The Taunting Birds

on 30 April 2009

We live on the third floor of a large apartment complex. We have 2 feet of balcony space. It's just big enough for birds to build their nests in! Which, incidentally, is exactly what has happened every spring that we've lived here.

This year, we're leasing our balcony space to a family of finches. They're lovely birds and Chris and have thoroughly enjoyed the miracle of life as they built their nest, laid their eggs and now the eggs have hatched and we feel a sort of surrogate pleasure in the three fuzzy finch heads that occasionally poke up over the top of the nest.

The Cats are not so happy about this development.

I should mention that Leike was quite the huntress in her day. She brought me field mice and small birds, but if left to her own devices she always chose to catch them, bring them inside, then release them IN THE HOUSE so that she could have a livelier play thing.

Agnes has never hunted anything other than a neon pink toy mouse in her entire life. I like to say she's our little metropolitan kitty.


Which brings us back to the birds.

The cats periodically catch sight of the birds and go into Mighty Hunter Mode (MHM) which is replete with laid back ears, crouch and a strange twitchy hunting cry. Ordinarily, I tell them quietly to leave the birds alone, they're delusional, I'm not letting them outside to intimidate the wee family, and even if I did let them outside they're so accustomed to their life of leisure that they couldn't do anything about it anyway.

Tuesday I saw this. Yep. Those birds have figured out that the Cats CAN'T get to them, and he is standing there, STARING at them through the door and TAUNTING them.

I file this under AWESOME.

TMI

on 29 April 2009

Too Much Information:

How to Freak ME Out:

Watch The Future of Food on hulu.com. I can't eat ANYTHING now without a shot of paranoid fear...Where did this REALLY come from? What is it REALLY? Who OWNS this? What was it SPRAYED with? We are all going to DIE!!!

[I was eating nachos at the time and every corn chip I lifted to my mouth I scowled at and ordered it, "Don't kill me. I didn't do anything to YOU."]

How to Win ME Over:

--Be nice to Chris.
--Make over my child.
--Ask me about books.

How to EARN my Mockery:

--self-righteousness
--hypocrisy
--gravitas

Things that give me the WILLIES:

--any and every kind of spider.
--almost any kind of insect (I like ladybugs, lightning bugs, and butterflies. I tolerate moths and bees--only because my name means honey bee and they seem to mostly like me...I've only been stung once and it was because I stepped on the thing.)
--raw meat

How to Make ME Smile:

--make my child laugh (I defy anyone to hear his laugh and remain serious)
--sing anything from Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog
--imitate the dance from Weebl's Kenya Song

David Copperfield, Jacques Lacan and Me

on 27 April 2009

Here it is! At last! I know that you have all been waiting with bated breath for this long awaited post on David Copperfield. How can you stand it? To have such a long awaited wish fulfilled--it must be like a dream come true. Or the Oprah show.

Kidding!

Seriously, though, sorry for taking so long. It's something that's been knocking around inside my head for close to a month now and then I chickened out of writing it because I thought that the comments section would fill up with "DUH!"s and then I talked the thing to the Lovely Whimsy while she was here and she said, "Dude. Who cares? Who cares if everyone says 'Duh!' Who cares what anyone thinks, this is cool and you need to write it!"

So here I am.


Back in March I started David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (of course). Anyone who's been in my house knows that I have the complete novels of Charles Dickens all in the Penguin edition. I generally love the penguin editions of classics, they're well annotated and the introductions are usually really good. I say usually because this one was unusually BAD. I mean BAD. The author (I am refraining from naming him because it's hard to be a scholar) is disjointed and all over the place, it's almost as if he can't decide what he wants to write about and so he writes some of everything but never gets around to saying anything meaningful about the text as a whole.

He completes this disjointed mishmash of opinions of David Copperfield by talking about identity. Now. I think that most anyone knows that David Copperfield is a coming of age story. It starts with the title character's BIRTH (for crying out loud!) and then follows the progress of his life and his growth into manhood. That said, doesn't it seem fairly self-explanatory that his identity would...oh, I don't know...CHANGE? I thought so, but that could also just be me.

