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Language Log

Saturday, Sept. 05, 2009 - 8:11 a.m.

Never did get the call. That's ok, fuckers! See if I care!

My mother in law is a dear, have I mentioned that? A statement like that always goes to preface some insignificant yet persistent complaint. In this case it's kinda funny. The story, in list form:

1. As you may know, I'm pregnant. It's a girl.

2. Sometime before the emergence of the parasite in January, I have to move my studio downstairs and turn the former studio into a room for housing said parasite.

3. This room is already painted very pleasantly. Cream and blue (a sort of parchmenty crem, and a sort of nautical blue that matches the Bodleian Library Hobbit poster we have hanging in there. The matching was entirely accidental, but it's a plus.)

4. I have no interest in repainting. I like the color it is now, and it was hard to cut in along the ceiling (high ceilings). I also have no interest in decorating. The child will have no preferences of her own for some time, and I don't see the point. I assume that we will by and by come across things we like, and we will buy them and put them there (or be given them and put them there), but any sort of concentrated search, purchase, and install is not my style. I can't muster the interest. (I know! What kind of a consumer am I?) Especially things like curtains. Fuck curtains! I mean, they can look nice, but I just don't have it in me to care.

5. If the kid hits 4 and wants a pink room, fine. A pink room she shall have, then.

6. Ok, we've told MIL this. She keeps asking, are you going to redecorate? No. Has Linguafranca begun to think about how she's going to decorate? NO, we said we're not going to redecorate. When we come up there to visit in September, will the room be painted pink? Fuck no, we said it would not.

7. J is the one tactfully explaining this to her over and over again.

8. Today, MIL sent us an email containing photos of some cousin's recently arrived kid. Before I deleted the email (I never look at baby pics if I can avoid it), I saw she had written something about how we could get ideas for the baby's room from the pics. What ideas? I don't need any ideas other than, 'there should be a crib' and 'remove all your scissors from the floor'. But I already knew that.

9. It's as though I had told her, "I'm pregnant, we're having the baby, but I have decided not to bother with the birthing part. Nor a caesarean. No, I'm skipping all that enitrely." Apparently just as incomprehensible, as integral to the process as the Decoration of the Room seems to be. As though, without Redecoration (preferably in gender-appropriate colors so no one becomes confused), the baby will not actually exist.

Ok, done with the numbering. That said, I understand that she's thrilled to have a grandbaby on the way, and she's thrilled that it's a girl, and she herself really likes decorating rooms. I am depriving her of a chance to live vicariously/ participate in an important ritual by consulting her about decisions to be made in this regard. Also depriving her of the chance of showing off cute room pics alongside the baby pics she'll be inflicting on her friends. Still not gonna get me to decorate.

Did I mention that she's a dear? She is. No real complaints. I wouldn't trade her for any other mother in law (well, except maybe for the parallel universe version of herself who doesn't care about my decorating the damn baby room).

Relatedly, I hear I'm supposed to be 'nesting' now. Some other blog I read (the slow cooker blog) where the blogger happens to be about as far along in a pregnancy as I am, she reports nesting behavior. Also, people always joke about it. After a good month of accumulated cat hair, I did manage to dry swiff the floor. Does that count? No proper sweeping nor actual mopping has taken place, though it's on the 'before strangers come into the house again' list. Also note aforementioned lack of desire to redecorate. Apparently I am broken. Actually I think it's a good way to tell some of the culturally instilled behaviors from the actual biology of the thing; I never was around pregnant women ever, so I never learned what I'm supposed to be like. Or, maybe I'm just a freak. That's ok-- I'll take it. It's nice to learn that most of what I feared about pregnancy has not turned out to be true, and I have not metamorposed into some constipated, hyperemotional, sub-rational, curtain-obsessed baby lover. Not that there's anything wrong with that! If that's who you actually are. It was the Losing My Identity part that scared me. I know it's only just begun, but so far, so good. Or who knows, maybe the nesting desire will hit in mid-December when I'm stuck indoors all the time and don't need to be making earrings all the time.

Gotta get to the farmers' mkt before the traffic clusterfuck sets in.

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