Thursday, August 13, 2009

Love in Hot Pink

We had a whole light socket die in Gracie's room the other day. There was no sparks or other assorted danger, just the realization that we couldn't turn on her noisy humidifier and the night light was no longer lighting the night.

In the shuffle to find new places to plug things in, we made a discovery. Well, I remembered and Gracie discovered. The wicker hamper that we'd been using as a stand for the humidifier held treasure. It is where I had shoved, and promptly forgotten about, all the pink stuffed animals I'd received as baby shower gifts.

Oh, and the hot pink kitty my mom bought. Let me break off and tell that story.

Like many first time parents, Matt and I went to a lamaze class. Having a birth plan was a necessity, right? I had almost signed up for the super-duper two day class. I was so glad I didn't in the end. Four hours turned out to be more than enough. The most beneficial thing that came out of the class was a clarification of my wants. Beyond the counting and breathing, the instructor kept adamantly insisting we decide on a 'focus point' before labor. Something that calms you, she said, like a photograph of your favorite place or person.

She went around the room surveying all the big bellied people as to what their focus point will be. It was all answers like ‘ my husbands face’ ‘a picture of the beach’ ‘a picture of a flower’. When my turn came around I said – ‘nothing’. That didn’t go over very well. The instructor demanded an explanation. I just want to keep my eyes closed and focus. I don’t want to look around. I don’t want to use a mirror to see the birth process. I just want to keep my eyes shut and push until she pops out.

The instructor shook her head and said she didn’t think that sounded like a very good plan. Matt on the other hand, said that sounded good to him and he should have known that would be my answer. That is how it happened too. I’m sure I opened my eyes in the 40 minutes it took during heavy labor, but I don’t recall looking around very much. Eyes shut and focused.

My mother though, wasn’t in on the plan. To cut her some slack you must know the following:
1) Generally speaking, she doesn’t sleep and had been awake for over 48 hours at that point.
2) I was delivered via a heinous, horribly rushed and therefore horribly cut c-section, which meant Jerry was delivered via a scheduled c-section, so she had no idea how to help me through a birth experience that was completely foreign to her. I don't think she ever even experienced labor, just the gush of a hemorrhaged placenta 3 weeks too early.
3) She had no idea of my wants, other than the fact that she was emphatically not invited to stay in the room during delivery, which I knew made her very sad.

So at some point my mom wandered down to buy vending machine cheetos and coffee. The gift shop must have opened and she heard the siren scream of hot pink fur. She emerged with a plush stuffed cat as her gift to me and the grandchild destined to arrive shortly.

In the throws of growingly intense contractions and shortly before she was asked to leave the room, Mom grabbed that hot pink kitty, stood at the end of my bed waving it back and forth like a flag and started exclaiming “Focus on the kitty, Shan! Focus on the kitty! Focus on the kitty, Shan! Focus on the kitty!”

Matt quickly squashed the enthusiasm, which is one of the million reasons why I love him and ‘focus on the kitty’ is now a frequent call in our house.

So now Gracie has discovered the little hamper filled with random bears and the hot pink kitty. And she is IN LOVE with it. Last night she didn’t want to go to sleep because she wanted to play with the cat. This morning she refused to put it back in her crib, so it wound up in the car with us.

Every time I look that the cat I will be reminded of that story. At least it’s funny. Now. And at least Gracie is taking the same amount of joy in the toy that I’m sure my mom intended for it to bring.

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