket he’d just made. We got so frustrated with him, but he was truly incorrigible.

At almost eight years old, he finally seems to have grown out of the kitten stage. Now he’s pretty mature, with only the occasional act of craziness. But he’s a cat with fetishes. He’s completely obsessed with brushes — makeup brushes, basting brushes, paintbrushes. He can sense their presence, and he will dig for them until he finds them. Then he will carry them around in his mouth by the bristles, knock them around on the floor, and happily chew on them for hours. He’s also fascinated with ponytail elastics (which he chews to pieces and devours), used q-tips (which he will knock over the bathroom trash can in order to retrieve), and Crocs (of which he has destroyed three pairs by chewing through the straps). Oh, and plastic shower curtains. He actually fell into the tub once while I was showering because he was trying to chew on the curtain liner and lost his balance.

But for all his quirks, he is the sweetest cat imaginable and has never met a human or animal he didn’t immediately love. All of our cats are wonderful with The Boy, but there’s something especially cute about such a massive cat being so affectionate with him. Here he is, in all his craziness, watching birds. The funny thing is that even after eight years, if the window were wide open, he still probably wouldn’t be able to find his way through.

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