Gestational Sloth


There comes a point every summer, usually in about late July or early August, when I become more or less incapable of coherent thought or productive activity because my brain is melting from the heat. It isn’t that hot outside yet, but late pregnancy is having the same effect on me.

When there’s a tiny human kicking and stretching and hiccupping in your midsection, it becomes very difficult to think about much else besides said tiny human.

These days, I’m primarily fixated on the baby’s position. Ruby was breech, and so I keep expecting this baby to flip head-up at any moment.

I am so consumed by this worry that Ruby last week actually said, “Mommy, I want to pretend that I’m pregnant,” and then shoved a baby doll under her shirt and said, “Oh, God, come here and feel: Do you think this is her head or her butt?!”

I am still keeping up at work, but when I get home at night, I’m basically the world’s laziest parent. Ruby and I used to play hopscotch or jump rope before dinner, or sometimes we’d engage in a three-way Nerf swordfight with my stepson. On the weekends, we’d go to the zoo or the Children’s Museum or have a picnic at the park. Now we mostly play one of two games in the evening. One is “Hospital,” in which I lie in bed while Ruby pretends to run tests on me. When the novelty of that wears off, we play a game that I invented out of sheer desperation called “Tattoo Parlor,” in which I lie in bed while Ruby draws on me with washable markers.

I should be nesting, I guess, and I am to some extent: I washed all of the cloth diapers and buttoned them down to the newborn setting; I assembled the Pack ‘N Play (or, OK, I supervised my mom and husband as they assembled the Pack ‘N Play); I’ve washed and folded tons of tiny pink clothes. But that surge of domestic energy that compels enormously pregnant women to scrub the baseboards with a toothbrush or cook and freeze dozens of meals – yeah, I’m still waiting on that to hit me.

Right now, my hormones aren’t compelling me to do anything beyond pee every 10 minutes, eat a pound of pasta as an afternoon snack and lie on the sofa while my daughter Crayolas my legs.

With any luck, my brain will come back once she’s born – just in time for sleep deprivation to combine with extreme summer heat to render me useless yet again.

Excerpted from Eve Kidd Crawford’s blog, Joie d’Eve, which appears each Friday on For comments:

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