“I’ll have a muffin… No. WAIT. Just a water. I’m not hungry, after all… No. WAIT. I’ll take their coffee cake… No. Scratch that. I’ll have a coffee cake and a coffee… Hello?! Are you still there?”
“Jon? Are you still there?”
“I’m here,” my husband said cautiously. “You want a coffee cake and a coffee? Final choice… are you entirely sure?”
“Yes,” I say emphatically. “I’m sure. Thank you.”
I hang up. Then, I quickly call him right back.
“Hello?” he asks, calmly.
“I’ll take a muffin instead. Final choice, for sure this time. Also, did you water all our flower pots this morning?”
“Tracy,” he said quietly. “Let me order this for you and then we can talk about your flower pots.”
“Oh, right. You’re right. Okay, thanks.”
I hang up and wait for him to return. He ran into my favorite coffee shop to grab me a drink and snack while I eagerly awaited his return in the car with our children. At the time of this happening, I’m about nine months pregnant and it is 91 degrees out with, I don’t know, in the neighborhood of about 1000 percent humidity (just an approximation).
When he gets back, he hands me the muffin and the coffee with a rather timid look on his face. It’s almost as if he’s thinking “Uh-oh, how is she going to react to this.” I brush off the thought of him thinking that and take the bag and greedily dive in. As I’m partaking in the beautiful snack, I stop, morsel in hand and look back and study his face.
Suddenly, I shamefully realize, that look on his face? I didn’t mistake that look. That look of fear is real.
Whatever could be making him – and probably my children – afraid of me? Me? I’m practically the definition of mellow! Patient to a fault, right? Slow to anger, gosh darnit! Yes, how could they be afraid of all of that?
Then I pause to reflect on this last pregnancy of mine and I realize… Uh-oh. Perhaps those definitions haven’t exactly befitted me this time around.
Let’s start with the fact that I’ve suddenly lost all ability to make a decision. As if something or someone rather (I’m looking at you unborn child in my womb) is siphoning all my brain power and redirecting it elsewhere. Then there is also the fact that no matter the room temperature in any given situation, I’m threatening to black out over the “stifling” heat. I’ve also resorted to giving my children sugar. Lots of it. And to survive a lunch or a dinner, I hand them over to many episodes of Daniel Tiger on my phone.
(Sidenote: Yes, I know, it is me. The same mom you knew that vowed I would never do these things. I’m aware that the term “hypocrite” would not be out of line here. Standby for my next article entitled: “Have I ruined my children forever?”)
And, let’s perhaps not even mention the never-ending amount of house projects and cleaning I’ve been enlisting everyone east of the Missouri River to help with before the baby comes. In fact, as I reflect upon the insane projects I’ve come up with, I think my husband would truly attest that it has become like the American Ninja Warrior version of nesting around here. And somehow, he still, albeit fearfully, loves me?
As the preponderance of the evidence goes to show, it is, quite literally, as if I have lost my dang mind. Could I be the only pregnant woman on the prairie who is acting this way?
I’m hoping, however, that all of this is just temporary. At the time of this writing, I’m so close to the finish line of meeting our newest family member I can almost feel that sweet baby in my arms. In the meantime, I will just have to issue a few more – hundred? – apologies to make up for my questionable behavior, especially during this ninth month.
Then, of course, once the baby arrives I will enter into a whole new kind of crazy called sleep deprivation, at which point…
Send more muffins.
LITTLE PARENT ON THE PRAIRIE
Follow Tracy on her blog, littleparentontheprairie.com.