Are you sure there are only 2 people in your pants?

When I was in the first grade I had a teacher named Mrs.Bowen. Mrs. Bowen was the Maria Von Trapp of Lockwood Elementary School, and indeed, my childhood. (Except for the part where Maria dances with the Baron Von Trapp and then marries the Baron Von Trapp because: a. my dad was in a big, heavy, electric wheelchair that no girl would want running over her toes during the Viennese Waltz - trust me I know, and b. my dad was already married to my mom, and she is not a girl to be tangled with.) We did, however, do a lot of singing in Mrs. Bowen's first grade class - mostly folk music and patriotic tunes and the occasional seasonal songs about Santa's shaky belly or Easter bonnets or pumpkins sitting on a fence. Also, (and I liked this a lot) she gave us a package of Smarties when we got perfect grades on our spelling tests... which I did every time we had a spelling test... except once. I cried.

The best thing that I remember about Mrs.Bowen though, was that she knew how to pronounce my name on the first day of school. Without my help. Now for all of you Amys and Jennifers and Sarahs out there, I'm guessing that this would not be all that impressive. I, on the other hand, was used to spelling my name out and having my mother break it down syllable by syllable into easily understood phonics so that people could stop trying to fancy it up. (My mom still does this by the way: "It's End, like the end of a sentence, Re, like to redo something. Endre.") I'm still not sure why people have such a hard time with my name, but Mrs. Bowen didn't and she is still one of my favorite people ever.

Now that I'm an adult I think that what Mrs. Bowen did by finding out from someone how to pronounce my name- (I found out later that she had asked around to see if anyone knew my family and thus might be able to give her a clue. Another teacher at the school did)-was just good manners. What it said to me at age 5 was , "My teacher is so cool". What it says to me now is "Hey kid, I know you're only 5 and I've got 24 other names to learn, but I'm choosing to make you feel good about yourself today." It boils down to this - people with good manners try to make everyone around them feel as comfortable as possible. All the people around them. Even the pregnant ones.

That's right. Shocking as it may seem, pregnant woman are not interested in being insulted every time they leave their homes. Commentary on the size, shape or volume of a pregnant woman's body is not an acceptable social greeting. Conjecture about whether or not she might "explode right now" is never something in which a pregnant woman wishes to engage. Convincing you that she is not carrying twins or that she has not miscalculated her due date by several months is not her job. Although, based on my experience as a pregnant woman, it appears that this is not common knowledge as I have actually been asked, all of the following:

1. Could you possibly get any bigger? (Check back in 1 month. Oh, and shut up.)
2. You sure got big fast, huh? (Yep, yep, I did. Oh, and shut up.)
3. Are you having triplets? (Triplets. Seriously lady? You went right to triplets?)
4. You're due when? Oh, you'll never make it. You're too big. (Just "shut up" with this one.)
5. Maybe you should jump on a trampoline to get things moving. (Good idea. You must be some kind of famous doctor or something. Maybe I'll try that in 4 months when I'm actually due. Or not.)
6. Are you okay? You just look tired all the time. (Fantastic, I guess I'll apply more moisturizer, oh, and shut up.)

The amazing thing is, that when I, the pregnant woman, attempt to defend myself by saying things like "well thanks for that", or "wow, that was super nice to hear" the person that originated the rudeness acts like "oh, was that offensive?" or "her hormones can talk too, how cute". Apparently these people think that my job is not only to be life support for someone I've yet to meet, (and I can only hope that I'll get along with), but also to gracefully accept the verbal abuse that the men -and worst of all, woman (c'mon girls - really?) see fit to inflict upon me.

Well, no more I say. In the spirit of Mrs. Bowen I am launching a campaign to educate people one at a time about how to behave properly around a pregnant woman, large or small. When people say things to me because I am pregnant (and yes, very large - I do own a mirror folks) that they would say to no one else, I am going to respond "Think about what you just said. (Dramatic pause while they are thinking). Now, try again." Maybe this will remind people to use their grown up manners, and not those of the mean 13 year old girl that even her friends secretly hated. Maybe this will encourage even the most verbally clutzy among us to help pregnant women feel good about themselves during a time when that's not so easy. Maybe, they will never speak before thinking "would I like to hear this" again. And maybe, if they are very sorry, and they tell me that I am the most radiant vessel of life ever, I will give them their very own package of Smarties. Maybe.

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We know what's in our baby's pants.

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My pants are all better

My computer is finally back from the doctor and is as good as new. Allegedly. I tend to be more than a little skeptical about fidgeting with techno gadgets. I don't believe that anyone really knows how to "fix" any of these things and I'm pretty sure the term "up grade" is geek code for "Keep my card handy lady, you'll be paying me to fix whatever problems I've just caused with your ________ (fill in the blank with whatever electronic devise you've made yourself dependent upon) within a fortnight." (ps - I love the word fortnight. It makes me think of that movie "So I Married an Axe Murderer" where the Mike Meyers Scottish dad character talks about craving Kentucky Fried Chicken. I'm laughing a little right now actually). All I know is that before my husband (I'm totally throwing him under the bus here) called in repair man Moses (that was his real name) to "do some maintenance" my computer before the warranty ran out, I was happily blogging and mapquesting and googling. Post computer- fixer- guy/techno prophet? Broken computer and me, totally unable to do the whole list of cyber verbs. Annoying.

My relationship with computers and all of their electronic cohorts, I've decided, is something like that between ancient native peoples and volcanoes. Always living in the shadow of something that could blow up in your face at any moment (metaphorically or literally) ending life as you know it, (again metaphorically or literally, have you ever seen "War Games" - hello) but strangely unable to abandon it. Clearly I need to come up with some kind of awesome ceremonial ritual to appease the computer gods and head off any more complications. I'm not sure what this will look like exactly, but I'm pretty sure it will involve lots of fluorescent body paint, garlic and a life size picture of Al Gore. Awesome.

Like my computer, my child -Tweet, has also been to the doctor. Today actually. Unlike my computer, we failed to purchase the extended warranty for Tweet which means that when he gets sick, no one shows up at my house in pants that expose a relatively large section of their bum and poke at him with a screw driver swapping out all of his diseased parts. Also, I have to pay someone to fix him. This places me in an interesting dilemma as a mom. The nurturing, self-sacrificing side of me wants to be told that there is nothing wrong with my baby that a little homemade chicken soup and plenty of TV watching won't fix (aka - "he has a virus, there's nothing we can do about it"). Unfortunately for "the good mom", her voice doesn't even come close to drowning out the other part of me that thinks "if this kid isn't sick with something that needs at least one test and some serious medication, I'm taking the $15 copay out of his bank when we get home." I'm sorry, but it's pretty frustrating when you've been up taking temperatures and pushing Tylenol all night to a kid that feels like he's on the verge of spontaneous combustion and then when you finally get him to the doctor's office he doesn't have the decency to muster up even a little fever. What I learned today is that the fever can leave, but the Strep Throat stays... also, you shouldn't cheer when you find out that your 3 year old really did need to come to the stupid appointment after all. It probably sends the wrong message.

So... let the amoxicillin and blogging begin. (Sounds like the beginning words from an ultra modern alphabet book). Hopefully we can contain and destroy the bugs we have, and avoid any further infections, break downs, crashes, or trips to the doctor... both techno and human.

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