WARNING

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Week 36.

As well as being another confession of guilt, this one is something along the lines of a public service announcement. You see, I’m just back from our carseat “fitting.”

Since getting pregnant we keep hearing an interesting statistic bandied about: apparently, more than 90% of Americans improperly install their kids’ carseats (by some accounts, the number is as high as 98%). Despite our skepticism – and our confidence that that we’re part of the remaining 10%, duh  – we made made an appointment to get ours checked out. (Most carseat inspection stations are at Police precincts or Highway Patrol offices; I met with Safe Kids Worldwide at a temporary one in the parking lot at Rady Children’s Hospital.)

You’re laughing, I’m sure. Taken at face value this number seems absolutely preposterous. We all want to say: “Well, I mean of course THOSE people fucked it up. But we know what we’re doing. Right, honey?”

I can promise you – whoever you are – that you’re probably wrong.

Our carseat base was absolutely rock solid – you couldn’t budge this thing a millimeter in any direction. We were sure that we had installed it perfectly. Except that we hadn’t, not quite. Attaching the base firmly isn’t the only important factor here – making sure that it looks and feels solidly installed is not enough. This is about making sure that the structural integrity of your carseat is absolutely uncompromised so that the forces of an accident are deflected away from your child.

These are highly engineered doohickeys, and in order for them to protect our children as they’re meant to it’s up to us to properly follow instructions – even the really hard to read ones in fine print. You have to follow steps A, B, and C; unless of course D is true, in which case you skip B, and then follow E, F, and G…. or maybe – if you choose to install it on this seat rather than that one you should be doing H, I and J instead… wait – you didn’t get a Graco? Oh, scratch that, you’ve got to do it this way…

This is no joke – even if your kid has already been riding around in that carseat for years, it’s almost guaranteed that something is wrong, and you may never know until it matters most. So seriously – I don’t care how smart you are, or how many nieces and nephews you’ve got. Get your shit checked, people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleep

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Week 35.

As we approach the home stretch of this pregnancy, every parent we encounter takes it upon themselves to provide some (unsolicited) advice. Whoever/whenever/wherever we may be, it is always the same, and comes delivered with equal parts solemnity and melodrama (as well as an undertone of evil laughter and spooky Halloween music in the background):

SLEEP WHILE YOU CAN!! mwa ha ha ha ha ha” 

I’ll admit, I’m a little freaked out by how quickly time seems to be passing these days. Before we know it our little guy will be here, after which point (if you buy into the hype) we’ll never sleep again. The problem is – we’re already not sleeping much.

It’s understandably difficult for Wifey to get comfortable with that watermelon inside, and he’s resting right on her bladder sending her to the bathroom at regular intervals. There’s a lot of nocturnal activity going on over here – not to mention a body pillow in the middle of the bed. So I’m left with a little slice of mattress on which to enjoy the Daddy-to-be insomnia that my sources indicate is par for the course.

You know what’s happened? The dire warnings I’ve been receiving are actually causing me to sleep less. I lie there, brain churning, wondering what my son will look like and what changes he will affect in my life. Meanwhile, somewhere on the edge of my consciousness a very assertive man with a powerful loudspeaker is screaming YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO SLEEP AGAIN!!!! YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO SLEEP AGAIN!!!!

Honestly, I’m becoming convinced that I’m going to sleep better once Little Dude is here. The reality can’t possibly be as bad as my own imagination.

Balls

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Week 34.

This totally inappropriate-looking contraption has had a major impact on my marriage in the past week.

No, it is not a sex toy for tennis players (get your mind out of the gutter!), but rather a cheap and easy-to-make prenatal massage tool. (Apparently this is only one of many alternative uses for tennis balls; if only Wilson knew they might explore some entirely new marketing avenues.)

Thanks to the international communication chain of pregnant mothers – and a pretty hilarious youtube video – this sexy little doohickey came to Wifey’s attention while I was away on a wine trip for a few days last week. So I got a text message:

Please buy some tennis balls on your way home. Thanks. I love you.” WTF? 8 months pregnant and you’re going to pick up tennis?

“No, but you’ve been away for five days and you owe me a lot of massages.” Yes, dear.

I did in fact owe her a lot of massages – and sadly, the few that I had attempted to provide so far during pregnancy had probably been unsatisfactory. My massage skills aren’t bad, generally speaking, but that goes out the window when the person on the receiving end is growing a child and therefore can’t lie flat on her stomach. Furthermore, pregnant women are cautioned against massages at all during the first trimester, massages that are too invasive, or massages by people who don’t know what the fuck they’re doing. So you’ll understand my concerns.

These balls – for lack of a better term – are a lifesaver. Believe it or not they provide just the right kind of pressure, and the pantyhose (or sock, if you choose to go that route) keep just enough space between them to straddle one’s spine. Honestly – speaking from experience now – they feel pretty damn good.

Guys – take it from me. Don’t wait until month 8 to get yourself some new balls.

 

 

 

 

 

Countdown

Abacus

Week 32. Month 8.

We literally can’t go anywhere these days without people stopping us in our tracks and commenting on Wifey’s figure. Generally the remarks she elicits are positive in tone, most commonly:

  1. “Oh my God… what an adorable belly! You’re, like, the cutest pregnant woman ever.”
  2. “Aw…. there’s a BABY in there! Do you know if its a boy or a girl??”

Then of course there’s the one that pregnant women around the world love to hate:

3.  “Holy shit… you’re HUGE!”

Regardless of which of these comes first, it’s almost always followed by the question, “how far along are you?” Then, when people hear 8 months, they inevitably exclaim “only one month to go!”

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), they’ve got it all wrong.

Everybody is taught that pregnancy lasts nine months, which is true in its way. But a normal pregnancy doesn’t come to term at the beginning of the ninth month; the baby is born at the end of it (if Mommy is even so lucky). So this whole “nine months” thing is total bullshit. We’re talking about ten months here.

Which means that we still have to wait two months before we get meet our little dude. His room is ready, and he’s already got quite the wardrobe waiting for him. But he’s gotta keep cooking, and Daddy’s still got his work cut out for him over the next couple of months.

They say patience is a virtue, right?