Procrastination and the pink fuzzies

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Husband-and-wife journalists Bob Miller and Callie Clark Miller share the same small house (still), work in the same office (again) and somehow manage to cling to their sanity (barely). Older and wiser (she's wiser, he's just older), the Southeast Missourian sweethearts offer their views on everyday issues, told from two different perspectives.

SHE SAID: Some women get a beautiful glow, I got a funny brown patch on my left foot.

A discolored swath of skin and spontaneous gagging at the thought of certain foods. This is what I have to show for the miracle of pregnancy so far. Well, there is the voracious appetite. My little brother insists I have a parasite living within, based on the amount of food I'm eating and the frequency at which I'm eating it.

Just three months in, Bob and I have discovered there's a lot of pressure surrounding pregnancy-related decisions. According to the seven pregnancy books I've read, by now I should have created a check-off list of must-have baby items, reached some conclusion about breast feeding and decided on a birth plan.

The inquiries about which hospital I've chosen to deliver at and which pediatrician I've lined up for my unborn child are becoming more insistent with each trip to my doctor. The answer to all of the above? We don't know yet! Up to now, we'd put off even thinking about all these options for fear of jinxing ourselves into a miscarriage. Approaching the second trimester now, it's apparently time to get down to business before I win the Pregnant Procrastinator of the Year award.

We've lined up tours, scheduled classes and spent last Saturday buying summer clearance baby clothes (for both boy and girl, since we don't know which we're having yet). You should have heard the oohs and ahs coming out of my husband over some of those frilly little outfits.

I have taken care of one important piece of the puzzle -- getting the OK from my physician (along with the advice of the Missouri Department of Conservation) to deer hunt this year. Should be interesting to see if I can fit in my blind by November. And apparently, maternity hunting gear is not in high demand; I had a tough time finding camo overalls that would work. Meanwhile, the biggest thing on my mind these days is when my next meal is coming. It's really quite a spectacle now that the nausea has dissipated (and if one more person calls it morning sickness in my presence, I may punch them in the nose. "Morning" my foot.). Trust me, you don't want to get in a buffet line behind me.

HE SAID: I've become a sentimental freak. Before she became pregnant, my cute and talented wife would drive me nuts when she insisted on spending so much of our hard-earned money on vain things like dust-collecting pottery that wasn't really pottery but a mass-produced thing that would look good sitting there doing nothing in our living room.

I failed to contain my complaints on several occasions when we went to the mall to buy a new pair of pants, and found ourselves in the blouse and shoe section because she had nothing to go with the new pants she was about to buy. That kind of thing drives me nuts.

But now I'm thinking about a baby girl who might come our way. Suddenly the pink fuzzy coats in the department stores make my heart melt. Mentally, I'm preparing myself for a girl. I think I'm doing that because I won't know what to do with a little girl, except buy her pink, fuzzy clothes.

I have a son. I have two brothers. I have three uncles. One aunt. Boys, boys, boys. We do horseplay. We watch sports, play sports and laugh at immature things. I'd be very, very happy with a boy, of course. We'll have good times. But a girl would turn my world upside down. I know this because of the fuzzy pink coats, and the way they make me feel even though our baby is still the size of a peanut.

We didn't buy one of the fuzzy coats. We only bought summer clothes that were on the clearance racks. If we have a boy, Callie knows lots of women who are pregnant. We'll give away the outfits if we find out she's a he. But it was funny how Callie searched the clearance racks. I think my cute and pregnant wife is becoming a little more fiscally responsible now that we've got a baby on the way. She saved us a lot of money. And I wanted to spend more.

P.S. For those who read last week's column: After three weeks MIA, Callie found her wedding rings a few hours after last week's lifestyles section printed. Figures.

Bob Miller is the Southeast Missourian's managing editor. He has developed an affection for anything pink and frilly. Callie Clark Miller is always hungry. In between meals, she's the managing editor of online/special publications.

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