Dear Baby…

18 05 2011

…I was walking the dog yesterday, when suddenly you moved in such a way as to entirely squash my bladder.  It was instant: one moment, I was enjoying the cool sunset breeze and the next, I was completely overcome by an overriding, all-encompassing need to pee.

I was twenty minutes from home.

Luckily, nobody drove by while I was squatting in the roadside ditch, so there’s nothing to forgive.  But even if someone had happened upon me in that moment of shameful public urination, I would have forgiven you anyway.

Because just in case you didn’t know this already?

I really, really love you.

Even while peeing in front of someone’s house.


The Next Big Thing

25 04 2011

It’s not so much my belly, which has been expanding and contracting for months now (at this point, it no longer contracts, though it still produces a startling amount of gas on a regular basis).

It’s really more my butt and thighs.  I actually tried listening to my thighs with the fetal heartbeat detector, half convinced that I have a baby gestating in each leg as well as one in my uterus.  No such luck.  It seems to me that if my thighs are going to expand until they rub together, I at least should be producing some sort of life in there.

Well, chronic heat rash produced by rubbing thighs is really the least of the degradations that have set in halfway through my pregnancy.

As a preteen girl, I decided that I should adopt children rather than giving birth, because I simply could not fathom having a doctor peering at my nether regions.

“Don’t worry,” my mom assured me.  “By the time you’re giving birth, that’s the least of what you’ve gone through.”

At the time, I didn’t put much faith in my mother’s words.

But after weeks of getting up multiple times in the night to urinate, I’m willing to sleep through the night even though it means I won’t quite make it to the bathroom in time when I do get up.  (Luckily, my husband is a late sleeper, so this humiliation is my own.)

And, sometimes, it seems perfectly natural to reach down my elastic-waist pants to scratch the above-mentioned heat rash.

Finally, after waiting three decades, I have achieved that state of mind I have always pursued: comfort at the cheap price of my pride…

I Married a Fish Biologist

26 09 2010

I was walking Charlie along the river front one recent afternoon.  At a boat put-in, we walked down the sandy slope so Charlie could get a drink of water.  To my amazement, I saw some sort of lobster creature in the shallows.

Two young men were exercising their dogs nearby.  I called out to them in my excitement.

“There’s a lobster thing in the river!”

They looked up, but didn’t come rushing over.

“Seriously,” I insisted, “You have to see this!  It has, you know, giant claws and stuff!”

They still didn’t come over, but one did respond.

“That’s a crawfish,” he said, flatly.

“Oh,” I said, filled with shame and wanting to disappear on the spot.  “Ha, ha.  I guess I don’t know my river creatures too well, huh?  Ha, ha.”

I continued my walk, and eventually came upon a group of kids playing by the water.  They looked to be about seven or eight years old.

“Hey, we found a lobster!” one of the girls called out.  “We have it in that cup over there!”


I have been visiting this town for several years, and been a resident for some time.  You’d think that in that time, some innocent child might have mentioned strange, river-dwelling lobsters on one of my previous river walks.  Speaking of might-have-been, you’d think that in my years of Girl Scouts and camping trips and summer camps, at some point a crawdad might have been pointed out to me sometime in the last thirty-some-odd years.


It’s really just the cherry on top that my husband identifies species in rivers to monitor the water quality for a living.

Luckily, he wasn’t there.

This isn't a lobster, and it isn't a crawfish, either. But it's a cool looking snake we saw in the river a few days after my lobster fiasco. "Look, an eel!" I might have said.

The Worst Pet Owner in the World

25 05 2010

Yes, the title refers to me.  Charlie spent part of the weekend running around our 3 acres, but he hasn’t had a proper walk in days.  So today I took him for a walk.  With his day-old stitched neck.  In the rain.  He was wearing a pinch collar.  In my defense, the pinch collar was the only leash option that didn’t come anywhere near his stitches, I put his water-resistant safety vest on him, and he didn’t seem to mind the adventure at all.

In the end, I think I suffered the most.  While trying to keep anything from touching his stitched neck, I clipped the leash to his collar.  To the pinch collar.  To his vest.  I readjusted the vest 20 times in an attempt to get it to protect the stitches from the rain.  I took off the collar.  I unclipped the vest.  I walked with my arm straight above his head to keep the clip on the leash from touching his neck.

Charlie, meanwhile, went about his business of sniffing and peeing.  He probably enjoyed his walk more than usual, since I didn’t dare yank on his leash to drag him away from the smells.

Finally, when it began raining harder, I took a “short cut” home.  This last leg of the trip involved a frantic scramble through bushes that kept coming within one centimeter of Charlie’s wound.

So, we made it.  Cleaned up the blood, dried his fur, fed him dinner, and took note of the lesson I really hope I learned today.

Charlie, sporting a Stoneworks t-shirt to protect the stitches

Yet another effort to protect his wound from his scratching

Among the efforts to protect his stitches that were not documented in this post are the wife-beater tank top and the blaze orange safety vest.  None have been successful at anything but humiliating the poor dog.

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