It's spring time in Florida. The azaleas are in full bloom. The trees are cloaked in splendiforous green. Pollen is coating everything, including my car, my patio furniture, and the grimy pair of pink crocs that have been sitting on my back porch for two months.
All of this is fine and great, except for one thing. Two words. First word...sounds like...fraternity. Second word...sounds like...hoes.
Yeah. Maternity Clothes.
Is it just me, or are most maternity clothes hideous? Jumpers. Overalls. Billowy tops with ties and straps and designs in prints I wouldn't make curtains out of for a gaggle of VonTrapps. And WTF happened to the Motherhood store at the mall? One minute it was right there next to the plastic, germ-infested kids' play place, the next minute, gone. Did the play place scare tomorrow's crop of would-be mothers into sterilization? I mean, I can understand how that would happen...I myself feel my ovaries curling up like party favors whenever I pass it and hear the screams or see little kids clamoring, sneezing, or chewing on the brightly colored equipment. But where's a gal like me supposed to go for anything that doesn't ride up, fall down, expose my butt crack or other wise give strangers a sneak peek at waaay more skin than they wanna see. I am this close to buying a pair of gladiator sandals and a bunch of white sheets and trying to get the whole toga look back in fashion.
Yesterday I went into American Eagle, as if I can still squeeze my quickly expanding ass into a pair of skinny jeans. Whenever I walk into that store I sort of forget that I'm twice as old as their intended demo. I forget that I usually have at least one kid in tow, who is leaving a trail of goldfish behind him or her. I forget that I have already stumbled over that thin line between a girl who can still pull of a frayed-hem mini skirt and a pair of espadrills and a thirty-something mom who should start thinking seriously about wearing gloves in public, because those freckles on her hands could almost pass for liver spots.
Anyway, I was returning a shirt that looked like it would fit me until I got it home, tried it on and realized I looked like a shirk-wrapped bowling ball. As I stood at the counter, I casually mentioned to the cashier that they should start up a maternity line (as if she was the one who would personally oversee the design and manufacturing of such a line).
She just kinda looked at me, glanced at my children, who were busy hiding among the Low-Rise, Destroyed, Indigo Washed, Boot-Cut Ex-Boyfriend Jeans and tearing apart the boho jewelry, and said, "Yeah. There's an idea."
As in, Yeah, lady. Like we really want our fresh-faced college kids sporting the same looks as a bunch of minivan-driving, boo-boo-kissing soccer moms who use their Facebook status updates to keep each other apprised of their kids' potty-training progress.
I get it. I know there are more important things in my life than trying to look fashionable, especially when I'm starting to drip salsa directly onto my pregnant stomach instead of into my lap like I usually do. But another wonderful side-effect of being pregnant is having your priorities seriously out of whack.
For example, right now I also care more about vacuuming my house on a daily basis than I care about pretty much anything else on the planet. It's like an addiction. An affair I'm having with my vacuum cleaner. I sit down with my kids fully intending to play whatever nonsensical game du jour Rollie has come up with, and all I can do is look at the carpet and see every sub-atomic particle of dirt, dust, hair, crumb, and grain of Ovaltine. My eye starts to twitch. I get shaky and sweaty and after about five minutes of pretending to be The Octopus Princess from Mars, whom Fire Marshal Rollie is going to save, I am having a full-blown anxiety attack, which will only be alleviated by pulling out my Dirt Devil, turning him on and letting him suck to his heart's content. Dow-Chicka-Wow (that's my porno music, although I'm thinking that's not quite right...when it's spelled out it looks more like the title of a Nick Jr. cartoon).
Luckily, I’ve managed to turn my vacuuming obsession into something of a game with my kids. They pretend the vacuum is an alligator coming to bite their feet, and they squeal and fall over each other in an attempt to get out of its path. Of course I’m sure eventually there will come a day when I accidentally suck up Elsa’s big toe in the rotating brush, but for now, the arrangement works; the carpet gets somewhat clean, and the kids think I’m spending some quality time engaging them in some imaginative play. Only the Dirt Devil knows my secret, and at night, when we're spooning in bed, he promises me he won't tell anyone.
So, if any of you see me sporting bedsheets and suspiciously large hickeys on my neck, please understand...I'm five months pregnant. Someday I'll start behaving like a normal human being again.