Thursday, October 29, 2009

So glad we could have this time together

It's OVER. I did my expectant mother duty and got my flu shots today. Now my mother, aunt and nurse-friends can quit worrying that I will drop dead on the street. I can quit trying to care about germs, too.

Not that this peace didn't come at a price. I went to the mass flu clinic at the Jones Center today. Along with about 6,000 of my neighbors. I do not exaggerate. I did a little crowd-math while I was waiting, and I think I was around the 1,800-2,000 mark, with way more behind me than in front of me. I waited in line for 2 hours to get my shots, which took 30 seconds. During this time, I was afforded the opportunity to stand near lots of "interesting" people, who I have come to see as walking blog fodder.

There was the girl behind me who was furious that pregnant women didn't have a VIP line and that made racist statements the entire time, which were apparently acceptable because she "has a Hispanic for a boyfriend." There was the man who belched every 5 minutes, and the mother who frequently told her children not to dare act like the other children in line "whose parents obviously don't care if they behave or not." There were plenty of such children, but I had more than my usual amount of sympathy for the parents, as their children were being forced to wait in a long line--not for a carnival ride or candy, but to get a SHOT. Let 'em run around a little if it helps.

The wonderful workers were very efficient. They plopped me down and descended on either side. The seasonal shot wasn't too bad, but the H1N1 shot HURT. And it STILL hurts. Yes, I am whiny. It's my prerogative. At least I didn't scream and cry like most of the other recipients. Granted, they were pre-schoolers, but whatever. Pain is pain.

So it's over. I have whatever is in a flu shot (eggs? swine saliva?) floating around in my system, Scooby Doo Halloween band-aids on both arms, and a new appreciation for people who stand in line with their mouths shut.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I tried.

Here's my confession. I am not a germaphobe. Never have been. I'm not sure why, but I just don't have any space in my brain taken up with fears of what's lurking on the bathroom counter or the bottom of my shoe or the shopping cart handle. I understand--sort of--why people are concerned about such things, but I'm just not wired that way. And amazingly, I've lived my life without any major catastrophes resulting from this lack of diligence. I've never had the flu (or a flu shot for that matter, but that's a discussion for another day, so lecture me later). I rarely get colds. For a long time, I worked on a college campus, where viruses go to speed date, and never caught anything. I would say I'm sick less than the average person. Wouldn't that point to germaphobia being a little...pointless?

Still. Since I'm pregnant, and there's all this hysteria about the flu and H1N1, and apparently pregnant women are getting much sicker than other people when they get it, I decided this week to try to make an effort to Avoid Exposure to Germs. I bought some hand sanitizer (the new foaming kind, which is heaven sent because the other kind is just plain NASTY)(though it still makes me nervous to have it because have you seen the stories about kids that eat it and get drunk? That has Ethan written all over it.) I promised myself that I would pay attention to who and what I touch. I would have the kids wash their hands as soon as they get home, before engaging in any acts of affection. Et cetera.

It didn't work. For a lot of reasons.

1. When I go pick Ethan up at school, he catches sight of me and runs full force at me, yelling "Mommy! Mommy!" Am I really going to hold out my hand sanitizer like a weapon and demand that he de-germ before I get a hug?

2. Germs stay on stuff for, like, 2 days. Short of wearing antibacterial gloves and a body suit, there's no way I can avoid them. And they're everywhere--I have a first grader and a pre-schooler bringing them home by the truckload every day.

3. I work with the elementary kids at church on Wednesday nights, and I was determined to at least have some boundaries there. Until they were playing Simon Says and Simon told them to all go hug Mrs. Nancy. What was I going to do, run screaming from the gym chased by hoardes of Simon-obeying germ transporters?

4, I just don't have the time. When I'm walking in to Wal Mart, I'm not just walking in to Wal Mart. I'm answering my cell phone (it's usually my mother), grabbing Ethan out of the path of an oncoming truck, stopping my shopping list from blowing away with my foot, telling Abby to quit performing her Hannah Montana impersonation in the doorway and racing to get the last "cool car" cart for the kids before the lady next to me gets there. By the time I remember that the last person to be holding the cart handle could have been there to get her Tamiflu from the pharmacy, I've got my hands already firmly planted in her germ residue.

So I am giving up. If I get sick, I get sick. C'est la vie. Germs, you win. I don't have the time or energy to avoid you. Just know, though, that if you mess with me you mess with my kids, and Ethan is not afraid to drink up some Germ X to show you who's boss.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wake me up in November

Blah. That is exactly how I feel. Blah.

I'm a little over 8 weeks pregnant now. So far, I have avoided serious nausea (mainly by eating at least once an hour) (which you know is a sacrifice, but anything for the baby) and most of the other unpleasant symptoms that can attack a newly pregnant woman. However, I have one in spades: being tired.

If you've ever been pregnant, you probably know what I"m talking about. This is not an I've-been-up-15-hours-and-need-to-go-to-bed tired. This is a for-no-good-reason-my-bones-are-exhausted-and-I-couldn't-move-if-the-house-was-on-fire tired. While Matt was out of town last week, there were times that I would be laying on the couch and something horrible would come on tv. The remote would reveal itself to be across the room, and I would debate for 20 minutes whether or not to yell until one of the kids woke up and came out of their room to get them to hand it to me as opposed to moving the 10 feet necessary to retrieve it and come back. Usually the internal debate would be ended because I'd fall asleep. Forget about the laundry. it's been having a block party in the hampers for days.

I know I'm just a few weeks from coming out of the haze. Then I'll go into that wondrous phase of pregnancy where I have insane amounts of energy and my stomach grows roughly an inch a day. I am ready. Until then, just pass me a Snickers and a pillow. Thanks.