Lately, my life is a Bill Murray movie. I can predict what’s going to happen each day before I even roll (literally) out of bed. For example, I knew that this morning it would be raining. I knew that I’d wear my lone pair of dark blue pregnancy jeans and a maternity tee from Target. And I knew that after sitting in rush-hour traffic for an hour and a half, Minnow would get carsick as we exited the Cross County Parkway, five minutes from her school. I knew this because the last three times we’ve made the irrational commute to Bronxville for a 2’s program, that is exactly what has happened. “It’s Groundhog Day!”
The previous two times Minnow barfed in the backseat, I turned the car around and traveled an hour and a half back to Long Island so I could bathe her, change her clothes, and disinfect the car seat. This time I had other plans. When we pulled up to Minnow’s school I wiped her down with the extra wipes I had stashed in the diaper bag precisely for this purpose.
“Are we going home, Mommy?”
“Not today, Minnow,” I said, swabbing schmutz from her “Big Sister” tee shirt and buttoning her cardigan to conceal the stain. Minnow looked miserable as I walked her to her classroom. I fervently prayed that I would not receive a call from her school an hour later demanding that I pick up my queasy toddler. Then I drove to Bronxville Nails for my manicure/pedicure appointment.
That may sound incredibly selfish to you and, if it does, I get it. You are not a stay-at-home mother who is 34 weeks pregnant, just bought a house, has been living in another family’s home for six weeks, and was informed by her floor guy this morning that she needs to buy a $200 dehumidifier for her basement today or her refinished floors will not dry properly. Between the renovation at the house, the rainy weather, and the monotony of my pregnancy wardrobe, I've been feeling a little blue so- forgive me for being a diva- but Mama needed a mani.
Mama also needed a mani because Mama doesn’t have many other outlets right now. Mama technically can’t consume caffeine (although Mama does occasionally indulge in a chai tea latte from Slave to the Grind), Mama can’t have a glass of wine or a cocktail, Mama can’t go for a ten-mile run, and Mama can’t treat herself to some retail therapy because even though Mama is optimistic that she will eventually return to her pre-pregnancy size, life holds no guarantees.
Last week I was chatting with a woman who has three children of her own. She marveled that I am only six weeks from my due date.
“Won’t you miss being pregnant?” she asked.
I looked at her as if she had just asked me if I thought the Mets would win the World Series this year.
“No,” I said dryly. “I can’t wait to have a margarita.”
I’ve heard of women who enjoy being pregnant, and they mystify me. Don’t get me wrong: Carrying a living, growing person in one’s abdomen for three quarters of a year is nothing short of a privilege, and a miraculous one at that. But these women must not value their spring wardrobes, uninterrupted nights of sleep, and not having to hold in pee every time they sneeze as much as I do.
Back at the nail salon, I sank into the pleather pedicure chair, closed my eyes, and mentally composed a list of the first seven things I will do immediately after Peanut’s birth. In chronological order, they are:
1. Hold the baby, kiss the baby, take in her little baby scent, and tell her how happy I am to finally meet her;
2. Uncork a bottle of champagne (it doesn’t have to be fancy) and politely offer a glass to visitors before knocking back the remainder;
3. Pump and dump, because it would be irresponsible to nurse an hours-old baby after solo-drinking a bottle of Brut;
4. Respectfully request that all those wishing to visit Peanut in the hospital bring her mother a venti FULL CAF skinny vanilla latte;
5. Go for that ten-mile run, even if it feels like my bottom may drop out;
6. Order sushi for dinner and eat more raw fish in one sitting than a killer whale;
7. Gather my maternity clothes into a heap and set it ablaze. If my husband wants to go for a boy he must accept that the trade-off is a new pregnancy wardrobe. If I ever have to see these rags hanging in my closet again, I- like Minnow- might willfully vomit on myself.
When I left the nail salon, I wouldn’t have predicted that the sun would be shining brilliantly. I also wouldn’t have predicted that when I picked up Minnow from school, she would be smiling widely, her carsickness a distant memory.
“Mommy, when we get home can we eat lunch outside?”
“And then you paint my nails purple like Mommy’s?”
Diva in training.