Please forgive me while I quote directly from the text at this point. Unnamed Author writes,

"People often talk about searching for an identity, but the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan referred to 'the armor of an alienating identity'--which implies that having an identity, grasping at one, is the problem, not the lack of it. Identity, which means that the individual knows him or herself to be a single subject, with marked characteristics, alienates the subject from him or herself because it excludes things which are 'other' to that single formation. By acting as armor, as a carapace, identity is something which has been wrested from the category of 'otherness', so that the subject has made, or is making, a fetish of its own separate existence."
(David Copperfield, introduction, xxviii)

I'll be honest with you. I was in Bed Sweet Bed reading and I read that and sat bolt upright like I had been shocked. I immediately put the book down, only to pick it back up again and reread that paragraph. I put it down again and sat and thought. And I thought and I thought and I thought for a good long while. Into the small hours of the morning I thought. The next day I pulled down one of my literary theory text books, looked up Jacques Lacan and read the original. After which, I put that book back on the shelf. I went about my life, I tended the Boy, I did the laundry, I emailed and I blogged. But this nagging thought would not leave me be.

I was guilty of that. I was guilty of armoring myself as a single entity. For so long I had been Scholar. When I was no longer in school, I started this blog and became The Wife. After the Boy was born I became a Mother. For months I have been driving myself mad by drips by being unable to reconcile all the pieces of my fractured self. And as I thought and festered, I remembered.

Many and many a year ago I had this fantastic professor of South Asian literature. She drilled into us again and again and again that identity is fluid, almost liminal, suspended between those fixed roles. How is it that I forgot? And she's right. Jacques Lacan is right. Our identities aren't FIXED. We aren't a single thing, title, role. Who we are is like water, it's fluid, it's changing and shifting all the time. It flows into other places, it shifts into other forms, it soaks into all aspects of our life and takes all of the different pieces of our life into account.

I never stopped being a Scholar. I will never stop being The Wife. I am those things. All parts of me are those things. But now I am also a mother. An editor. A friend. A sister. A daughter. A lover. A mirror. A confidant. A runner. An aunt. A writer. And who knows what I may become in the future. Who I am is all of those things and at the same time none of those things--only M.

I've been more than usually depressed in the past few months. But as I accepted that--as I let go of my need to define myself as one entity, I found a certain peace. A friend of mine once said that your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. He's right. It's a painful thing to let go of that armor. To allow who you are to become fluid again. To strip away your self-imposed labels and accept that who you are is constantly changing and simultaneously always the same.

I've spent far too much time and energy trying to fit in. Apologizing for my quirkiness, my eccentricities, my neuroses if you will. I've silenced myself in an effort not to offend, but the outcome of that is only frustration and depression. I'm not sure when I started to care so much what other people thought of me. I didn't used to care. I don't particularly want to care now, but underneath it all, I do. But. BUT! I'm also done. I refuse to apologize anymore for who I am. I'm done trying to explain it away so that everyone feels comfortable. Discomfort is not an evil, it's a necessary part of life.

Whimsy is always reminding me that pain makes you beautiful.

Changes

on 24 April 2009

Well, hello there. Come here often?

Some of you may have noticed some changes in the blog of late.

[I changed the picture of us and more significantly I changed my handle...which then led the Husband to change his. And my Peep list has been relocated to my bookmarks--oh, don't you worry, I'll still be stalking you all on the internet. I've updated my blog roll too...]

There are reasons for these changes. I've been dissatisfied with my blog of late--as some of you may have noticed from my newest declaration of independence.

My change from the Wife to M will be explained in an upcoming post on David Copperfield. The Husband changed to Chris because I was willing to step out from behind the curtain. The Boy will remain the Boy.

I moved my Peeps list because...how do I explain this?

