Short Version: 28 week appointment gloriously boring. We celebrate the third trimester by buying not one, but two actual baby items, and I try out my brand-spanking new Shrewish Nag persona.

I don't have too much to say about today's appointment. Things are normal. They measured the same stuff as always and it was all normal. Except for the bits where I morphed into a shrewish nag. That was not like me at all.

When the first of our friends conceived (only shortly after we'd started trying ourselves), somebody in the group came across this paper about the enhanced cricket-hunting abilities of mother rats (upon which we all made lame jokes about getting her around to our houses to do pest control, whether she'd eaten any particularly nice insects lately... well, I told you they were lame). The jokes were based around the idea that pregnancy miraculously imbues one with various super-human powers. It's the "you grow an extra pair of hands when you have children" conceit. You know the one. Which, of course, is not how the paper says it at all.

The paper clearly concludes that it's not some magical superpower that comes packaged with the pregnancy hormones, like the ability to stack on weight or forget the question that just popped into your head within the space of time it takes you to draw the breath to ask it*. No, it's nothing as mystical and magical as that - it's just necessity plus practice. Which leads me to believe that anyone who needs to multitask like crazy at any job with demanding response times is going to have an enhanced ability to hunt crickets, metaphorically speaking, and the fact that, for most people, parenting is the busiest, urgentist, and multitaskingest job they'll ever have in their lives doesn't mean a childless person can't possibly acquire the same skills in a completely different way. Which means there's hope for us all. So goes the thought I'm clinging to.

You see, it's since I've started having to arrange my entire day around cooking, cleaning up after cooking, eating the very second I feel hungry, grocery shopping via public transport in a city where I need to go to five separate and widely-dispersed markets to do a full shop, and still getting the same amount of everything else done that I would normally do, that I've become a much better multitasker than I used to be, whereas over the same period of time, Mr Bea's life has gone on more or less as usual, which means he's still multitasking at the old rate.

And it's driving me batshit freaking insane.

Suddenly it seems like he never gets anything done. This led, earlier today, to the main problem, which is that, in the grand tradition of a hundred generations of housewives before me, I have started to bark orders at him. Don't question me - just do this, do it now, and have it finished within five minutes because I can't stand your fucking duffing about any more. Except in the long term that doesn't teach anything and is irritating to us both. And in the short term it makes him slow down and act stupid, just to be perverse.

So now I finally understand how it all happens, I have only two questions remaining: for me, it took the deep-seated urgency of a voracious pregnancy appetite to whip my skills into better shape. What will it take for him? And how soon can we start with that?

Because if I have to go through another shopping trip like this morning's, just to buy a co-sleeping cot and sling that I'd already decided on beforehand such that the entire trip should have taken ten minutes at most including waiting for the sales assistant to become available, I'm seriously going to have to get Mel to change me over to the Single Mum By Choice category on her blogroll**.

That feels much better. To finish on a positive - third trimester! Baby stuff! Improved multitasking skills! I wonder when it starts feeling "real"?

*Yeah, well, I'm still sticking to my "pregnancy hormone" excuse.

**Don't worry, I'm not really serious about this at all, I'm just ranting and I probably shouldn't even joke. Although if anyone has husband assvice, feel free to add it to the comments.


Portia P said...

I totally identify and am v amused by your impatience with Mr Bea. I have long had the same issues with Mr P. Drives me up the wall!

serenity said...

Boring appointments ARE glorious, no?

Wish I had some husband assvice... J's inability to multitask drives me crazy as well.

I'm fortunate that he didn't care enough about what stuff we bought for the baby that he let me make unilateral decisions. Maybe you can convince Mr. Bea to do the same?

It's a thought, anyway.

Third trimester, excellent!!!

Rachel Inbar said...

Ohad happens to be really efficient and I could even trust him to buy almost anything without me (he got the car seat, the baby carrier, etc.) I think it's just critical to remember that we have the constant reminder that something is about to happen & they don't...

Heather said...

I have no assvice because I use those same tactics at my house to get out of doing laundry.

Samantha said...

Maybe it's just the shopping thing. My husband has a lot of troubles doing that quickly. If I go to the grocery store myself, I get things done faster than when the two of go together, and if he goes alone, well, it can be a long process. And we only have to drive to two stores just down the street. So no great advice here, but I sympathize with ya!

Anonymous said...

Is it even humanly possible for men to multi-task?

Ellen K. said...

No advice, but just yesterday at Borders, D. waved a book at me: "Baby-Proofing Your Marriage." "This looks really good," he said. "It tells women not to be so shrill and obsessed with being always right." "Hmm, I think it tells men not to be so damn lazy," I countered. We did not buy it.

Aurelia said...

Sometime shortly after the birth, it will either click in or it won't. Most likely it will, but I know a few exceptions to this rule, one guy with what I swear is Asberger's and another who is a useless person all around; so, it's looking good for you, but I never give guarantees.

Mr.Cotta, for example, did not get this at all until after our first was born, and he found the actual birth so overwhelming that at one point he simply disappeared for a hours and took off. To this day I don't know where he went but when he came back, he stuck around and never left.

He often says that it took him a few days of actually seeing his son for it to sink in that this was a live baby that was---you know, staying for good.

