My wife and I made the bed last night. She couldn’t stand the way the old sheets smelled. It seems as though she’s having virtually all of the symptoms pregnant women experience in their first trimester: “morning sickness,” food cravings, and enhanced sense of smell (especially for odors that trigger attacks of nausea) to name a prominent few. Anyway, she asked me to put fresh pillowcases on the pillows and stepped out of the room, and I spent the next ten minutes trying to do it with no success until I finally gave up in frustration. No, they weren’t standard pillows and pillowcases. I can manage those easily enough. These were foam rubber, biconcave, orthopedic pillows and matching pillowcases. But I should still have been able to readily manage this. Yet, I wasn’t. I couldn’t figure out how to slip the case on over the pillow. I tried it every which way I could, but nothing even began to work.
I often try to just shrug these things off or even laugh about them. But that’s increasingly difficult to do when there’s a decent chance that we’re going to have a baby, and I’m going to be confronted with all kinds of new daily challenges such as feeding, diapering, and bathing my child and properly installing a child’s car seat and safely strapping my child into it. I can possibly learn by exhaustive trial and error to do some of these things, and my wife can show me how to do the rest. But if things don’t go the way I’ve learned to handle them with a rigidly fixed routine and, God forbid, I have to understand the problem with which I’m faced and figure out a solution to it, I could be in big trouble. And so could my child if I’m alone with her (we would both prefer a girl) and I need to figure something out quickly that involves her. Say, for instance, that I can’t figure out a way to get her into her car seat because some small something is out of adjustment. And if we’re out in public and other people are watching me fumble and bumble, I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do. I hate to look stupid. I feel stupid enough as it is, but I absolutely hate for other people to see me looking stupid. Oh well, I guess I’d better get used to it. But just how exactly do I do THAT?
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