I started this blog as a place to write. It's my creative and intellectual outlet. It's sort of puddled up of late into a place for the grandparents to check for pictures of the Boy. And I'm still going to write about that--how could I not? He's a huge part of my life. But he's not the only thing happening. And I need my space back. I need a place to write. So my blog is moving from a closet where I keep pictures of my kid and links to my friends' blogs and becoming a blog again. I'm going to continue to read your blogs, as I hope you will continue to read mine. My blog roll is a list of blogs that I read regularly and that I recommend to anyone and everyone. I have a few others that I'm reading as a trial run, I might add them later on. My Peeps list is a list of my friends. People I know. I feel like knowing you is part of what makes your blogs so enjoyable. I don't know if it would be the same for a stranger--and oddly enough, there are people I have never met who read this blog.

For now...I'm working on a strange post involving David Copperfield--the novel, not the magician.

Broken for You online only discussion

Earlier this month I posted a review of Stephanie Kallos' excellent novel Broken for You. And interest was expressed in an online discussion of the book.

I participate in a book forum and the other girls are graciously allowing me to host the online discussion over there. I'll moderate the discussion (from the comments) on May 7th, I'll open it up at 7am and moderate all day.

There's more information up on the other blog. I hope to hear from you all then!

Civil Disobedient Wife and also...a blurb

on 21 April 2009

So.

Whimsy's been here. I have several posts that I have essentially TALKED to her and she is insisting that I post them, so I shall...later this week, but for now there's an announcement of sorts that I need to make. Just know that this too, was born of a conversation with that extraordinary Whimsy.

I started this blog for ME. As a place for me to write. I had been out of academia for a while and I was feeling the absence of writing in my life. Over time, as I came to be aware of some of my readers I began to cater the blog to them--sharing funny stories of our life here in North Carolina for our friends and family who live away from us, and NOT sharing some of the gorier details of Life as the Wife. It happened gradually and for a variety of reasons...it was easier to cater to my audience rather than risk alienating people and tell the truth. I'm a VERY private person and it was easier to hide behind my fortress walls and dress them with pretty ivy to distract you all from the facts that I wasn't telling you.

note: I'm still not going to tell you everything. But.

I am RECLAIMING my blog. I, the Wife, heretofore reclaim my Blog for myself. It is a place where I can write about the things that I'm reading about, thinking about, laughing about and crying about. Without apology, without remorse and sometimes without explanation.

If you don't like what you read, DON'T read it.


The End.





Now for the blurb.

The Husband is an awesome Husband in a number of ways, but up towards the top of the list is that he will generally read anything I tell him to read. He's read Anil's Ghost, Pride and Prejudice, Pickwick Papers and Our Mutual Friend. He read Everything is Illuminated AND Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. It's fantastic for me to hear his varying view points and opinions about these books.

Everyone has been asking me if I've read those Twilight books by (ugh) Stephanie Meyer, and I got tired of telling people No--without clarifying that I generally read books written for ADULTS. So for Christmas the Husband bought the books for me. I read them. They were cheesy and hokey and irritatingly compelling. Stephanie Meyer should be drawn and quartered in Poet's Corner of the Canterbury Cathedral for the injustices that she has committed against actual, REAL works of literature. I complained about them to the extent that the Husband became curious, and seeking to escape his final semester as a grad student and all the HELL that that entails--he started reading them.

I asked him how it was going. He said, "It's not so bad as long as I start off every chapter by saying, "Dear Diary..." to myself."

I cracked up laughing.

Up and coming: The David Copperfield post, a post on the Magnificent Whimsy, and something about how The Boy has changed the Wife.

Qui est la?

on 19 April 2009

Hi.

The Whimsy is chatting with the Chip (who is in Albuquerque and apparently there's some story of him being accosted by Mexican drug lords, but Whimsy tells it better--and while we're on the subject of things that Whimsy isn't telling you, she told me some stories today people that were so funny I actually applauded her...she's holding out on you and you should call her out on that), whom she hasn't seen in quite some time. So while she's occupada, I have a question for all of you.

