This has me beat.
I can construct all kinds of electronic contraptions and gizmos out of bits of wire and old circuit boards like a veritable MacGyver but I can’t figure out how to put together a simple crib mobile. If only the instructions weren’t in ‘Chinglish’ then I might be able to understand them.
Looking around the room at what we’ve accomplished together, it gives me such a feeling of achievement; more than anything I’ve ever done at the Agency. Soon the proof of our love will be sleeping in that crib. Our baby girl will want for nothing; she’ll be the most loved little girl in the world.
I guess I’d better make another attempt to put this whirligig together.
I dragged myself up the stairs holding a pile of laundry awkwardly in my arms; awkwardly because my over-extended belly made everything difficult to do these days. It’s weird but I actually loved being pregnant, but I was now in my forty-first week and enough was enough! I know that forty-two weeks is considered ‘term’ but I’ve been ready to have this baby since my thirty-sixth week.
I was putting away the linens when I heard muttering coming from the nursery. Tony and I had worked hard over the past months to get the room just right. As soon as we knew we were going to have a girl, we started choosing furniture and colors. Tony had always loved to draw and he’d drawn a lovely Disney mural on one wall using all of the Winnie the Pooh characters. We’d spent hours up here together, painting the characters in bright colors. More often than not though, those painting sessions ended up being sessions of a whole other type of activity. Did I mention that I loved being pregnant?
Standing in the doorway of my daughter’s future bedroom, I watched the man I never thought I’d ever fall in love with but now found I couldn’t live without. I smiled, a small satisfied smile, as I watched him struggling with the mobile that I’d picked up the other day. It always amazes me how he can make the most intricate and complicated electronic devices from scratch for field use at the Agency, but when it comes to simple every day articles he’s stumped.
I shifted my weight; something felt ‘off’ today. I rubbed my back as I suddenly developed an ache low down on my spine. I watched the way Tony’s hair fell forward over his forehead as he concentrated on putting together the mobile and I longed to smooth it back and kiss him. With that thought in my mind I moved into the room only to be attacked by the most horrendous pain which felt like it shot out from my navel and surrounded my abdomen. I screamed and panted until the pain passed.
I knew she was there, in the doorway, watching me. I also knew she wanted to come in here and take over putting this thing together. I wasn’t going to give her the satisfaction of showing me, once again, how incompetent I can be with normal everyday things around the house. God I love that woman. I felt a small smile grace my face as I heard her step into the room, the moment she reaches me I’m so going to kiss her until she’s dizzy. My smile froze as I heard her scream and the arm of the mobile in my hand snapped with a loud crack.
Turning to look at my wife, I saw she had sunk down against the bureau, her fisted hands supporting herself on the floor, her knuckles white and she was panting.
I knelt down beside her and looked into those big blue eyes that were now filled with pain and fear. Gently kissing her forehead, I said, “Breathe through it baby, breathe. When it’s over we’ll get you ready to go to the hospital.” I couldn’t believe how relaxed I sounded, because inside I was in turmoil. This is it. I’m going to be a dad.
Franny looked at me and then looked down at my hand. I was still clutching the pieces of plastic from the mobile that I’d snapped in two when I’d heard her scream.
The contraction was obviously passing because she was totally focused on the mobile that I’d been working on, “I can’t believe you broke it! You’ve been trying to put it together for ages and now it’s broken.”
I was kneeling next to her on the floor and I felt my knees getting warm. Looking down I realized they were soaked. “Looks like the mobile’s not the only thing that broke around here! Let’s get you cleaned up and changed so I can take you to the hospital to have our daughter.” Kissing her lingeringly on the lips I helped her up and realized that we were about to start the next adventure in our already adventuresome lives.