An odd paradox arises when one hovers near the 30-week mark of a pregnancy. It seems as if the big day will never arrive, yet the minute you glance at the list of things that need to be done between now and then, it sets off alarms and flashing red lights akin to a “zee priz-oh-naire has eeescaped” scene in a Bond flick. Here follows the list of things that we have roughly 75 days to accomplish:
* Parenting class — Apparently this baby’s not going to diaper, feed and bathe herself. And a quick poll of the residents of our house reveals that neither I nor my husband nor the dog knows how to do any of these things. Although I believe if pushed to pick one, the dog would take the lead at this point due to her doting maternal attention to her stuffed egret toy.
* Breastfeeding class — You’re probably thinking, “A class? Really Bird, how hard can it be?” If you’re thinking that you’ve probably never done it. As one mother told me, eyes widened, “You think ‘Oh it’s the most natural thing in the world,’ but it is not!” She seems to have a point. Just because tribal women in the jungle do it without the aid of a class doesn’t mean it’s easy. It just means they don’t have message boards to complain about how hard it is.
* Baby shower — We’re going casual and co-ed. No flying-solo, diaper-on-the-head party games for this gal. I believe beer, barbeque and a baby pool for the kiddies will be involved.
* Knocked-up women and their husbands be shoppin’ — Unlike wedding registries, where it doesn’t matter if you don’t get everything on the list (oh but right, that silver chafing dish would have been incredibly handy for all those dinner parties you will never, ever throw), you typically need everything on your baby registry. Which means that there will be loose ends to tie up after the shower.
* Chandelier installation — We’ve opted for a decidedly they-better-be-right-about-it-being-a-girl nursery decor approach and this involves a small chandelier hanging from the center of the room where currently nothing but a lone cobweb string hangs. A visit from the electrician is in order. If the sonographer was wrong and it’s a boy she can come uninstall it.
* Complete nursery decoration — Great strides occurred this past weekend, what with the purchase of said chandelier, wallpaper and a rug. Now I just need to wiggle my nose like Samantha Stephens and pull it all together.
* Reading Dr. Spock, The Happiest Baby on the Block, So In Spite of a Mushrooming Global Population and Environmental Impact Studies You’ve Decided to Procreate, etc. — Reading is a bit of a stretch here. It’s more like, skim such passages as “Sleeping Through the Night,” “Potty Training at Two Months” and “Guaranteeing Harvard Scholarships.”
* Napping, eating out, going to the movies, general canoodling — Suffice it to say, we’ve been attacking this particular item dilligently already. No plans to stop in the next few months just to get the allegedly important stuff that precedes it on the list accomplished.