The State of Our House
July 10, 2009 by Stephanie O'Dea
Strange things happen when you’re pregnant. Although you know it’s completely irrational, you suddenly feel as if there has been no one, no one, in the history of the universe who has felt the way you do. Even if you’ve been pregnant before, you realize that you weren’t really tired or sick or cranky in previous pregnancies—that was all just practice for the way you feel now.
And nobody understands. Nobody. Not even your former self when you read past journal entries chronicling past pregnancies. Oh people commiserate, and they share their own stories, but they’re wrong. It’s just not possible for anyone else who has ever walked the face of the earth to feel the way you do.
Nope. Save it. It’s not possible.
So you sit. And you wait. Because at some point you will begin to start to feel a bit better, and begin to get just a teeny tiny shred of your former energy level back. And that teeny tiny burst of energy will feel so amazingly good, that you decide you can take the kids swimming, scrub the kitchen floor on your hands and knees, and make a 4-course dinner.
But then you’ll crash. Because you overdid it. So you’ll sit some more, and wait some more for another burst.
This cycle lasts for months and months and months and you can’t even fabricate these bursts of insane energy with triple mochas or a shot of tequilla.
and that there sucks.
The kids have been great at amusing themselves these past weeks. They’re home from school for the summer, and I love having them around. I also love not having to get dressed to drop them off and pick them up from anything. They have been playing elaborate games involving cardboard boxes, bits of string, and rolls and rolls of Scotch Tape (note to self: buy stock in 3M). There are a few squabbles here and there, but mostly the days are just filled with them asking “can we?” and me answering “knock your socks off.”
We now have an invisible dog, Walter. Walter comes on errands with us. Walter sometimes accidentally gets sat upon, although he really shouldn’t be up on the couch. Walter needs afternoon naps and needs to be read stories. Walter is the perfect pet.
The only problem with Walter is his food and water, which lives outside of the kitchen entry, where it gets knocked over a few times a day. Walter’s food has been outside the kitchen entry for 16 days. 16 days may seem like a not very long time, but when you’re pregnant, things that would normally be endearing seem to become quite annoying, and all you can think while you lie on the couch scared to move so you won’t vomit all over the carpet is about the stale yogurt covered raisins which seem to just be an open invitation to an ant infestation.
Other things that bother you is that you are the only one. THE ONLY ONE who seems to notice the pile of crap in the front entry. The problem with this pile of crap i s that you actually made the mess. It’s your crap. You decided to vacuum 4 1/2 days ago, but only made it half way through the house, so now the vacuum sits, still plugged in, waiting for someone to finish the job or to put it away. And the sad fact is that the person you are waiting for is you. Because you’re the only one who cares. And then there are the purged items from the playroom that need to be stored on the shelves in the garage. The shelves that live way over on the other side of the garage, which seem entirely too far away. So you try to ignore the pile of Christmas books and outgrown baby toys.
You try very. very. hard.
oh, and the empty cardboard box? That’s yours, too. You need that box to mail something back, and since you’re going to eventually mail it back, why shouldn’t it just live there for another week or so until you muster up the courage to brave the line at the post office.
There’s also the kids’ sweatshirts which you told them to put there because they can’t reach the hangers in the hall closet, and while they could hang them in their room, or on the neat jacket thingy in the garage, you were feeling nice and said not to worry about them, and to just go play. The front entry also has the pile of dvds that need to be returned to the library, because you decided to cancel the cable for the summer so the kids don’t rot their brains, and have somehow justified that cartoon DVDs from the library are a whole lot better.
The past few days the song from Veggie Tales, “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything,” has been playing in an endless loop in my head. I drift off to a nap, and imagine someone walking in our house, seeing the disaray, and me asleep on the couch. When questioned “what’s going on here?” The kids shrug and answer, “oh, that’s just our mom. She don’t do anything.”
14 weeks. Beginning to feel human again.