Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cold Toes, Paper Clothes, and the Indisposed

Monday afternoon, I had the annually dreaded lady exam.  As my husband dropped me off at the office and headed to the mall with the children, I reminded myself it could be worse.  Last year, I'd had to take all three of them with me, and they were all behind the curtain pretending not to watch the pap smear--which the doctor couldn't do until she'd gotten sterile instruments, because my kids had used them for light sabers while I'd watched helplessly from the cold, vinyl table--afraid to move because I was dressed in nothing but those awful paper clothes.

Breathe.  Forgive the terribly long sentence, but some things you just have to get out before horror and embarrassment re-encapsulate them forever.  Speaking of horror and embarrassment, here I was a year later, dressed in the paper clothes again.  At least the Navy seems to have upgraded the situation a little.  At this office I get a paper gown AND a paper sheet to lay on my lap.  I couldn't figure out which way the gown was supposed to go, so I just put it on in the way that felt most awkward and figured that was right.  Yep.  Good intuition.

Oh yeah.  I was styling.  The nurse had said I could leave my socks on (how generous of her), and so there I was, swathed in paper, sporting my purple and teal leopard print knee socks.  Carefully I stepped up to the examination table, situated my behind between the stirrups, and RIIIP! Apparently, Le Thick Madame had wrapped the paper gown too snugly about her full-bodied glory, and now the gown was open in the front and in the back.

I think they do it on purpose--the Medical Mission Mafia (MMM), that is--they absolutely make those gown a small size on purpose.  That way, if you don't get the hint about your weight by standing on their little scale in the hallway, you have to get the point when you're gown don't fit.  All right MMM, why don't you just put little pointy white hoods on your lab coats while your at it.  They'd look great with your purple nitrile.

All right, I know I'm probably being over dramatic (who me?), as I actually really like my doctor.  She's about my mom's age and has raised four kids of her own.  She's a believer and we have similar values, which makes her a great sounding board.  She's also the only doctor I've ever had who hums a happy tune during a pap smear.  It takes a truly, um, special, person to SING while wrapping an index finger around  a chick's collar bone and scraping her tonsils.
 She even complimented my socks.

So why am I writing about all of this?  Well, cruelly, the scale at the doctor's office said 187.5.  That was a full 6.5 pounds HEAVIER than my scale at home.  I've been doing really well with my eating, which I discussed with Doc Happy (I can't tell you her real name, or EVERYONE will want her to sing during their pap smear!).  And "I've been TRYING to exercise," I told her.

She hit me with a Yoda.  "Do, or do not.  There is no try."

Arg.  I had gotten into such terrific shape before my last pregnancy, I'd forgotten about all the hard and painful work it took to get there--all the grunting, and sweating, and aching, and hurting.  I've been out running a few times over the past couple of weeks, but I can barely keep it up for 20 minutes.  The next day I feel like I've been run over by a Zamboni.  The day after that, I feel like I've been run over by a space shuttle.  Call me crazy, but I think it's a natural human inclination not to seek out that kind of pain again.

I know, I know.  No pain, no gain.  This week, I'm trying to shake a head cold, but as soon as I don't feel like I have brick between my eyes, I'll get it together.  I'll suck it up.  I'll put on my big girl pants.  With my knee socks.  And next year, my paper clothes will fit.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Kumbayuck, my Lord, Kumbayuck;
Kumbayuck, my Lord, Kumbayuck;
Kumbayuck, my Lord, Kumbayuck;
Oh Lord, Kumbayuck.

It's a mess here, Lord, won't pass the buck,
Looks like the trash man came and dumped his truck
Could call the maid in, but I'd press my luck--
So I'm sitting down Lord, Kumbayuck.

I found myself singing this modified tune, as I shoved the dry laundry into a clean pillow case, the wet laundry into the dryer, the dirty perma-press into the washer,  and the newly accumulated pile of perma-press in the clothes basket.  All that happened after I cleaned copious amounts of dirt off my little farmers and tossed them into bed.

It's March already!  How in the world did it get to be March?  But it is.  And my kids with the elephant brains would not let me forget that I told them, "In March, we will plant a garden."  Well, I actually was thinking the latter half of March, but rather than have my daughter ask me 10 times everyday for the next 25 days if it was "March enough" for us to plant our garden, I just gave in and took my son shopping for seeds and Jiffy Greenhouses.

That was a week ago.  All of the seed packets we had selected had germination times of at least 7 to 10 days.  I figured that would buy me nearly two weeks before I needed to worry about buying potting soil and transplanting things into bigger containers.  Well.  The feisty little lettuce seeds popped up in less than twenty-four hours, and everything except the green peppers paraded right behind.  Apparently no one had told them about what was printed on their seed packets.

Long story short--tonight, Farmer Wade and Farmer Maggie (aged 6 and 4), plunged eagerly into a bag of garden soil that was  taller than both of them.  As it is 38 degrees outside, they were farming in the dining room. There was dirt up to their elbows.  There was dirt on the table.  There was dirt in the carpet (Curse the apartment planner that put carpet in a DINING ROOM!).  Before it was all done, there was dirt--mercifully--in the many containers in which they planned on planting their baby plants.

It is quiet now.  My window ledges are filled to the max with transplanted lettuce, carrots, peppers, oregano, rosemary, chives, poppies, tomatoes, and pumpkins.  My vacuum bag is probably filled to the max with all the dirt that missed.  But the kids went to bed so happy and excited, and I was reminded that it takes getting dirty to grow things.

Or shrink, in the case of present company.  Losing weight can be a dirty business.  You try things that don't work, and nothing feels dirtier than failure--except maybe sweat--which you get to experience when you exercise.  You have to face the true thoughts and motivations about what you eat and why.  You have to face the real thoughts you have about yourself and self-image.

You also have these moments--the moments when you experience that green thing, breaking earth inside you; when you feel success push it's way to the light; when new understandings make the little plant that is you stand taller, and suck in that gut.  Sometimes, you just grow because you suddenly realize that the Sun shining down on you, made you and loves you no matter what size you are.

About half way through tonight's adventures, there was a catastrophe.  We had planted all of our delicate little oregano plants in an empty ice cream container (I plead the 5th), and Farmer Maggie was in charge of "raining" on it.  In other words, she was supposed to stand over the plants with the spritzer bottle and spray.  Not one to do anything without finesse, Maggie was soon spraying the plants and the kitchen linoleum while dancing about the container like a faun 'round a campfire.

That's when she slipped.  In the next moment, her feet went out from under her and overturned the oregano.  Her head hit the floor, and a wail ensued.  I waded through dirt and water to get to her, and in a minute or two she settled down . . . until she saw the oregano.  Her eyes filled with tears, and she said, "Mommy, I huwted the plant babies!  I am SORRY!" More wailing.

And then there was the smile--the smile I will never forget--when I hugged her and told her, "But Maggie, you are MY BABY, and I'm just glad you are o.k.  You are more important than oregano."

Remember friends, on your fat days, your bloated days, the days you know you overate, or that the scale wasn't on your side--God looks down from heaven and says, "But you are my creation--and you are more than a dress size, or a mistake, or a failure, or a number."  On those days, you can sing,

"Someone's crying, Lord, Kumbayuck,
How I feel today really sucks,
I'm so down, Lord, pick me up,
So tomorrow won't be Kumbayuck."