Sunday, June 27, 2010

It’s all in the delivery

Most readers would agree that Chucks a fairly talented dude. An endless source of solid advice and practical solutions to even the trickiest situations. So it will come as somewhat of a surprise for Chuck to admit that from time to time he manages to put the old size 12 slipper in his mouth. Ok, to be honest, it doesn’t really happen from time to time, it was a one off but Chuck didn’t want anyone to feel bad or inferior.

The occasion?

Well Mrs Long had procured tickets to a sporting event and Chuck was fairly excited to be attending. With the game commencing at 7pm, Chuck was making preparations at around 3pm. With Mrs Long now in the 8th month of pregnancy and still working a full 50 hour week, Saturdays tend to be the day that she puts her feet up and tries to recharge the batteries.  As part of the battery recharging routine, Mrs Long will often try to squeeze in an afternoon nap. Ordinarily this is not a problem as it allows Chuck to perform web-based research (code word for goofing off and surfing the net). However, with a sporting event to attend, Chuck was keen to be organised and on time.

It’s probably important to mention that there was absolutely no reason for Chuck to be getting ready at 3pm for a game that started at 7pm, especially considering it takes no more than 30 minutes to get to the venue. What can Chuck say, the pre game atmosphere is important!

Anyway, by 5pm Chuck felt that it was time to wake Mrs Long from her slumber and get the ball rolling. As most would know, an afternoon nanna nap can be one of the most difficult things to spring back from in quick fashion. There’s something about warm bed sheets that sap the energy from a person. Needless to say, an already fatigued Mrs Long was barely alive  and somewhat sluggish in her preparations.

And then Chuck said it;

“Come on Mrs Long, dig deep.”

There was an awkward moment of silence as Mrs Long straightened, turned to face Chuck and then retorted, “Dig deep? You fucking try digging deep with 10-15 extra kilos hanging off the front of you!!”

Chuck, thinking quickly, replied, “Some of the weight is on your bottom”, and then proceeded to dodge the saucepan coming at his head.

It’s a completely harmless comment – unless said to a heavily pregnant woman and Chuck took the fiery rebuttal on the chin as he so rightly deserved.

It did get Chuck thinking about some of the other nuggets that have been dropped in Mrs Long’s presence in recent times. No one has openly tried to jack her off with their comments and as stated in a previous post, Mrs Long has been pretty rock solid throughout the pregnancy emotionally speaking so perhaps some of the things that have been said around her have washed over without setting off the alarm. Other comments have not gone unnoticed.

One of Chuck’s favourites was delivered by the gangly Asian coffee maker at the local café. He’s a lovely dude although his English can be a little rough at times. In fact, it’s so rough that Chuck normally just smiles, holds up 2 fingers and that’s enough for two coffees to be handed over. Anyway, Mrs Long’s one vice throughout the pregnancy has been her morning coffee. This isn’t surprising since the coffee shop makes awesome coffee and Chuck drinks enough of it to keep Michael Jackson awake so the newborn is going to be a coffee drinker at some point – may as well develop a taste for it right off the bat.

So on one particular morning, Mrs Long stopped in for her daily skinny cappuccino. On this occasion (Mrs Long was probably 7 months pregnant) the gangly young chap looked at her, pointed at his stomach with a concerned look and mouthed, “Are you sure?” Of course this was enough to send Mrs Long apoplectic. Chuck’s favourite line from his dear wife was; “Since when has our local barista been moonlighting as a fucking obstetrician??”

Chuck thought better than to ask Mrs Long to watch her mouth around our unborn child.

The second comment that went down like a lead fart was a doozy as well. After a couple of hectic weeks at work, a couple of people around Mrs Long dropped this line in her presence; “I might get pregnant so I can take a year off too”. That sent the dial into red on Mrs Long’s engine. What amused Chuck once again was that one of the people who said it was a bloke. Forget comments about weight, looking like you’re going to pop, maternity clothes and the food that you’re eating, that comment may be the one that sends a pregnant professional over the edge.

The comment is a dud for a number of reasons: 
  • Firstly, no man could ever go through childbirth without multi epidurals. Men just do not have any tolerance for pain and can’t see the bigger picture (in this case a child). Most men would forgo the child if there was an option to avoid the pain
  • Chuck assumes that having an infant isn’t days filled with playgrounds and coffees (especially not at our local café with Dr Strangebrew working behind the espresso machine). There’s a bit of work involved in keeping the little sucker alive.
  • Suggesting that 9 months of carrying and supporting a womb parasite is a worthwhile trade-off in order to gain 12 months away from work is all well and good until you actually have to do it. Chuck’s fairly confident that right now at month 8, any thoughts of a second child are quashed right around the time Mrs Long uses the toilet for the 5th time during the night.
  • And of course stepping away from a promising career can be extremely daunting and raise all kinds of concerns about ones professional relevance (Chuck has tempered this issue by offering to resign and write Reality Bytes full time but only on the condition that full time hired help is brought in) 

Chuck would love to hear some of the fantastic comments said to or heard by mothers out there and how they were handled.

In order to avoid any more oral foul ups, Chuck’s taken to communicating with Mrs Long via correspondence so that the words can be proofed before being offered up. Obviously this has lengthened any conversation by about 2 hours, but the trade off is that Mrs Long isn’t dropping F bombs around young ears anymore.

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