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I’m Not Helpless!

July 21, 2009

I’ve been known to snap at people who say the wrong thing, like calling me Mommy or Mommy-to-be or being the 130th person in a day to ask me how I’m feeling. Today I snapped because I walked past a coworker as I was carrying a computer semi-tower to my office … and as I walked back out she said, “You should have gotten someone to help you with that.” I had to bite my tongue to not retort “Well, I didn’t see you offer.” She’s an older lady and I’d hate to swap down something I find annoying with something she’d likely find offensive. But this is the same woman who, last week when I wore something that didn’t make me look pregnant enough, asked me if there was something that I needed to tell her, implying that I had lost the baby. The same woman who doesn’t seem to notice the way I wince when she–or ANYONE–calls me Mommy, because no one has called me that since my son was 9 and it’s going to be many months before I hear it from this one. Others may find it cute, but I don’t.

On the way home, I nearly cried over my inability to let go of the negative feelings I get from people treating me like I’m delicate, or sick, or as if my name isn’t [realname] anymore. It’s true, I move a lot more slowly because of how relaxin has affected my hips, but it hasn’t disabled me. It’s true, I had to sit through a lot of early morning meetings during the nausea phase where I’d be surreptitiously munching saltines and turning shade of green that more becomes a plant, but I’m just fine now, thanks. And yes, the baby’s moving quite a bit. In fact, if you like, I can stand here as if I were a TV set and you can watch my tummy jiggle explosively as though it were a jiffy pop container–but please for the love of God, don’t touch it.

I’ve tried patiently explaining to people that the fuss they make over me actually makes me self-conscious to the point of withdrawing. That’s hard for them to fathom because they are so accustomed to me the extrovert. But I guess that along with other things that kind of go into hiding during pregnancy, so is my extroversion.

It’s also been a hard day because the new, probably-not-improved introverted version of myself is difficult even for me to understand. Conversations that I used to really enjoy now seem disruptive, even totally pointless, and blundermouth would love to just come right out and SAY so. (The ones that were disruptive and/or pointless to begin with? Now I find myself chewing on my ankles to get free of that trap.)

But then, on top of all of it, getting home and finding that my son has done all of his chores and then some, and is apologizing for not having watered the plants outside because, well, it’s like raining and stuff.

I needed that laugh. Kid, you’re awesome, and you’re going to make the bestest big brother in the whole world.

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