20 December 2010

Pregnancy Questions

In the past few months I have spent quite a bit of time with 3 and 4 year olds. It has been a big change from spending my days with 15 and 16 year olds, but it has been fun. They are particularly fascinated by my pregnancy, and have asked some fun questions.

Abby: Why is your tummy huge?
Me: Because I'm going to have a baby.
Abby: So
Me: The baby is inside my tummy. If you watch really closely you can see him kick.
At this point she gave me a strange look and decided to sit next to someone else

Samantha: Did you put your baby down for a nap in his crib?
Me: He won't sleep in a crib until after he is born.
Samantha: Oh. Did you put him down for a nap in your tummy?

Sophie: How are you going to get the baby out of your tummy?
Me: A doctor is going to help me.
Sophie: I don't think the baby likes being in your tummy.

Elliot: Are you having a baby or a boy?
Me: We're having a baby boy.
Elliot: Is it a baby or a boy?
Me: It's a baby that's a boy.
Elliot: No, are you having a baby or a boy?

Samantha: Why did you put that baby in your tummy?
Me: All babies start out that way. You were in your mom's tummy too.
Samantha: What are you going to name him?
Me: We haven't decided yet. What do you think?
Samantha: You should name him Luke when he's born, and when he gets older you can call him James.

13 December 2010

Final Exams

For several years final exams have been a rather significant part of the Christmas season. This year I find myself neither taking nor grading exams. I would be a little bit lost, but the Texan is getting ready for his finals, so our household is not quite test free. And so in honor of all the students I know who are putting off their Christmas cheer until the testing is over, and who will spend many hours in line at the testing center, I present this poem I wrote during one exam week when I was at BYU. (It's amazing what I can accomplish when I'm putting off studying.)

How the Cougars took their Finals

The professors on campus like finals a lot
But the students, who lived just south of campus, did not!

The cougars hated finals! The whole finals season!
Now, please don't ask why for you all know the reason.

They'd have to stay up way into the night
And study real hard until morning's first light

They'd feel like they were banging their heads on the wall
Convinced that their brains were two sizes too small

But, for multiple reasons, such as midnight crams,
They sat there on reading days, cursing exams

Staring down at their books, with a sour, tired gaze
At the long lists of facts, reading page after page

For they knew every teacher on campus just north
Was busy now writing exams to put forth.

“And they’re printing them now.” They snarled with a sneer.
“Tomorrow starts finals. They’re practically here.”

“This huge pile of reading is really quite numbing,
We must find some way to stop finals from coming.”

For tomorrow, they knew, All the students would consign
They’d wake bright and early and long before nine
The testing center was sure to have a very long line.
That’s one thing they hated. The LINES LINES LINES LINES!

Then once in the building they’d sit down and write
And they’d write! And they’d Write

They would write big long essays, and make no mistake
They would write until both hands had started to ache

And then they’d do something they liked least of all
Every student on campus, the tall and the small
Would hand in their tests and though somewhat deflating
They’d simply go home and they’d all start their waiting

They’d wait. And they’d wait.
And the more students thought of this final-grade-wait
The more they all thought, “This is something we hate."

Why for quite a few years we’ve put up with it now
We must stop these finals from coming, But HOW?”

Then they had an idea.
An awful idea.
They all had a horrible awful idea.

“There’s just nothing to do. It’s all to no avail
“If we don’t take our finals we simply will fail”

So they did what all students have done in the past
They stopped whining and studied for finals at last.

(I know it’s a cop out ending, but I really should go study now)

06 December 2010

Morning Sickness and School Busses

I have been sick for far too long. I try not to be bitter about this, but my patience is waning. A more accurate statement is that I tried not to be bitter about this, but I have given up and am thoroughly irate about my current sate. It’s like the flu that won’t go away. I kind of expected that by the time I reached the I can’t tie my shoes, my wedding ring hurts my swollen hands stage of pregnancy I’d be finished with the I need to be close to a bathroom phase. People told me that I would feel better when I got to my second trimester. They lied. The second trimester has come and gone and I still find myself kneeling in the bathroom several times a week. In my more reasonable moments (which are occurring with decreasing frequency) I acknowledge that their dishonesty was probably unintentional. However, their inaccurate estimates cause me to question if I ever will feel better. I am somewhat certain that I am destined to spend the rest of my existence in an eternal state of “morning sickness.” I do think that the person who came up with that title was intentionally lying and should be punished accordingly.

As I approach my eighth month of suffering I have abandoned all pretenses of good naturedly accepting my lot and am quite unabashedly annoyed, frustrated, angry, and irritated. Unfortunately there is no easily defined target for my pregnancy enhanced wrath, and it occasionally lands on unsuspecting innocent bystanders. One day I was dropping the Texan off at school. As I approached his building the all too familiar gagging started. He quickly looked through the car, but unfortunately my plastic bag, which is normally stashed in the glove compartment for such occasions, had not been replaced since its last use. Although he was appropriately sympathetic and concerned, all he could really do was get out of the car, and wish me good luck on the drive home.

My rush home was significantly delayed when I got stuck behind a school bus on a road with almost no cross streets. I quickly became quite mad at the stupid bus driver who kept stopping to pick up kids. After only a few stops I earnestly loathed the flashing red lights and retractable stop sign. I sat in my car nearly choking. I wondered which front yard would become the receptacle of my partially digested breakfast. I cursed the unknown person who decided that all traffic going both directions must stop while children stepped from the sidewalk onto the school bus. I considered drafting a letter to the school board recommending they discontinue the bus system entirely. I tried to conceive of a way I could make one of the kids on the bus clean my car out should the need arise. I questioned why every child had to walk ever so slowly to the back of the bus only to find no open seats and walk twice as leisurely back to the front of the bus before sitting down, and I quite particularly wondered why the bus driver felt the need to continue holding up traffic for this entire process at every stop.

When I was thoroughly worked up over the inefficiencies of bus transportation and fully convinced that an anonymous bus driver had conspired with dozens of elementary students to ruin my life, I finally saw a cross street where I could turn off the horrible road and find a faster, bus-free rout home. Yards short of my escape the bus again assaulted me with flashing lights and an obtrusively insistent stop sign. I looked up the street that was supposed to be my reprieve and found instead an antagonist. A boy was running as fast as he could down the hill with his backpack in one hand and his coat in the other. I spent a full minute of my life hating this tardy child and mercilessly wishing the bus driver would leave him on the curb. The bus driver waited. If I had not been clad in pajamas (the white flannel polka dot ones) I probably would have taken more assertive action. Instead I sat in my car and angrily muttered hypocritically to myself about how late children should be left behind.

Since the bus incident the doctor has given me a new medicine that has significantly curbed the vomiting. It has also significantly curbed my ability to stay awake for more than an hour at a time. I am happy to report that, with the assistance of promethazine, I have made it as long as 10 days without involuntarily expelling my meals. I feel sort of like the factories that post how long it has been since their last accident.