I AM A BACON CASUALTY. Perhaps you don’t think bacon could cause serious injury, but you would be WRONG.
Seth is off doing Army Skool right now, and the day before the husbandly departure, I was making breakfast. This involved things like rye toast and large quantities of bacon and scrambled eggs. And I was making the bacon in the giant 400-POUND cast-iron skillet we got when we got married. The skillet is glorious! I loff it. But it’s also heavy. Really heavy. Too heavy to actually move around, you know? It’s fine to just leave sitting there and cook stuff in, but you can’t actually pick it up and, say, pour off a bunch of bacon fat so you can scramble eggs in the now-empty skillet.
I BET YOU CAN SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING.
Yes. So I burned my right hand (my precious bacon-cooking hand!) quite a lot. And then I sat around for most of the day with my hand in a bowl of cold water. It was The Lamest. My hand didn’t fall off or anything, but you should see the amazing blisters and how the hand is now basically all “THIS SKIN IS A LOST CAUSE, DUMP IT”. I mean, you shouldn’t. It’s sort of revolting and creepy. But it’s THERE, if you wanted to check it out.
Having Creepy Burn Hand sucks for several reasons:
1) Surprisingly hard to brush teeth with non-dominant hand.
2) Have to shower in weird way where you hold hand up out of the spray, totally embarrassing.
4) Baby items.
Re: item #3, I am supposed to be packing up our apartment while Seth is away, on account of how we’re moving at the end of the month*. I have been completely taken aback by how difficult it is to do the most mundane tasks if your dominant hand is a bacon casualty. This is a super-trite thing to say, but it’s amazing how much you take for granted things like “functional opposable thumbs” and “pincer grip”.
Which brings me to item #4: difficulty in making BABY THINGS and WHY THAT IS TERRIBLE.
Basically, I have noticed that pre-parental anxiety manifests itself in totally different ways in Seth’s brain and my brain.
To the extent that Seth actually has pre-parental anxiety, it involves sensible things like “How am I going to provide for this kid?” or like getting grumbly about health care reform.
Conversely, I am obsessed with insane things like “How can I be expected to have a baby if I don’t have AT LEAST A DOZEN TINY HATS FOR IT?!?”
Or like I have been really consumed with anxiety recently about how you swaddle babies, WHY DON’T I ALREADY KNOW THIS, I obviously can’t be a parent without this crucial knowledge!
Or like I have been extremely, ludicrously concerned about WHAT KIND OF DIAPERS the Lentil will wear. I have spent hours researching this and constructing elaborate cost-benefit scenarios in my head and also sewing tiny flannel diapers with moose on them.
Now, Seth goes “Aw! Look at that. Tiny moose pants.” but honestly I think if it were up to him we’d just stop at the store on the way home from the hospital and he’d pick up some duct tape and some paper towels and that would be fine. Which is obviously the appropriate response, because when my kid is fourteen and screaming “I HATE YOU I HATE YOU!” and storming out of the house because I told him or her they could not drop out of school to form a prog-rock band, nobody will care what the diapering situation was.
I admire how men are kind of casual about the parts of parenting that DO NOT ACTUALLY MATTER. I don’t know if this a sex-linked trait or what, but I have been pretty amazed to notice that all the crazy competitive obsessing women do not necessarily do in other areas of their life all comes out when it comes to parenthood. Like women MUST HAVE the correct crib or the correct co-sleeping arrangement or their baby will FAIL. Whereas you know that men are more like “Check it out, I got this second-hand dog bed from my buddy’s garage. …what?”
And the men are right. If Seth weren’t around, I would probably have a seven-foot-tall pile of hand-stitched baby hats and no plan for keeping the baby in duct tape and paper towels.
So I suspect that as lame as the bacon injury was, and as annoying it is to wield a packing-tape dispenser right now, it was God’s way of making sure that Seth did not come home from Army to discover that I had spent several weeks sewing HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF HATS AND BABY SLEEPSACKS AND STENCILING ONESIES until it was like Gray Gardens up in here, only with baby gear instead of… you know, rats.
*Like salmon, we are RETURNING HOME TO SPAWN.