Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Pregnancy Gymnastics For the Love of Ice Cream

After our birthing class and before the Japanese sushi style birthday party, my wife and I hit the local Menards to load up on enough supplies to finish up the nursery with the exception of replacing the carpet. We started out through the store picking up six feet of overhead closet shelving plus supplies to create smaller shelves down each side. We bought a couple gallons of Menards finest house brand paint and a five-gallon bucket of drywall compound to texturize the walls and hide smaller imperfections. That was just getting warmed up.

We loaded up on enough baseboard trim to completely circumnavigate the room, curtain rods for the windows, a couple rolls of painters tape, a texturizing roller brush, two pairs of 30 inch bifold closet doors and an assortment of fasteners and other hardware. By this time we had a cart and one of those lumber trolleys loaded down and were convoying it back towards the front of the store and the cash registers. We made a slight detour to apply for the credit card so that we could partake of the 10% savings going on and then paid for our purchases.

Back outside with two carts piled high with lots of long objects, the longest clocking in at eight feet long, we wheeled them up to my tiny Honda Civic two-door coupe and it was only then did I begin thinking of whether or not it would all fit. Because it was a balmy 20 degrees with a flurry of snow coming down, I thought how unpleasant it would be driving the thirty miles home with open windows or an open hatch.

But the Civic engineers in all their clever wisdom, created a split back rear seat which allowed me to fold down the larger of the two sections and angle everything up towards the front passenger seat which had to be slid completely forward. With all the other stuff filling in the crooks and crannies, this left just a small space in the remainder of the rear seat for a passenger and enough space between a pile of supplies and the drivers side door for a driver. My wife’s car doesn’t have this feature and my car is a stick which she doesn’t like driving. My wife is five months pregnant and no longer able to sneak into narrow spaces very easy. Houston, we have a problem.

Fortunately my wife had been very petite in a life previous to pregnancy and though a series of contortion acts, she was able to squeeze in through the passenger door to the back seat where once seated she had plenty of room. I shut the door and did my own contortion act getting my broad shoulders squeezed into the drivers compartment and finding the stick buried somewhere out of sight under two bifold closet doors. Houston, we are cleared for takeoff. From the backseat, my wife said that she needed some ice cream. Houston, we have another problem.

I drove the car across the street where there happened to be a little ice cream parlor, which is one of those with approximately thirty flavors of ice cream and parked the car. I had no hope of getting the appropriate flavor, cone size, etc. so it was another contortion act as I delivered my pregnant wife out of the back seat. Loaded up with a Hershey Kisses ice cream cone, I redelivered her back into her backseat slot of space and did my contortion act to regain my position at the wheel, and once again took off.

We would have to repeat this procedure once again at and after the sushi party but my wife was a real trooper. Both of us wouldn’t trade that little car for the world. It is completely paid for, is just getting broke in, gets excellent gas mileage and I have only come across a few objects that I haven’t been able to fit into it in it’s career. Sure, I once had to unpack a television set in twenty below weather in a Best Buy parking lot to squeeze it into the front seat and drive 60 miles home in fourth gear because fifth gear wasn’t available, but it has been worth it. It cost two thirds less than most SUV’s and those few times when I needed something bigger to haul, even a SUV wouldn’t have been enough. But the best thing of all, I have a wife that lovingly understands all this and is willing to do a sort of pregnant gymnastics once in a while to be able to spend our money on more important things like a Hershey's Kisses ice cream cone in the middle of winter after a late night Menards shopping trip.

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