In some ways, having a baby has empowered me to see myself as a real live adult, maybe for the first time. In other ways, having a baby has empowered me to be terrified about life in new and exciting ways. This is a post about the latter.
When I was about four months pregnant with Charlie, I crashed the damned car on the way home from a doctor’s appointment. Not real bad, but I think the cause of it was, at least partially, pregnancy side effects. I was super tired and hurty and non-fine-motor-skills-having. So, let’s low-speed crash into another car because I’m in the wrong lane.
As such, I avoided driving like the plague through the remainder of my pregnancy, except for the occasion of a couple non-metro-accessible things I had to get to. After I had a C-section, I had to wait until I was largely recovered and off pain pills to be cleared to drive again, which added another eight weeks or so. And after that, if I needed to get somewhere, it would likely be with an infant in the car, which sounds dangerous.
So basically, I’ve spooked myself out of driving. I think I’ve done it twice in the last year. This Saturday I thought about going to Trader Joe’s (a schlep!) to get some vegetables and other non-disgusting groceries. Then I downgraded my ambition to the much closer, much pricier Yes! Organic Market. Then I pushed the plan back to Sunday morning. Then Sunday afternoon. Then Sunday night. Then never.
Even if Charlie’s not in the car, I can’t just go around dying in car crashes all the time, because I’ve got cats and husbands and infants who count on me to not be dead. If you’re the one driving me, no problem, but I can’t be trusted not to get us all into another low-speed collision.
So that’s the story of how I got knocked up and became a shut-in, except for when I take Charlie on cross-country flights. Airplanes and the subway systems of unknown cities with a stroller and baby and luggage? No problem. Drive 1.1 miles to the market? Fuck no.
What else is terrifying now? I don’t go to the basement anymore either (which contains the couch and television). All those stairs.
So if you need me, I’ll be in my room sitting on my bed until I die of natural causes or have to go to work in a few hours, whichever comes first.