Despite the lack of a smile, she declares she really likes it.
I've been thinking about cutting Charlotte's hair for a while. While I blanched at cutting off her baby curls, the longer it got, the more scraggly and thin it seemed. It was usually a tangled mess in the mornings. She was constantly pushing her hair out of her eyes.
Yesterday, I impulsively asked Charlotte if she wanted her hair cut short. "Like mama's," she said. "Yes, sort of," I replied. "YES! I want a haircut. I want it RIGHT NOW!" I'm not joking...that's really what she said. I hemmed and hawed for a while, but then decided to go for it.
I think I did an okay job. I cut the bangs a little too short, which I'm hoping gives this impression:
instead of this:
It took Jeff a while to warm up to it, which had me weeping and blubbering. "You HATE it!" I wailed. "I RUINED her!" I think we all like it now. I hope.
--I have come to the conclusion that pregnancy is too long. I've heard the old adage that it takes all nine months to prepare for having a child, but as a chronic procrastinator, I'm likely to put off until the last few weeks all those nesting things pregnant women are supposed to do anyway. So I think five months would be sufficient. I mean, I can't believe how long I've been pregnant, and that I still have eight weeks to go.
--Things about the baby that kind of freak Charlotte out: 1. That he's naked in there. 2. That he goes potty in my belly.
I have assured her that we will promptly cloth her brother after birth, but she still seems unnaturally obsessed with the fact that I am a glorified waste containment unit for this child. She did seem slightly relieved to find out that it's only number one, not number two, that's currently happening.
--I can't sleep well. Classic late-pregnancy symptom, I know, but still unpleasant. I have trouble falling asleep, due to a fabulous cocktail of heartburn, leg cramps, and general inability to turn off my brain. And what sleep I do get is light, surface sleep plagued by annoyingly vivid dreams about the things I'm reading for school. Last night, I dreamed I was conversing with the characters in the Faulkner novel I'm reading, in Faulknerese (those of you who've read old Billy F. know what I mean...lots of stream-of-consciousness ramblings using words like effluvium and immobile and repugnant). I kept waking up every couple of hours, at which point I'd once again battle heartburn and leg cramps, only to fall back asleep and back into the same dream. There are dreams you hope to continue after interruption. This wasn't one of them.
I'm having trouble coming up with anything interesting to write about these days. All my energy is taken up by schoolwork, spending time with Charlotte and Jeff, entertaining my constant stream of guests (not complaining...I love having visitors), and trying to keep up with the sleep my body seems to be demanding. My 31st birthday on Saturday coincided with the beginning of my 31st week of this pregnancy. I'm fully mired in the woes of the third trimester: heartburn, difficulty sleeping yet constant fatigue, aching muscles and joints whenever I overexert myself, needing to be within a five-yard radius of a bathroom at all times, etc. I'm also to the point where I can't get up from a reclining position without some serious acrobatics. Last night while reading in bed I needed to use the bathroom. I flopped over onto my side and executed a dramatic leg-fling-and-roll to get out of bed. Jeff didn't help matters by laughing at me. I got back at him by smothering him with my giant belly.
My birthday was a mellow day. One of the highlights was going out with Mindi after Charlotte was in bed for appetizers and drinks (she got fancy martinis; I got cherry limeade in a martini glass) at the Jayhawker in the fancy Eldridge hotel downtown.
The other highlight happened that afternoon while we were all out for a little drive on the smaller country highways surrounding Lawrence. Charlotte suddenly announced from the backseat that she had to go potty "right now, mama!" We pulled over and out I hopped. I got Charlotte out of her carseat, helped her get her pants down, and then awkwardly held her in a way that I hoped would avoid her peeing on my shoes. I was worried she would think this situation was weird, but she stoically went ahead and let loose. We got back in the car (I was dry, thank goodness) and started down the road again. After a minute, Charlotte said: "It's fun to go potty on the grass!" We all laughed. We passed a farm with cows. Charlotte: "Look at all those three cows! They're stickin' out their buns! They're gonna go potty in the grass!" Pause. "Cows don't have business." (our word for private parts). "Cows do have buns. Cows are people." By this time we were all laughing quite hard. She ended with another assertion that "It's fun to go potty on the grass...and the dirt!"
That's what life is like with Charlotte these days. It's a constant running commentary complete with medleys of song and dance. No topic is outside her area of expertise. It's quite entertaining. She's also gotten very good at entertaining herself for long stretches of time. Right now she's sitting at my desk coloring pictures and listening to music. The entire time I've been writing this, she's been talking and singing. "This girl wears sneakers, just like Charlotte wears sneakers! This kitty has a big, red face! There's a picture of baby Charlotte when she was a bald head!" Etc.
Life with Charlotte is a lot of fun these days. She's sleeping amazingly well (goes to sleep around 7 p.m. after about ten minutes of Jeff or I singing to her every night in her own bed, sleeps until 7 a.m.) considering her history. She plays and sings and imagines and dances and "reads" and "writes." She eats fairly well, at least well enough that I've kind of stopped stressing out about it, even though she's still kind of a pipsqueak. She's excited about her baby brother and is constantly affectionate with my belly.
And I'm managing to balance my school responsibilities, my home life, and taking care of my burgeoning physical self fairly well. We'll check back with that come December, when I'll suddenly really need to start writing all my final papers.
Today is my 31st birthday. I'm celebrating with my friend Mindi, who flew in from Chicago to spend the weekend with us. This morning, Jeff and Charlotte let Min and I sleep in while they finished up a homemade birthday card, upon which Charlotte "wrote my name." Since then I've lounged around in my pajamas, drinking tea and deciding where to go out to eat my birthday lunch.
I'm supposed to be reading and writing a response to a critical article, but instead I'm procrastinating. So! A "meme," as the kids are calling it. Answers must be one word.
1. Where is your cell phone? Backpack 2. Where is your significant other? Upstairs 3. Your hair color? Blonde 4. Your mother? Domestic 5. Your father? Outgoing 6. Your favorite thing? Charlotte 7. Your dream last night? England 8. Your dream/goal? Doctorate 9. The room you're in? Dining 10. Your hobby? pastime? Art 11. Your fear? Loss 12. Where do you want to be in six years? Tenured 13. Where were you last night? Same 14. What you're not? Sporty 15. One of your wish list items? Books 16. Where you grew up? Iowa 17. The last thing you did? Read 18. What are you wearing? Sweats 19. Your T.V.? Hidden 20. Your pet? Deceased 21. Your computer? Dell 22. Your mood? Hopeful 23. Missing someone? Nope 24. Your car? Subaru 25. Something you're not wearing? Shoes 26. Favorite store? Target 27. Your Summer? Nauseating 28. Love someone? Jeff 29. Your favorite color? Blue 30. When is the last time you laughed? Minutes ago 31. Last time you cried? Can't remember