The Bodacious Belgrade Blog

October 5, 2008

Life After The Couch. Baby Looms.

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 4:15 pm
Tags: , , ,

6 weeks. It’s been 6 weeks.

I have been unable to walk for 6 bloody weeks. My wife is 34 weeks pregnant. We have reached the point where neither of us can get up without a serious struggle.

2 weeks ago, when i first thought the cast would come up, i was elated and excited. Now, i’m just cautiously skeptical that there will ever be life with 2 legs. If there is, tomorrow is supposed to be that day.

Maja, of course, has LISTS of things for me to do once liberated. The most important is going to buy all the baby stuff. She’s been nesting like a bird in heat. She makes arts and crafts that turn into household knick knacks. We have 3 artsy stands made out of magazines. The bedroom has been decorated, redecorated, papered, color coordinated, and lit so that there are color swirls on the ceiling.

Lots of curtains. She had a curtain phase a few weeks ago.

She’s made coasters.

We’ve payed to have this old woman house cleaner from a small village outside belgrade bus in to scrub and clean our place. (Maja’s wanted this for years. I’ve been set against it. Finally, after a talk with a friend of ours in London [hi Goran] who has a russian girl come clean their place and mentioned that it quite simply does wonders for your relationship, i grudgingly agreed.)

This trulyl was a brilliant move. Maja is bright shiny super giggly happy after the place gets cleaned, which is great for me. She doesn’t complain for days about anything in the apartment which is great for me. It only costs us $30 which is great for me. It’s GREAT! I feel a little weird sitting on the couch while this woman cleans up our messes, scrubs our floors, and shalacks our bathroom. Actually, i feel REALLY weird sitting around while she does her thing, but she doesn’t seem to mind.

I feel my soul has lost the class war. But my place is clean and my wife happy, so hey, party on Bourgeoisie!

So yes, if all goes smoothly i will spend tuesday standing in a baby store for half the day while maja, and her mom probably, pick and choose and primp and inspect and debate baby stuff.

It’s not that i won’t be involved, or that i’m not interested. It’s more that, unless it’s music equipment or books, i tend to make purchasing decisions quickly. Especially if it involves items of necessity. Get in, get out, that’s my motto. I need a “*”. Oh, look, the “*” section. Red, brown, gree… oh red’s fine. Is the price okay? Great let’s go.

This is of course antithetical to how women work. When faced with a selection of 100 different baby bibs, i say whatever catches the eye. Oh look, i glanced at that one. It must want to be my bib. Or it’s fated to be my bib. Either way, great. Bib down. Let’s go.

“Buni, wait! Here look at THIS one. Oh. my… look at THIS. Okay what do you think about this kind versus that kind? But those don’t go with the curtains of his little one piece. Maybe we should rethink this. What if instead of… but maybe…. oh i don;t know. Which kind were we looking at? Maybe we should start from the beginning…”

My way is SO painless. We need a bib. There’s a bib. Is the price okay? Great, let’s go.

There is an exception to this practical philosophy:

The Stroller.

I am SO into the stroller. I check out every stroller that passes me on the river walkway where i hobble just to assure myself there is still an outside. I make notes and have an entire stroller rating system. They’re like the car/suvs of the baby world.

Double wheels. Gotta be double wheeled, compartment in back, one under, good frame… the new 3 wheeled style is AWESOME and sleek. Little expensive,  but we’ll see. Transforms from bed to seat, cover has peek in window…. i’m telling you i got a thing for the strollers. It’s well established that the stroller is the one item i will be choosing and have final veto or pass power.

My own mother reminded me not to worry about the baby stuff too much. When she brought me home from Arizona, she of course had NOTHING, not a single bottle, since she had no idea she was going to have a baby. It could have taken another year for an eligible child to pop up. Instead, one night at 3 in the morning the phone rang. It was a lawyer who said that a male child had just been born in Tucson, Arizona, and if she could get there in 24 hours, it would be hers.

So off she went, returned a week later (i wasn’t allowed to be put on a plane until about 9 days old) to a a baby-stuff-less house. Of course HER mother and various friends quickly arrived with stuff, especially the basics, and i obviously didn’t starve when i was 2 weeks old.

