Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Dangers of a Pregnant Mind

(This post was written a few months ago, and I just realized it never got posted.  Thought I'd still share.)

It was the annual weekend. The fathers and sons got to get out and enjoy their manliness, without the women around to tell them to grow up. The women were home wondering what they could do for a girls night out, and what to make for dinner that required no effort, since the husband wasn't home to impress. I had it all set up in my mind... go grab something to eat, stop by the fabric store with the girls on the way home and pick up some material to make the new baby some clothes. I was going to enjoy this night. It was then that I glanced out of the window and gasped. My van was gone! I don't know where my mind had taken a trip to all afternoon making no connection with the fact that my husband would need a way to get to this manly outing. Sigh... time to make new plans.

Free delivery? What could we get delivered for dinner besides pizza. America's favorite has not sounded appetizing lately. Sandwiches... That did sound good but by the time I totaled the cost up $20 compared to the $1 I would spend by making our own seemed ridiculous enough that I gave in realizing I was going to have to make some effort for dinner. Grilled cheese, ham, tomato and avocado. (That of course was mine. I have 3 other girls at home remember. Green and red things don't go over well on their sandwiches.) Some cantaloupe along with it and it wasn't too bad. Our outing was no longer possible, which of course led to a movie night. The girls actually went to bed early. I actually crafted for fun and all seemed well in the world.

It was then that I remembered that I had ordered a bountiful basket full of amazing fruit and veggies that were supposed to be picked up at 6:45 in the morning. I know. Who in their right mind would be up at 6:45 on a saturday. Only pregnant women, dreaming about eating healthy and saving money, who can't sleep past that time anyway because their back is in so much pain, and their bladder is screaming for relief. Ah... but this seemed so simple. Go pick it up in less than 15-20 minutes, and go back to bed if I wanted. But remember the dilemma. My pregnant brain went on leave when I ordered this basket, and forgot that I would have no vehicle to pick it up. I guess we just miss picking it up and have it donated... but I just can't let that go because that is literally just throwing money way. So I could... get up even earlier and walk there with the wagon. Hmmm... 6:45 was early enough for me, and at 8 months pregnant a 45 minute exercise routine pulling an awkward wagon, with a laundry basket filled with produce was NOT screaming to be the viable option. Besides if I was going to be gone that long, I would have to wake up the kids and bring them with me... this option was at the bottom of the list.

Bike... hook up the trailer to the bike and I could stick the produce in the trailer. That would be a lot faster. Surely at 8 months pregnant it was still perfectly safe for me to perch myself precariously on the top of a bike and assume that my balance is exactly the same as it is when I'm not pregnant. Something told me to not even consider this idea.


It was then that I remembered the truck. YES! The truck. We do have two vehicles now. It's a classic, used, beat up pickup truck brought straight from my father in law's used vehicle lot in his back pasture. Beau's been driving it around and it seems to work great. He mentioned the steering wheel was a little bit of a problem, but hey, I could do this. Plus I could get there quick, and be home in 15 minutes. That was the plan. Take the truck in the morning.

After digging all over in the house for an alarm clock, which we had abandoned since the 2nd day we were married, (due to always using Beau's cell as an alarm) I set it for 6:30 so I could be up, get the truck started and be on my way. That followed with a long night of the girls joining me in bed. I'm sure they could sense my loneliness and my need to have only about a foot of room to move my pregnant body around in the night to sleep. I woke up determined to get the produce and get right back home to bed.

After gathering my stuff, finding the wrong truck key, and finally getting the right one, hopped in enjoy the nostalgic smell of old trucks... I'm sure it was that small calming smell of my dad's old pickup that I grew up with that gave me even more confidence that I could do this. I looked around to familiarize myself with everything only to realize it was stick shift instead of an automatic. Hey no problem though. I pride myself on being pretty good with a stick shift, it being my first choice. It was then that things started to get a bit more complicated. I realized that manly trucks were not made for short pregnant women. Whoever built them knew that the only person driving this truck was going to be at least 6 ft. tall.

I could work with this. I just needed to scoot up on the edge of the seat. Ouch. That wasn't going to work, the 8 month old baby was in the way. A slight recline? This might be a bit more difficult, reclining slightly so I could push the brake all the way to the floor. It took 3-4 times to get the truck started. I should have taken that as a sign from heaven to leave it off and return to bed. Ah but after hearing it roar alive, I was ready. After two lerches forward it died. Then started rolling backwards. I slid down so I could push the breaks and stop it from rolling. Hmm this was getting pretty technical. How do I keep it from rolling, when I needed my left leg off the brakes to push the clutch in. The last thing I needed was the whole truck to land in the 1 ft. deep rain gutter. I'm just going to have to do it all quick.

The only problem is that pregnant brains can't work as fast, and calculate all the variables as fast as they need to be in order to account for all possible issues you might face while trying to get the truck in motion quickly. I started it, and while holding down the clutch gunned it so it wouldn't die, and was able to smoothly get the truck moving. (Now that I'm thinking after the fact, I was so concerned about getting the truck out and moving quickly I didn't even look to see if any cars were coming up from behind.) Some days I know I have a whole legion of angels hanging on to me for dear life.

Once I was moving though, my brain was not quite working quickly enough to determine the next steps. I know I needed to slow down to turn the corner, but if I slowed down, would it die, did I need to shift down? I tried to shift down, only to not have it shift and careen over into the other lane across the street, because I had forgot to turn the wheel. Or at least when I realized I needed to turn the wheel I forgot that it took all of my weight thrown into the wheel to get it to move. At this point on I was on the other side of the road and realized that if I didn't slow down I would find myself taking the sidewalk rather than the road, so I pulled up to the side of the road and parked backwards on the wrong side of the street. I wondered how many people were up at this time of morning, watching this escapade, and obviously driving impaired women make a fool of herself. Do they recognize the truck? Do they recognize me? It was best not to look around to realize you have a whole audience viewing your incompetence.

It was then that my confidence plummeted, and I realized that the odds of me making it there alive, with no accidents, or tickets was literally zero. I was ready to just park it there, and have Beau move it when he got home, but realized I would get ticketed because I was parked illegally. I had to make one more attempt to get it home. This time I wouldn't go as fast, so I could make the corners without shifting, was my plan. Somehow within the next block though, all knowledge of driving a manual went out the window. I lurched the whole way down the street, and if the loud engine, and screeching didn't wake the neighbors the horn that I kept hitting every time I lurched did. Any pride I had was gone. I was able to make it around the corner, and prayed that every corner would be car free so I wouldn't have to stop. After running through 2 stops signs I was finally able to make it around the block... yes 4 blocks to be exact, back to the front of the house, where I parked that baby, vowing to never get back inside.  That truck was a beast, and I was determined to leave it's manliness for my man.

My produce. Well forget it. It was going to have to be money thrown out the window, it wasn't worth my life nor the life I was carrying.  When my husband returned later that day, the first thing he said when he came into the house was, "Did you drive the truck?!"  All I could was start laughing. Drive the truck.  I don't  know if you would call it that. I told him what had happened, laughing the whole time.  He started laughing too.

"I'm impressed!" He replied.
"Don't mock me."
"No really, I'm impressed.  That isn't an easy truck to drive. I'm impressed you even tried.  Way to go. Look at my wife."

I'm sure if he had looked at me at the moment, he would have hid his face, and tried not to own me.  But whatever. I'll let him be impressed.

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