And I do mean ALL of you.

I should preface my remarks by saying that I read a similar blog post by lovely (I almost typed lively, and that would be an appropriate adjective too) Krista some weeks back and at the time I thought, "Pffft. I don't care who reads my blog so long as they read. I'm sure they're all lovely people..."

But Whimsy got me to sign in and actually, oh, read my site statistics and I was poking around by location and urls blah blah blah and I have a question that I need your help with.

Who ARE you people?

Seriously. Some of you were fairly easy to guess, friends I know and love and miss...but there were some places I had never even HEARD of...and I'm pretty good with geography people, but STILL.

And now the curiousity is eating me alive...so, if you can spare a minute...comment please and tell me who you are and how you found me and why you love me and that I'm the prettiest blogger you've ever seen.

Ok.

I'll settle for who you are. The rest of the stuff is just CREAM.

Drowning in my Cheerios

on 14 April 2009

I made the mistake of starting this morning with Amalah. Normally, she's a great way to start the day because she is hilarious...but today, oh dear, she led me to read about Maddie and Thalon.

And the world is now too sad for me to face today. I'm going to be keeping a blanket over my head. Thankfully, the Boy will be under there with me.

My friend Sarah quotes someone as having once said that to have a child is to allow your heart to walk around outside of your body...I've never felt that so strongly as I do today, as I think about those poor mothers who watch as that heart stops beating.

Excuse me while I cry into my bowl of Cheerios.

Go. Read those blogs. Remember those children. Hug your own. Be patient with them. They aren't diabolical, they aren't intentionally making your life hard. They are unintentionally making it more beautiful than you could have imagined on your own.

One of those days

on 13 April 2009


The Boy is having one of those days where he just can't quite face the world without his blanket on his head.

All of the time.

I have spent the majority of the day replacing the blanket on his head. For when the blanket has slipped from his head he has looked at me with that crumpled up face and wailed until, Mama comes to the rescue and replaces the Fallen Blanket. He's not usually like this, so I am attributing this particular mood to the fact that it is Monday.

Conversation

on 08 April 2009

The Husband and I were talking last night. It was one of those conversations that can only happen after the sun sets, the Boy is in bed, we were speaking in hushed tones and I was feeling a bit weepy (not, you know, hysterical sobbing, just...sort of...wistful and sentimental).

He's been doing a bunch of job applications and emailing anyone and everyone to try to find something before he graduates (in a MONTH. ONE (1) Month!). He was talking about maybe not applying for this job because of where it's located. It's somewhere that neither of us has ever lived and he's never even been there to visit (I have, a couple of times).

We ended up having this great conversation about fear and faith. About put up or shut up. About not allowing fear to keep you back from certain experiences, even if those experiences might be painful.

And as the conversation was winding down, he was about to repossess the laptop to apply for that aforementioned job, we started talking about graduation. I was telling him about how I felt the last month or so of the pregnancy. I was equal parts impatience--I knew our life was going to change and I just wanted to get going with it already--and abject FEAR. I didn't know HOW our life was going to change and I was scared to death. I thought, "I can do pregnancy. It's not pretty and it's not pleasant but I can DO it. What if I CAN'T do motherhood?"

And we chuckled together because that's really how we both feel now. For the first time since we've been together we're looking at an imminent future where neither of us will be a student. Our lives won't be oriented around the academic school year. We won't be planning vacations and visits based off of a school calender. And strange as it may seem, we're both equal parts impatience and abject fear.

I know. I know that everything will work out. We'll get a job, we'll graduate, we'll move on. We'll change. As individuals and our marriage. We might even have another kid--the one we have is working out pretty well and he's awfully cute. I just wish that I could banish that half of me that is abject fear. I really need to get some sleep.