Still, the getting of all the stuff is hugely psychological. It’s part of nesting, and Maja has got the nesting urge something fierce. I think it makes sense. She questions whether she feels ready and can’t sometimes believe she’s actually going to have a baby, and nesting is part of acceptance and readiness.

I’ma bit more ready for the actual baby. I’m in disbelief that labor is going to occur. What i have a hard time imagining is that one day, at some time, night? day? evening? morning? Maja is going to say “AHHH! Jesus!! Oooooo….. Buni… i think that was a contraction.” At which point we will wait to see if she has another. We will have probably done this before, since women have “practice contractions” for some time before the actual Big Day.

But on THIS day they will keep coming. We will time. They will come. Hours will pass. And then there will be a hospital. And then…. uh….. there’s ll be lots of breathing…. and relaxation techniques…. screaming i believe… gooey bloody glump…. look i’m not complaining, i KNOW i have the better end of the bargain on this, but… i mean come on, it’s a bit intimidating.

Maybe we should start by naming the baby.

Yes, so, life after the couch. A life of baby supplies and hopefully some apartment painting. Maybe i can get a bit of music done. Finish the re-edits of the Iran book, maybe even score another gig. Maybe, just MAYbe, there will be sunshine and fish soup. Mmmm, fish soup. Spicy, red, fishy goodness.

One day more…..


  1. You are correct. The stroller is ALL IMPORTANT. Considering the amount of time you’re going to spend pushing it over unpredictable terrain, that sucker better be battle-ready. When at last Nathan was past stroller age, we gave our blue checkered workhorse away to an expecting family, and I nearly teared up a little. That stroller will become your dear friend, no doubt about it.

    Dang, I kinda miss it now. Oh well, it’s making someone else’s life livable. Circle of life & all that. But yes, choose wisely. If you can find it, I recommend the Graco travel system:

    You can’t kill it, I swear. And I put it through some serious abuse.

    Comment by matthew — October 5, 2008 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  2. The Bumbleride Indie stroller is the best thing ever. It’s got three wheels, with air for shock absorption, you can put any infant car seat in it for the first couple of months, and it turns on a dime. I never thought I would care about strollers, but every time I use this thing, it makes me very very happy. Good luck on the stroller search and the birth of your baby!

    Comment by leighnut — October 5, 2008 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

  3. Man, I’m so excited for ya’ll. Yay babies.

    Well, as Matt said the travel system was good because it was partly a car seat, too…you might also want a rain-cover plastic thingy, since I assume it both rains and snows a bit in Serbia. Don’t want Junior getting sleet in his little face.

    I didn’t know I was nesting till I found myself frantically putting together bookshelves while 8 mos pregnant. They COULD NOT WAIT. We are mammals, after all. At least I wasn’t pulling hair off my head and using it to make a nest under the sink.

    Feel no shame about housecleaners. If it were possible, I get one LIKE THAT.

    If you can find these things called “babylegs” over there, or a knockoff of same, they are also cool. Basically leg warmers for babies; what they do is allow you to leave the legs covered and warm while changing the diapers or clothes. Wish they’d had them when Nathan was born.

    Our most frequently used items at first were bottles and little “receiving blankets”–they are the MacGuyver of the blanket world. Roll them up to prop up little heads! Layer them to keep baby warm! Put down over pee stained crib sheet so you can leave changing it for the next morning! Improptu bibs! Shoulder spitup protectors! Etc. Cloth diapers do the same thing, but with a moose baby like ours, we needed the larger ones. In a REAL pinch, like snowed in or something, you could use them and a little duct tape to make an emergency diaper. I haven’t done so, but my mom did, she swears.

    Have you practiced your swaddling skills, by the way? You will need them.

    Comment by emjaybee — October 5, 2008 @ 10:16 pm | Reply

  4. I have never swaddled in my life. I used to assume that if were to be swaddled it would mean my butt would hurt afterwards, but now i realize i will be doing a bloody lot of it. I don’t even know the first thing, technique-wise. Stick him in like chicken in a burrito, that’s about my conception so far.

    Comment by bunitingi — October 6, 2008 @ 5:01 pm | Reply

  5. They actually make velcro-ed swaddle blankets, you know (“Miracle Blanket” is the fanciest, but there are others). Don’t know if they have them in Serbia. If not, there are many online guides to the technique.

    Dad-friendly video here:

    Comment by emjaybee — October 6, 2008 @ 5:50 pm | Reply

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