Saturday, November 10, 2012

On Pinterest, pregnancy, and the DSM: a general life update

I will be 30 weeks pregnant tomorrow.

I'm sure you've all heard of the instinct pregnant women experience called "nesting"; the urge to wash receiving blankets and put a few casseroles in the freezer so when the little one arrives everything will be ready.

But, when you move across the country at the end of your first trimester, discover that your home-to-be has been quite literally flooded with human waste, and spend the entire second trimester living in your gracious in-laws guest room...

When you catch (and your toddler does, too) a diabolical virus which gives you both radioactive-looking snot, unrelenting coughing, a need to use every single tissue in the Costco 12-pack of Kleenex boxes, and no more than two consecutive hours of sleep for six weeks as you fester in disease...

When you are unleashed on your new home with only one trimester to go before you arrive at the finish line, immobilized with sciatica, crippled by nausea, plagued by insomnia, knowing that soon two pre-verbal human beings under the age of two will feel within their rights to possess you, body and soul, and, indeed, to eat your very brains if they feel so inclined...

When you finally get dishes in cabinets and clothes in closets and figure out which switches control which lights, and take a breath, and realize that the previous tenants, your current next-door-neighbors with the ceramic flying pig collection, the stoners who, judging from the olfactory and auditory cues suggesting cannabis is being grown, smoked, and heartily enjoyed on the premises (heady smoke in the evening, the skunky green smell of a garage full of fresh plants in the morning, and always the air-circulating fans--welcome to California!) had the cleaning habits one associates with a stereotypical pothead...

The effect is like shooting meth.*

I have left the house in the last several days only to buy cleaning supplies, more and more and more of them. I have steam cleaned every surface. Washed windows and mirrors. Soaked stove knobs in bowls of vinegar overnight and greeted them at dawn with the ferocity of my toothbrush. Stood, fully clothed, in the running shower as I cleaned the grout, scoured the tub and tile, and irrigated the shower door tracks until, with a shudder, the last clod of the previous tenants' mold-and-pubic-hair mortar was sent to its watery grave. I've determined that, though q-tips have their place, most jobs are more effectively approached with a toothbrush. I've learned that vinegar, which has the advantage over bleach of not pickling the brains of my fetus or lungs of my small child, imparts a wearying aroma. That windex reminds me of my mom.

I have also benefited mightily from the tips and tricks I have gleaned from pinterest. I have heard many people say the site incites a competitive feeling in them, and leaves them feeling guilty and inadequate. I am pleased to report this is the furthest thing from my experience. I love seeing all the clever cleaning tips, and going through each to find which are most effective. Tonight my stove burners will reside in a freezer bag with the fumes of a few tablespoons of ammonia, and tomorrow morning I will wipe them clean with ease! I can't wait! It's like a million helpful aunties and grandmas now live in my phone, just waiting to tell me the best way to do everything! I cleaned a washing machine for the first time--I didn't even know that was a thing!

What I am getting at is that "nesting", the cute term for a cute phenomenon, does not describe what is happening here. The drive, the euphoria. It's a little much. As a trained though not practicing diagnostician of mental disorder, I would have to say it seems like I should meet criteria for something, but what? OCD? Not quite. Does it count as substance abuse if the amphetamine-like substance is the cocktail of neurotransmitters indigenous to your own gestating body? All's I'm saying is, I have gone off the deep end.

If you need me, I'll be at target. I need ammonia, a bleach pen, and a lemon.

*I don't know any of this drug business firsthand; I can't even eat chocolate after 2 pm or I can't sleep at night. I just have a proficiency with drug culture that I can't really explain.