Tasty

on 07 April 2009

So, I haven't posted anything about baby food because several of you have posted about how easy and how much BETTER (healthier and cheaper) it is to make your own. I have STOLEN artlessly from you, thankyouverymuch, and as such haven't had much to add to the overall body of blog posts on homemade baby food.

Until today.

So I've been toying around with different oatmeal concoctions, trying to get the consistency just right. My main issue with baby food is that most of it is inedible. I am a picky girl--I admit it. I'll eat most anything (except food with a face--if it has a face in its original form, count me out) but it has to be GOOD. DECENT. EDIBLE. And so in creating variations of the Boy's standard favorites, I experiment with different textures and flavors.

Which brings me back to oatmeal. We buy the boxes of organic cereal for him--I use it as a thickener for fruits and yogurts because it is the very definition of tasteless paste on its own. But for real cereal that I want him to...oh...EAT, I buy whole rolled oats and grind them up to different textures in my blender.

I've tried different liquids for cooking (water, formula, juice) but none of them produced anything good, so I scrapped it and started using the fruits that I blended for him. We've started adding back texture to his food so they're a bit thicker and have some small chunks of apples, peaches, pears and blueberries in them.

Here's the ratio that works best:

4 tablespoons of ground oatmeal
8 tablespoons of blended fruit

There's enough liquid in the fruit to fully cook the oatmeal and it creates a lovely texture. So this morning for breakfast the Boy had oatmeal cooked in 8 tablespoons of a blueberry-peach combination. I added a tablespoon of whole milk ricotta cheese to add creaminess and a bit of protein and a sprinkling of cinnamon and lo, he INHALED it.

Here's the proof:




Edited to add: It's 3:20 in the afternoon. Hey, did you know that peaches, blueberries and oatmeal have a lot of fiber? Yeah. That was interesting.

Trouble

on 06 April 2009

Oh dear.

Trouble is coming.


Do you see all of that...what do you call it...AIR underneath my child's delicious tummy? Yeah. He's about 6 minutes from crawling. We're DOOMED.

And just as proof that we were DOOMED before there was air under there...

Broken for You

on 03 April 2009


It's 10:30pm and I should be in bed...I should be making progress towards sleep. The Boy is sleeping soundly, the Husband is out walking a lovely dog, but I? I am blogging, and I will tell you why.

I just finished this book. Stephanie Kallos' Broken for You. For the first time in years, YEARS I say, I have read a book so good that I had two reactions:

1) I am GREEN with envy because I didn't write it myself. It is so simple, so lovely, so bittersweet and utterly charming and I cannot claim to be the brilliant mind behind it. WOE. Woe to ME.

2) I have found a book that I actually want to TEACH. I haven't felt this way about a text since Anil's Ghost (which I did teach) and it was years ago. I got halfway through and started structuring lectures and discussions in my head--different directions it could go in, the ongoing metaphors throughout the text, the symbolic nature of Margaret's dreams...oh, there's so much there I could cry with the joy of it.

It is brilliant beyond description. So multi-layered, so rich, so dynamic, so quirky and funny and yet so gorgeously SAD. I read it in 3 days. And it took me that long because I would read certain sections and I would have to stop. Get up. Go and find the Boy. And hold him in my arms for a while. All the time he's squirming because, dude, he was playing and I interrupted, but cut me some slack, Mama's heart is breaking all over again and she needs to hold her little Boy while she can.

(I know. I have been talking about posting something about David Copperfield, I got distracted, people, please. I couldn't help myself, it's not my fault.)

