The observation, it astounds!

Yesterday we had a repeat visit from the guy who did our siding last year. A piece of siding had slipped; it would be the work of three minutes to get it in place again. 

When I saw him, I stepped outside to say hello. His eyes bugged, and he said, “You had another one?”

Oh, yeah, the baby on my hip. Totally forgot about that. Siding/Roofing guy hadn’t seen me since last summer. 

This has happened a few times. A wintertime pregnancy has the advantage of humongous winter coats, at least here in frozen Angeltown, so with both Kiddo#3 and Kiddo#4, I’ve had a few people do a double-take and say, “I didn’t even realize you were pregnant!” And there were two people, both male, who are taking Dave Barry’s sage advice to heart and didn’t even ask me if I was having a baby after they saw me holding a baby. 

A couple of people have taken the “obvious” tactic, though, and blurted out, “You had a baby?” and  yes, I’m a very, very bad person because I’ve responded by looking down at the babe-in-arms and letting out a shriek of surprise. Well that explains all those sleepless nights! I’m so glad you rescued me from my mortal confusion.

With Siding/Roofing Guy, though, I only admitted that yes, another one had arrived. I refrained from saying the FedEx delivery truck was definitely better than DHL.

And then this morning, while I waited outside with the kids for the school bus, one of the other school kids turned to me, eyes big, and said, “Is that a new baby?”

To be honest, I wasn’t sure how to answer. For one thing, the baby is three months old. Should I assume he means this baby is different from the one I had three months ago? Or should I assume that in three months, this child — who is, for the record, a 3rd grader of at least average intelligence — never once made the connection between “tiny wrinkled human being held all the time” and “baby”? 

I know they’ve seen me out there. A few minutes before this exclamation, the kids had asked me whether the runner had been tagged out at third adequately enough, or whether the pitcher needed to hit him with the ball hard enough to break his leg instead of just beaning him with it.

I replied, “He’s three months old,” and then another one of the bus-stop kids said, “What’s his name?”

I know Kiddo#1 and Kiddo#2 have spoken about the baby before now. Kiddo#1 is even in class with the sibling of the kid who asked his name.

For now, I’m just choosing to believe there’s a vortex of forgetfulness about me, a cloud of “momnesia” that not only has me forgetting to put the mail in the mailbox but spreads to all those around me, inducing in them a large blank spot which was previously inhabited by tidbits of information about… um, about… Oh, criminy. Well, about something. I think.


  1. Ivy

    It’s a summer thing. I blame the heat. We are moving offices. To this end we are moving servers. That means unplugging them and turning them back on, which means logging in again, which means using the password of a gentleman who passed on five years ago. It is his wife’s name. Several people remembered that. I won’t ask why the guy who needed the password, who sits next to me, got up and walked to the other side of the office to ask about it when I could have simply told it to him; that’s another point. In any case, it’s his wife’s name. We have the phone number of the house where his wife and son still reside. No one thought of calling and asking her.

    It has to be the heat.

  2. philangelus

    It hasn’t been that hot here today, though. It’s in the 70s.

    I’m laughing about the inability to call the wife and ask for her first name. You know, if it were me, I probably wouldn’t want to bother her and I’d do all those strange convoluted work-arounds deliberately.

    “Hi. I’m Philangelus from XYX Industries. Um, to whom am I speaking?”
    “Thank you. Bye.”

    It’s just not a conversation I want to have.

  3. cathrl

    I think I’d go through several dozen hoops in order not to have to ring someone up and say “hi, can you tell me your name please because it was your dead husband’s computer password?”

    As far as children talking to adults goes, I do often find that they ask the sort of questions they think adults would ask. Adults often ask what a baby’s name is. Kiddo probably thought he was doing really well at having an adult conversation with you 🙂

  4. xdpaul

    I think you’ve unintentionally discovered your super power.

  5. philangelus