But really, for years he never had a clue about which number was the pediatricians, and what shots the boys had, and what the schedule was. Unless he becomes the primary caregiver, yours won't know it either. And I don't mean, know it, like posting it on the fridge so he can see it, I mean KNOW IT, like he can rhyme it off from memory at 3 am to an ER doc. You will be able to sense something is wrong by instinct, he may never be able to. but he will have an ability to relate to this kid in a different way than you that will be good as well. It's just the weirdness of mom vs. dad you are going to have to accept.

You will parent in very very different ways, and neither can truly replace the other.

Schatzi said...

Congrats on the boring appt :-).

Mr. Sassy seems physically incapable of multitasking. Attempts at multitasking have led to flour in spaghetti sauce and bank deposits into the wrong accounts. I gave up.

Jackie said...

Reading your post has this white hot mass of negative feeling toward my husband that I thought I stamped, pushed, swallowed down yesterday now welling up and out. I have to ask so many times for him to do something for which I will get attitude about how it's something that doesn't really need to be done or how he'll get it done when he's good and ready when I want it done NOW (it was shoveling the snow this weekend-which I ended up doing myself). No actually I want it done the first, second, third and fourth time I ask, not in 5 hours and not tomorrow.
I came home from work one day last week and told him I had the realization in the car that when I went back to work, I'd not only be working full time but I'd be doing everything else as well. And he said well let's talk about how we'll split up duties. I didn't even want to go there because I already know the attitude I'm going to get and I think I'd rather be angry and resentful and doing the work, and getting it done when I want it done rather than dealing with his shit, arguments and attitude. Sounds like a real healthy marriage, yea? I do love the bugger, I just wish he took some initiative around the house (if dirt were actually visible to his eyes, it would help immensely) or didn't give me attitude or procrastination when I ask him to do something.
Sorry, it seems I don't have any assvice, just gripes.

The Town Criers said...

Seriously, seriously, you had to use cricket hunting as the example!


No assvice.

Not on Fire said...

Your comments take me back to when I was pregnant. I was fine but everyone else was SO annoying. It passed eventually.

On the husband side, I found out that when I ask for DH to do something I add a time limit. You know, "Will you wash the dishes in the next 15 minutes?" My next comment is "15 minutes are up. Is there a problem with doing them now?". It works better for me. I have also pointed out that if he does not follow through in front of the kids, the kids won't either.

Jess said...

I generally just beat Travis. That's my advice. Beat your husband. And not in the naughty way.


We have the Arms' Reach Mini cosleeper and it's the shizit. You'll like the cosleeper I bet.

Bea said...

Perhaps Not On Fire has a point about the cranky hormones.


Caro said...

I'm hoping it becomes real when I have a baby in my arms as so far it doesn't feel that way.

As for the husband, mine is studying all hours so I'm currently (slightly reluctantly) doing everything on the understanding that this is temporary. I'm sure it's going to take some effort to get him helping out again but I'll at least have the last month of the pregnancy to work the "pregnancy card" on him.

MrsSpock said...

Now that my day job consists more of being a 1950s housewife rather than a nurse, I've found I've started to sound more like a droning nag than usual. Especially since I'm nesting as well.

Lut C. said...

Wait till you're stuck on the sofa, baby finally asleep in your arms and you request a drink/cookie/pillow from your husband who's sitting behind the computer as usual. Tap-tap. Tappety-tap. Scroll. Tap.
And he doesn't budge, not after a minute, not after two. Perhaps if you wait 15 minutes, he'll get up. Or he'll suggest you risk putting the baby in it's cot anyway. Grrrr.
My husband responds with the speed of a dial-up modem. O, and he's much better at ignoring howling baby too.

Karaoke Diva said...

I did the same thing to Kevin with our first kid. This time it's me being slow and stupid.

Congrats on the boring appointment! Is your brain about to explode that we have less than 3 months to go?

Meg said...

What I wouldn't do for a husband who would allow me to buy an arms reach... (heh) Congrats on the third trimester milestone, Bea. Great.

(PS My invitation to the belly shots site has expired... can I get the details off you again?)

kate said...

Very amusing... I have one of those husbands, too. I very rarely find myself at the end of my rope, but when I do, he needs to watch out. It's hard for me to remember sometimes, but he lived a whole 30-something years without me to tell him what to do, and he obviously survived. But STILL! With the MOLASSES! And the MARATHON-SNAIL-TRAIL-DEATHMARCH SLOWNESS! Gaaaaah!

I just try to be exceedingly patient, and when that can't happen, I always make sure to apologize immediately afterwards, a kind of half apology, like, "Darling, I'm sorry I snapped at you, but I really needed to have blahblah done right away in the specific way that I asked you to do it. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings, and I feel badly for that, but I just felt impatient and couldn't express myself any other way."

And you know what? Most of the time, the next time that particular situation arises, he seems to snap to a little more quickly. So it's a win-win. I get to be an asshole AND get what I want. SWEET!

Bea said...

That's good advice, Kate!


LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

I can relate entirely to the husband needing help on multitasking. It's one of a handful of things that make me want to scream and throw stuff at Mr. LIW's head. But if he gets injured, then he will never complete the task so I don't. :-)

Awesome that your appointment was boring. It's the stuff that dreams are made of.


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