And just to illustrate the extent of my WOE at not having written this amazing book, I'll leave you with a quote:

"The broken are not always gathered together, of course, and not all mysteries of the flesh are solved. We speak of "senseless tragedies," but really: Is there any other kind? Mothers and wives disappear without a trace. Children are killed. Madmen ravage the world, leaving wounds immeasurably deep, and endlessly mourned. Loved ones whose presence once filled us move into the distance; our eyes follow them as long as possible as they recede from view. Maybe we chase them--clumsily, across railroad tracks and trafficked streets; over roads new-printed with their footsteps, the dust still whirling in the wake of them; through impossibly big cities peopled with strangers whose faces and bodies carry fragments of their faces and bodies, whose laughter, steadiness, pluck, stubbornness remind us of the beloved we seek. Maybe we stay put, left behind, and look for them in our dreams. But we never stop looking, not even after those we love become part of the unreachable horizon. We can never stop carrying the heavy weight of love on this pilgrimage; we can only transfigure what we carry. We can only shatter it and send it whirling into the world so that it can take shape in some new way."

Maybe it's so good to me because it's a theme that I've been thinking about a lot lately. Realizing how broken we all are in our own ways. Of course, we're all excellent actors so all we see of one another is the facade, the mask, the costume and make-up and stage lighting. All we hear are the previously rehearsed lines. What we don't recognize in one another, and yet what binds us together, what ties us by our common humanity, are the fissures, the cracks, the breakings and reassemblings. It's what ultimately makes us human--and nothing and no one exposed to other human beings remains unbroken. It's against nature. We were never meant to be shut away behind glass or bars, protected but isolated and alone. We were always made to be interacted with, to share, to LIVE and by living to LOVE...and those things are high risk behaviors. We can't participate in them and remain unbroken, it's just not possible. Maybe what we need is some sort of acknowledgment that it's ok to be broken.

Ultimately, that's what this book does. It brings the fragments out into the light and says it's ok to be broken. We all are. It doesn't make us failures, freaks, or fools. It makes us human, and successful humans at that.

this is not The Wife

on 01 April 2009

Well hello there. You should know that The Wife and I have swapped blogs in our efforts to (loosely) celebrate April Fool's Day. If you are completely bereft without The Wife (as really, ANYONE would be, naturally, we just adore her around here) - you may visit her at my blog today, The Creamery. If, however, you don't feel inclined to click on over there immediately, and would care to visit with me for just a moment, do I have the story for you. I'm Whimsy, by the way. I feel that we should at least introduce ourselves because I'm about to tell you what could be considered a very personal story about myself. I should also note that when I mentioned to The Wife that I wanted to tell a story about going to the WOMAN DOCTOR, she was rightly a little (okay, VERY MUCH) aghast. I mean, it's the WOMAN DOCTOR, right? But my answer was this: first, it's a very funny story; and second, it involves nothing about the visit specifics, if you get my drift. So soldier on, dear Burnstopia readers, and hear my cautionary tale.


I went to the gynecologist last Wednesday. As I said, I'm not about to post a bunch of gory details about the visit itself, other than to offer this bit of advice: do not take your 12-month old with you to the gynecologist.

It was a last-minute type of visit (and NO I AM NOT PREGNANT, STOP THAT) so I was obliged to pack Alice along. I brought the following to help my efforts: sippy cup, raisins, cheerios, honey bunny crackers, fishy crackers, toy keys, second set of toy keys, toy cell phone (we're all plugged in like that, yo), stacking cups, favorite book. Basically I brought everything except the kitchen sink. What should I have NOT packed? My dignity. Because it was left squarely on the floor of the examination room.

We didn't have to wait long before the nurse called me in. I figured that the short wait was a good sign - in retrospect, it wasn't anything of the sort. When the nurse brought me into the exam room she offered all the sweet affections that turn my heart into goo (oh what a cute baby! she is just adorable! look at those cheeks!). She even pulled out a basket of toys for Alice to play with. As she ran me through all the perfunctory questions, I asked her if Alice was going to be okay playing on the floor like that - she nodded enthusiastically "Oh yes, she'll be fine. Alright then, the nurse practitioner will be in here in a few minutes - you'll need to get undressed." At which point she hands me The Drape (also known as a Medical Grade Paper Towel that will now be functioning as a too-small SKIRT). A SKIRT that doesn't cover much except for my dignity (which, as we now know, will be left ON THE EXAM ROOM FLOOR. Wait for it.)

