Sun 18 Oct 2009
At 6am my husband greeted me on my way to the bathroom. He had been sleeping on the couch but had his laptop open. My new found, pregnancy-induced, snoring problem had provoked him to find new places to sleep. We embraced before I shivered out of his arms and into the bathroom. Sleeping has become so strange, challenging in a bizarre way, unlike any insomnia or apnea I’ve ever faced. “What’s wrong?” I asked him on my way back. “Are you sleeping here?” “Oh, I’m just around,” he said. And I went back to bed.
When I got up at 7:30am, Josh was still on the couch with his laptop open. He stood up to greet me. I asked, “What’s wrong? I know something is wrong.” Josh smiled sheepishly, “Well, there’s a drunk guy sleeping on our porch.” “What? No way,” I said. “Really? What? Wait…he has to go! Did you call the police? He needs to leave…I’m pregnant.” Josh explained that the fellow seemed harmless and that he was keeping an eye on him. “I think it’s best if he just sleeps it off,” Josh said wisely. I went to the bathroom feeling disturbed. “Where’s our camera?” Josh asked. “I want to take a picture of him while he’s sleeping.”
When I came to the living room, Josh was peering out the window, “Look! He’s getting up and leaving.” Sure enough…the drunken man was swaying his way down our steps and down the front yard. We half expected him to go across the street where all the day laborers live but instead he walked up the street. “Follow him!” I said, “If he lives nearby that explains everything.” Josh threw on shoes and disappeared out the back door into the rainy, dark, morning. I sat waiting for him, tired and floating on the strange cloud that is pregnancy in the third trimester.
When Josh returned he explained it to me: At 5am he heard all sorts of banging around. When he investigated he found a very drunk, heavily hiccuping, man rearranging our porch furniture. He watched as the fellow carefully stacked all of our plastic chairs, folded the plastic table neatly and placed it next to the pile. Then he rearranged everything, pulled apart the stack, then put it all back together, perching the table on the top. After admiring his work, he took both of our doormats and laid them out like a little bed, curled up on top of them, and fell asleep. The first thought was that he was from across the street and thought that this was his house. Or maybe he was at a party and he couldn’t make it home. “When I followed him, he was walking purposely away from the neighborhood…I don’t think he’s from around here. Or maybe he is…it’s a mystery.”
I made Josh examine the front porch for any signs of urination or vomit. It came out clean. Then we reassessed the situation. Should the police have been called? If it had been me who found a drunk man rearranging our porch furniture at 5am in the morning, most certainly. But Josh was relaxed about the whole situation. “I dealt with so many drunk men in Brazil,” He said. “Most of the time they’re so out of it that they’re really no threat at all. You should have heard the sound of this guy’s hiccups! I just hung out in the living room and kept an eye on him.” Wow. Josh also said he knew if he confronted the fellow it would be kinda messy and loud. “I didn’t want to wake you up,” He said reasonably. “I’m actually surprised this sort of thing hasn’t happened sooner,” I admitted. “If it becomes a regular thing then, yes, we’ll call the police next time,” Josh promised.
That evening we came back from our amazing co-ed baby shower exhausted and happy. I went straight to our front window and checked our front porch. No sleeping drunk man. I even checked this morning. Nothing. Just a figment, a strange experience, rare but strangely typical of the south side.
Wed 14 Oct 2009
After getting up 2-5 times during the night, I get up at 5am and see Josh off to work…then I read the somewhat tedious “Atonement” for about 30 minutes before nodding off. Think about all the things I’m going to do with my nice long day: shower, vacuum, make stuff (turns out this is all idealizing). Wake myself up snoring anytime between 8 and 10am. Eat bran cereal for breakfast. Teach a dance class or two….maybe. (Depends on the day). If there is no dance class then I try to take a walk around the block but only make it halfway: Gravity has gone into full effect and Baby Schlag is resting soundly on my bladder. Limp home. Fold laundry and empty dishwasher…feel exhausted by so much activity. Lie down and sleep for 1-3 hours. 4:00 is reserved for TV time: Oprah mixed with Judge Judy. Cook dinner at 5, regardless of energy level. Dinner has included soups, meatballs, homemade pizza, comfort food with real ingredients and high in protein. As custom, I eat very very quickly and perhaps a bit more then usual. Find that I can’t move out of the horizontal position on the couch. Watch Food Network, a comedy from Netflix, or something easy and entertaining with the husband. Go to bed and start all over…
An alternative to the day would include a phone call from Sharon (due three days after me) or maybe a visit from new friend, Suzanne, down the street. She arrives on my porch with her one month old daughter wrapped up and hanging off her body in an ergo carrier. I’m envious that her baby has already come out. One by one my new pregnant friends are having their babies and I feel left behind. It’s as if I’m on an island and they’re being rescued before me. I make Suzanne feel Baby Schlag’s little heels, which are sharply protruding from the side of my stomach. (I think about how my dad has predicted the baby will have huge feet like both of us and realize that this might be very true). I give Suzanne some soup.
