Friday, February 11, 2011

Red Dress Club Meme: Wicked Stupid

 Here's another post inspired by The Red Dress Club's writing meme. The assignment this week is to write a post that begins with the phrase, "I could never have imagined..." and ends with the phrase, "and then the world shifted".  Please feel free to leave comments and criticism. 

Wicked Stupid

I could never have imagined how stupid I would get. I knew I would gain weight, feel nauseous, have weird cravings, and have to go to the bathroom ALL THE TIME. The stupidity however, was the side of pregnancy that I was not prepared for. That and how unbelievably exhausted I would be. I’m sure it’s mentioned in What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I’d look it up, but I’ve forgotten where I left the book. Maybe I gave it to Good Will. Maybe I lent it to someone—but I just can’t remember?
That’s the problem with the stupidity I developed during pregnancy. It never went away. The location of What to Expect… is just one of the things I’ve forgotten over the years. Along with the name of my second grade teacher—I can remember first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth grader teachers. But not second. I wonder why. Did something traumatic happen in the second grade? I had a reunion last year with some folks I went to elementary school with and I was astounded at the detail my former classmate Kerry could remember. She doesn’t have kids—coincidence? I think not.
I was out to dinner with my family recently. I ordered chicken piccata and my husband said, “It’s been ages since I made that.”
“You’ve made chicken piccata?” I said.
“Yeah, I used to make it for you when we were dating.”
How could I forget that? I love chicken piccata. More importantly I love it when people cook for me. I had no memory of it whatsoever. I could remember him making buffalo chicken and black bean burritos, but not chicken piccata.
Last week at rehearsal I had to shuffle a couple of small speaking parts around because of the way the vocal parts were assigned. One of the people I needed to get in touch with wasn’t at rehearsal—fortunately her husband was.
“Phil, can you ask Gerry if she can do the part of Mrs. Shelley on page thirteen?” I asked him.
“You already did,” he told me.
“I did?”
“Yes,” he said. “You sent us an e-mail.” He laughed at the look on my face and added, “You’re getting old.”
Phil may have a point. Certainly I’m not getting younger. But I think it’s motherhood more than age that’s responsible for my fading brain cells. My great aunt Dorothy was sharp as a tack into her nineties—she never had kids either.
Most of the pregnancy symptoms (silly word—it’s not like pregnancy is a disease) went away as soon as each child was born. The heartburn went away, my ankles returned to normal and the smell of coffee no longer made me gag. The need to pee all the time got better—but my poor bladder never quite recovered from being used as a trampoline for ten months (that’s right ten not nine—I carried Owen for 41.5 weeks that’s ten months on my calendar). My sister warned me that it never really comes back. At least, I think it was my sister. Someone who has had children warned me.
When I was wheeled into the operating room for my c-section, I looked forward to meeting this little person who had made himself so comfortable in my body. I also looked forward to being little less tired and a little sharper. Then the whole world shifted.