Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Ode To A Tiger
She was supposed to arrive on the eighteenth. But, she doesn’t like to rush at the last minute, so she came early, and surprised us. Until the night of the twelfth, this pregnancy thing was like a game. Like playing house. You be the daddy and I’ll be the mommy.
The daddy had fallen asleep on the couch. We’d been to our neighbour’s for a dinner party. The food had all been delicious, so falling asleep was easy. The mommy got up to go to the kitchen, pausing to remove his glasses from the daddy. As she continued on her way she seemed to have an accident, without any warning. How embarrassing! Then she realized,
“That’s no accident. Oh-my-God! That’s a damn bursting! Oh! Oh! Oh! What to do? It’s too early….Get a towel….Oh! Get three! Wake up!”
On the ride to the hospital, reality set in. This is no game. This is the real thing. Vague snatches of childbirth classes swam through my head. Assurances that women had been doing this for thousands of years. The constant need to BREATHE!
Piece of cake.
Suddenly I was scared. What if I couldn’t do it? What if I was the biggest coward the world had ever seen and just couldn’t go through with it?
On the other hand, what choice did I have?
“You just have to remember to breathe,” intoned the daddy, knowledgeably. Hmmph! What did he know? Easy to be calm and rational when you’re not the one with Kern County’s prize-winning pumpkin under your bellybutton.
The nurses were business-like and friendly and matter of fact…...
Nothing was happening. Apparently, having a Niagara Falls simulation in your living room doesn’t mean, contrary to popular belief, that you are going to have a baby. At least not right away. They sent the daddy home, and poked and prodded the mommy, and subjected her to all manner of indignities.
Finally, in the middle of the following afternoon, she made her grand entrance, weighing in at nine pounds, three ounces. Ouch.
It was a Monday, and she was indeed fair of face.
And lusty of lung, prompting the daddy to shake his head with pride, and say
“What a Tiger!”
To me she looked more like an Elizabeth. In fact, exactly like an Elizabeth.
And that is her official name. But she’ll always be our Tiger. Today is her birthday.
Happy Birthday Tiger!