I never wanted kids.
Did you know that? It's true.
I was that girl that always told everyone, "I'm never getting married. And I'm never having children. Never."
Then I met Derek. And changed my mind about marriage.
Derek and I had been married for about a year and were living in Connecticut. I had scheduled my yearly doctor's appointment so that I would be able to head straight to work after the appointment.
The doc was checking me out, and I was expecting an "all clear, see ya next year," kind of outcome. We were getting close to being done, and she's making sure everything looked okay in my beautiful insides, when up on the screen, in what was otherwise basically a black void, a little pea appeared.
What's that? I thought.
Then the doctor said, "What's that?"
"Hmmm," she said. "Would you mind taking a pregnancy test?"
"Sure!" I chirped. Because I generally maintain a calm and happy exterior when I'm freaking out internally.
So I took the test, then was told to go wait in the doctor's personal office.
I waited. Then she came in and said, "Well, I hope this good news, but you are pregnant!"
"Okay," I said pleasantly.
She waited for me to say something else, but I had nothing. So she tried again.
"Were you trying to get pregnant?"
"No." I continued to smile benignly.
Again, she waited for more of a response from me, but the speech centers of my brain had been temporarily fried by the word "pregnant."
So the doctor took another stab at conversation, bless her heart. By now she was beginning to look a little worried. "Are you alright?"
"Oh, yes," I replied. "I'm fine." More vapid smiling. Honestly, I was even beginning to creep myself out. The problem is, when I don't know how to act or respond to a situation, I usually fall back on extreme politeness and good manners.
After reassuring her several more times that I was fine, fine, fine, the doc finally let me escape.
I went to work, a job I really enjoyed. I don't remember much of that workday.
Derek called soon after I got home, and asked how the appointment had gone. "Fine," I told him. It was my word of the day. I didn't feel like it was the kind of thing I should tell him over the phone.
He got home around midnight. Derek was working at ESPN at the time, and his work schedule generally centered around live sporting events.
I didn't know how to bring it up, and waited until he had settled in to play a few games of Madden before going to bed. "So, the doctor told me I was pregnant today."
It took awhile to sink in. It was a little comforting that he was nearly as speechless as I had been, and obviously didn't really know how to respond.
Eventually, we both accepted the reality of a baby Crisler, and my pregnancy was relatively uneventful. I still wasn't really sure how I felt about having children.
Then I had Adelaide. And changed my mind about kids.
Not having fantasized or even really thought about having children, I didn't quite know what to expect from my own progeny. I wasn't completely ignorant; having grown up with two wonderfully weird younger sisters, I knew children could be kind of... strange.
But nothing prepared me for the reality of my own crazy kids. And the older they get, the more odd they seem.
Case in point- this is Atticus yesterday evening:
Footed firetruck pajamas? Sure, I could have predicted that in a son. What I didn't see coming were his regular requests to wear the crushed velvet leopard-print vest over them.
Lunch on the back deck? Sounds delightful. What kid doesn't enjoy a picnic?
But lunch on the back deck when it's barely thirty degrees outside? I just don't get it. And Atticus doesn't seem to mind when I tell him it's too cold for me outside, so I dart outside to set his sandwich on the table (and snap a quick picture), then rush back inside, and watch him eat from the comfort of my warm laundry room.
How about dancing with Daddy? It's only natural that Adelaide would enjoy dancing around the living room after supper most nights. What we didn't realize was that she has been carefully watching Derek's mouth as he sings along with Switchfoot, and now appears to know most of the words to her favorite songs. It's just weird, albeit amusing, to hear her belt out, "There ain't no drug... There ain't no drug... I made a mess of me, I wanna reverse this tragedy..." with all the verve and angst her four-year-old body can muster.
(Please excuse my messy house. The nightly toy pick-up often doesn't happen until after the kids' bedtime.)
Caedmon, at six months old, has yet to display much bizarre behavior. He seems content to watch the show his two older sibling put on daily. And who knows? Maybe Spud will be my normal child.
But I'm not counting on it.