Hobbes shows up and starts meowing for wet food. The act of bending over to get her bowl seems too daunting for me so I wait for Josh to come home and do it. The same goes for a lot of stuff on the floor–too much work to retrieve so it sits there whether it’s a piece of mail or an insert from a magazine. The baby’s room is slowly shaping up but appears hollow and empty. We’re preparing for a life long guest. I’m not sure how this is all going to go down…
Tue 13 Oct 2009
Triple Door last weekend. 8 months pregnant. Last time onstage until baby.
Fri 2 Oct 2009
Posted by MS under Pregnancy1 Comment
Josh consumes television and media in large ’same type’ trends. For a while it was all Xbox games…then it turned into Xbox movies and then anything he could find on Netflix On-Demand (a lot of crap, like all of the Die Hard movies in one night). Then he transitioned to cable after the digital switch opened the door to new channels. He started watching the World War II series by Ken Burns, (too bloody for me) and then the Frontline Series on PBS (really intense documentaries about everything from U.S. presidents to the financial crisis).
Lately, it’s been all about ultimate fighting–you know, the mixed martial arts matches that happened illegally on the street but have now gone mainstream. Specifically the really terrible reality show, The Ultimate Fighter:Heavyweights. That’s right: a whole bunch of testosterone heightened men with mixed martial arts backgrounds, live in a house and fight each other once a week in the ring (and sometimes in the house!) Now that ultimate fighting has been corralled, wiped down, and presented to consumers as a skilled sport, any joe blow with some skills is looking to get his foot in the door. Are you a boxer with a whole bunch of tattoos? (Tattoos are practically required to be an ultimate fighter!) Are you a jujitsu specialist who can also tackle someone to the floor in two seconds? Why don’t we put the boxer and the jujitsu specialist in the ring and let them duke it out! YES!
Usually around 10 o’clock I’m tired and cranky but don’t want to go to bed without Josh. Typically, I’ve finished watching something on the Food Network when Josh comes in and cheers, “It’s time for Ultimate Fighter!” And please note that it’s not always the reality show, there have been times when he has stayed up (sort of) until 2am watching Ultimate Fight Matches (recorded in high def straight out of the ultimate fighting capital: Las Vegas). I’ll stumble out into the living room and there’s Josh, curled up around Hobbes, fast asleep while two guys are pounding each other on screen. Occasionally, I’ll go to bed, but often I take the time to snuggle up with Josh and endure a little Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights.
Two nights ago, we were both exhausted and getting ready for bed. Suddenly, Josh bounded into the bedroom and said, “Ultimate Fighter is on, and KIMBO is fighting!” Kimbo is an enormous, balding, black, bearded brawler from the streets, who has been a fan favorite for the whole season. He looks entirely different from any of the other pasty, tattooed, cauliflower-eared, fighters. We’ve become Kimbo fans. I got out of bed to watch Kimbo. Maybe it’s just because I think his name is kind of cool. “Kimbo Schlager,” I tried out (since we’re still far from coming up with the baby’s name). I looked around: “Kimbo Hobbes,” I said to my cat. She looked unamused. “Let’s name our next cat, Kimbo,” I babbled, obviously too tired to really be up and talking.
The fight was short and unsatisfying. For the first time ever, I was actually watching and rooting for an ultimate fighter. Kimbo scored a few swings and then ended up flat on the mat–a bad scene for a man whose skill is with his fists! “Nooo!” I shouted as Kimbo vainly tried to wrestle his way out of his opponent’s choke hold. It was too late for Kimbo. The enormous wrestler with the beer gut got him into a hold, briskly started pounding Kimbo in the head, and the fight was called. Josh and I went to bed.
I wondered if Josh and Baby Schlag would end up watching Ultimate Fighting championships together in the future since it seems such a BOY thing to enjoy. I mean, I might appreciate an underdog like Kimbo taking up the mat from time to time but I certainly would never watch Ultimate Fighter on my own. Give me King of Cakes on Food Network anytime–or a good cake decorating contest! Even better! Perhaps my occasional foray into watching this absurd show is future research on the tastes of my son. He’ll probably kinda like watching sports on TV, a handful of really bad action movies, combined with really terrible pay-per-view boxing matches. (This is of course when he’s old enough and has watched enough PBS educational shows to balance out the brain melt that cable will obviously give him). Or you never know, maybe he’ll be really into musicals…
Because Patrick Swayze died his movies are all over cable these days. The other night we ended up watching Ghost–which is actually a really great movie! When Woopie Goldburg channels her body and allows Patrick Swayze to have one last slow dance with Demi Moore I started crying. Josh was sitting on the couch and guffawed, “This is SO CHEESY….oh, oops, Mara, I didn’t notice you were crying. I’m sorry.” I was crying largely due to pregnancy induced hormones, but it was still pretty girly of me to be blubbering over “Unchained Melody.”
Chances are, Baby Schlag will hate the movie Ghost. And he might resent me taking him to PNB’s Nutcracker every year (which I hope to do). I can certainly expose him to some of the stuff I like, with the hope that perhaps he might actually like some of it. I can’t believe it: Gender assumptions are already happening and the little guy isn’t even born yet!