Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Great American Nest-Off

Not that it’s a competition or anything, but my husband is totally out-“nesting” me.

To tell you the truth, I’ve been doing a pretty poor job of nesting in general (unless you count the completely out of my control act of growing a baby inside me as nesting … in which case, I guess I’m “doing” a lot … while not actively doing much at all). GAR, on the other hand, has become a man on a mission. He is determined to make our nest (a.k.a. our home) the perfect place for our baby to grow. His home improvement efforts, both big and small, have really ramped up these past few weeks/months. In fact, at times it’s hard to convince him to leave our “nest” at all on the weekends because he is either working on a project or tired from working on a project.

I, on the other hand, am torn. While I don’t want to disrupt his makeover mojo, and I’m certainly more than overjoyed to see him embrace some of the projects he’d normally avoid, I’m also keenly aware of the fact that our time to simply enjoy life as a twosome is quickly slipping by us. And, while I’m somewhat limited on the types of activities I can still participate in (and the energy with which I have to actually enjoy said activities), I feel the need to balance my time spent nesting with time doing impulsive activities that, in the future, would require a babysitter and potentially weeks of advance planning.

So I’ve been doing what I do best – activity planning. Last weekend I took GAR to the beach and Memorial Day Weekend I’m flying up to Michigan to see my family (and my niece – squeal! I love that little baby pumpkin), and this weekend I’m even dragging GAR to a movie double feature because, even though we’re not people who go to the movies very often at all, I always hear parents complain about not being able to go out to the theater anymore. Truth be told though, I won’t miss going to the movies per se, but there are a lot of freedoms I know I will miss – and I’m desperately trying to cram everything in before it’s “too late.” In a way I’ve had this “kids make it impossible to do anything ‘fun’ and selfish anymore” mentality my whole life – which is why I’ve waited until my mid-30s to have a child in the first place. And, frankly, if biology didn’t set a time limit on me I would probably still be holding out … saying I’m not ready … becoming the oldest mom in human history (okay, not quite, but you get my point).

GAR, on the other hand, seems to have already settled into “daddyhood.” He appears content to build our nest and wait for the egg to hatch. And my lord I love him for it. I NEED one of us to be the semi-settled down one in this equation and he is much more suited for it than I am. And, when I do drag him to the beach … or a theme park … or a roller derby match-up … wherever – he passes the time by saying “I can’t wait until we can bring our baby here.” He’s not even thinking about being in the here and now, he’s already thinking – dreaming – about the future. And it’s so darn cute. Totally naïve and unrealistic about what life will really be like with a newborn, but so, so very cute. He’s excited, just as I’m excited – we just handle this excitement in different ways (mine more resembles a quiet panic … but I promise it’s really just unbridled enthusiasm MIXED with a healthy dose of freaking out).

So I’m trying to nest along with him. I started a little “clean out the kitchen” project weeks ago that I’ve been moving forward on at a snail’s pace (I mean, I try … but shelf paper is really not that exciting, whether I’m nesting or not). And when I actually tally up all the things I want to get done before baby arrives I realize that I really should be in full-on mega nesting mode if I ever want to get it all done in time (or, realistically, I should be giving GAR even MORE to do around the house. But I doubt I could tear him away from the projects he deems necessary for baby – like building a toy abacus practically from scratch … because our infant, who will have few motor skills or the ability to hold his head up on his own, will no doubt need an ancient mathematical calculation device immediately upon birth. Yes, THIS is truly a critical thing to get done).

But there is one nesting instinct that has hit me hard and, frankly, it’s one that shocks me to my core – I can’t stop baking. It’s a compulsion really, and it’s totally new territory for me. I mean, I’m baking things I don’t even really like – all the time – and I have no idea where these urges come from. A year ago I wouldn’t even have been able to tell you if we owned a cupcake pan (or a rolling pin … or flour …), and now I’m whipping up something a few times a week. I would chalk it up to pregnancy cravings but that’s not quite right … it’s more like pregnancy has kicked into high gear some sort of previously unbeknownst to me domestication gene that has long been repressed inside of me. I get knocked up and wham – I’m freakin’ Betty Crocker all of a sudden. I truly am barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. Hmmm … Perhaps this whole motherhood thing won’t be so foreign to me after all. It looks like maybe I’m already becoming a little more “mom-ish” every day (minus the short haircut, high-waisted jeans and lack of knowledge on current pop culture).

What I really need, however, is to get off my ever-expanding, cookie loving arse, stop playing cruise director as I try to cram endless pre-baby activities into my social calendar and, you know, sign up for a child birthing class … or maybe even read a book about what to do when this baby actually arrives (as opposed to spending all my time reading novels for pleasure because I know I won’t have time for such frivolities in just a few months) … and simply “prepare” myself for really becoming a mother. But I have to get there mentally first.

Maybe tomorrow. Tonight I’m going to hit the hay early – after all, I need to stock up on future missed sleep now, right?

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