When she left, I wondered what I was going to do with Alice while I waited - I couldn't exactly crouch down there with her on the floor, me being pantsless and all. So I dropped my drawers and wrapped myself in the paper towel and hopped up on the table, hoping that the NP would be quick and Alice would be happy. As I waited, I watched Alice grow increasingly more comfortable in her environment: going from quietly sitting on the floor playing with the myriad of toys to shuffling the toys to one side, to sort of tossing various toys in broader arcs around the room, to finally pulling herself up on the bookshelf and starting to inch her way closer to me and the exam table. I don't know about you, but there is something deeply disturbing about a baby using an exam table (WITH STIRRUPS) as a cruising prop. By the time the NP came in, Alice was dancing at the base of the table, considering various ways to scale the thing with her razor-sharp talons. The NP chatted with me a bit as I apologized for Alice's mess. When I suggested that I hold Alice during THE EXAM, the NP nodded brightly, "Oh yes, that will be much better." (I secretly didn't want to subject Alice's young mind to the nurse's eagle eye view, hint hint, wink wink, I think you know what I mean.)

So, let's review: At this point in the story, I am not wearing any pants, I am wrapped in a paper towel, I am lying on an exam table, my feet are planted in the lovely stirrups, a nurse practitioner is down in the eagle eye area, and there is a 12-month-old baby sitting on my belly. Awesome.

As the NP started to do the exam, Alice got squirmy. And by squirmy, I mean she started getting awfully interested in what the NP was doing. So as I struggled vainly to keep both Alice and the paper towel in place, Alice did her level best to reach down to grab the NP's hands and INSTRUMENTS (YOU AND ME BOTH: EWW). So we have one squirmy baby, one nurse practitioner trying to do her job, and yours truly quickly losing hold of the paper towel. When Alice realized that she wasn't being forceful enough, she decided to put her feet into the deal - so she kicked her feet just enough to simultaneously TEAR the paper towel and also cast aside most of the pieces. I am now holding one squirmy baby, and THREE itty bitty paper towel pieces (baby in crook of left arm, one paper towel piece in my left hand, two paper towel pieces in my right hand). In the instant that the two pieces in my right hard start to separate and fall to the floor, the NP says she's through and I can sit up. Yay! .... I mean, YAY! .... I mean.... yay? ....................... I'm stuck. I can't sit up.

With all of Alice's 21 pounds on my belly, and a sincere lack of both balance and leverage, I do my best impression of a pantsless mother turtle that's been flipped on her back: the paper towel bits sort of sandwiched under my thighs, right arm pinwheeling to the ceiling, left arm clutching baby in a death grip lest she go flying headfirst off the exam table, both legs dolphin kicking into the air, as I frantically try to get some kind of foot hold. It is at this point that what is left of the paper towel goes fluttering into the air--- in the slowest of slo-mo, and I find myself yelling, "Noooooo!" The NP lurches back toward the table to pull out a little foot-rest thingy that is supposed to magically redeem my dignity and also give my feet some kind of purchase for, I don't know, flipping myself over to the side? Of the table? Whatever. It is clearly a FAILURE as I just continue to do the whole fish flopping nonsense, now with added sound effects of my wheezing and embarrassed laughter.

The NP then pushes the footstool back into the exam table and steps closer, holding out her hand (this is a brave one, offering her hand to the half-naked wheezing fish flop lady). I go to grab her hand, knowing that this will be the ticket to getting myself off the STUPID table-- but as I get her hand, one of my feet slips and I proceed to kick the nurse practitioner in the stomach---- the entire horrorfest reaches its crescendo as my hand then slips out of her hand, my whole body jerks backwards and I go flying back onto the table. With baby. Have I mentioned in the last 30 seconds that I wasn't wearing any pants?

Dude. Learn your lesson from me. Baby + gyno office? Do not mix. And now that we've had this little talk, go visit The Creamery, and have a wonderful April!