Thursday, January 29, 2009

What Happened When I Got Pregnant

Mikaela says:
This picture illustrates better than I could explain: I got buried.

My cat and dog sense that something's up, and they're desperate to deepen their bond with me before having to compete with an infant, especially our cat, who's just a baby himself. And yes, he's sitting ON my face here. He's not subtle!

And then there's the figurative aspect of being buried -- under too much information and too many expectations about how to be as a parent, as a mommy consumer, as a poor but earnest environmentalist.

Take for example: paint for the baby's room. I want to do the right thing here. It took me forever to work up the energy and nerve to even shop for paint for the baby's room. I'm not really a decorative arts kinda gal. My partner, however, showed no signs that this would ever make his list of things to do, so I had to face my demons. Thank god for the internet. I really don't know what moms did before they could search for things online. I found this great paint company that does bio-degradable, zero-toxics, low-emissions paint. For $50 a gallon. Gulp.

Now, I hate paint samples. At one inch square, how can you really tell what color it is, much less how it will look in YOUR room on YOUR walls? You can't. And with infinitesimal differences among neighboring shades? Impossible to choose and feel confident. But I chose. And felt really crappy about it.

I was about to order online when I stumbled on a blog entry that mentioned someone bought the same paint at Ace Hardware. Really? A place where I could shop IN PERSON? And have it TODAY? Ok, so maybe the internet's not the best thing ever. This immediate gratification thing (or rather instant knowing of how much you screwed up in your color selection) is even better! And the best part? The paint's $6 cheaper at Ace than the online listing.

So I go to Ace during lunch today. I get really excited when I see a display for my paint that has page-size samples. Hallelujah! But on closer inspection, d'oh! Only for limited colors, none of which are my chosen options. Crap.

I bite the bullet and buy 2 gallons of one color and a gallon of the other. That's $132. With painters tape and brushes? We're talking $170. To paint a room. To paint a room in a way that's environmentally safe. And if I wasn't poor before, this pretty much nails it. Holy crap. And I gotta say based on the little dot of color on the gallon cans? I didn't do so well.

Good thing we've gotten so many donations of gently-used items from generous moms. This kid's going to be banging on pots and pans and playing at parks exclusively until it's 4.

Maybe by then I won't be so buried under all this weight, or at least my cat will want to sleep with my kid more than me!