Aunt Flo Returns

Posted: August 27th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Friends and Strangers, Husbandry, Miss Kate, Mom | 1 Comment »

In this family we’re huge fans of the Dr. Seuss book Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?. Not for its soul-affirming feel-good message, but for how totally funny and over-the-top weird and frankly kinda trippy it is. The copy we have is one that Mark got from his Grandma and Grandpa Kohl in 1977 before his family moved from Ohio to Franklin, PA. A few months ago I found it in a box of our books, and was amazed that I’d never read it before, and it’s soooo good. I know I’m not the first to have noticed, but Dr. Seuss’ imagination is brilliant! I want to sit next to that guy at a dinner party, though I think he might be dead.

So yesterday we walked to 4th Street in Berkeley with Adam for the sole purpose of requisitioning ourselves some first-rate ice cream at Sketch. (They make better ice cream than they do websites, btw.) Along the way something caused either Mark or I to refer to that book, and if you’re talkin’ books it seems the odds are good that Adam has read whatever it is you’re talking about. And his son Raulie is one year old today (happy birthday, Small Man!) so one would assume he’s done some solid work reading or rereading the kid stuff. But, sadly and shockingly, this Dr. Suess oeuvre has managed to evade even Adam.

If you too haven’t read it, seek out this book immediately. Until then, I’ll share the section Mark was recounting yesterday:

And poor Mr. Bix!
Every morning at six,
poor Mr. Bix has his Borfin to fix!

[The illustration is of an exhausted old bald man getting out of bed and to confront a big wilted-looking Rube Goldbergesque machine]

It doesn’t seem fair. It just doesn’t seem right,
but his Borfin just seems to go shlump every night.
It shlumps in a heap, sadly needing repair.
Bix figures it’s due to the local night air.

It takes him all day to un-shlump it.
And then…
the night air comes back
and it shlumps once again!

So don’t you feel blue. Don’t get down in the dumps.
You’re lucky you don’t have a Borfin that shlumps.

You think that’s good. Wait til you get to the part about the pants-eating plants in the forests of France!

At any rate, my Borfin–or more precisely I–just could not get un-shlumped today. From the moment I blearily slung my legs off the side of the bed like a paraplegic, and gave myself a couple minutes to tap into my usual wellspring of energy and sass before standing (it was oddly un-locate-able), I was clearly off to a bad start. After one look at me, Mark valiantly offered to take my waking-up-with-Kate shift, sweetheart that he is. But no, I persevered. I need to hone my maternal matyrdom eventually, and this morning was as good a time as any. Besides, I can generally shake off most anything in the morning, even without caffeine or drugs.

And for an hour or so, I managed to deal with Kate in a fairly high-functioning mode. But by the time Mark woke up my backache was back in full throttle and I’d suddenly detected a headache worming its way into my cranium. With just ten minutes to go before I had to nurse her before her nap, I crawled back into bed laughing as I called out to Mark that quite suddenly I fell like sheer Hell. Could he wake me up in 10 minutes?

Despite a short shopping trip to buy Mark a new suit (God, he looks cute in pin stripes) in which I experienced a moderate period of un-shlumpedness (Nordstrom can have an amazing Perking Effect, I’ve found), I was not myself, and got to wondering what was going on with me. I napped twice when Kate did but still couldn’t wake up. I’ve been eating sugar non-stop but still have a bottomless craving for it. And I have a small approximation of a zit between my eyes (whenever I say I have a zit, Mark says, “You call THAT a zit?”). It looks like a bindi that nature intended.

No, no, I’m not pregnant. Though it did seem like pregnancy-type symptoms.

By the end of the day I went to the bathroom and realized (d’oh!) that I’d gotten my period! After a nearly two-year pregnancy and post-pregnancy hiatus, Aunt Flo was back for a visit. As I dusted off my Costco lifetime supply-sized box of Tampax, I called out my news to Mark. “I’m not crazy! There was something going on with me!”

Heck, I feel like a school girl again. It made me remember the first time I “got it.” My mother had taken me to Brick Market Place in Newport to get a wooden-handled Pappagallo purse. It was Middle School couture at the time. I think that day I got a hot pink one with my monogram on it, and a Kelly green one. Later, I amassed a small legion of covers, most likely with matching headbands. Anyway, that day I had a lower backache which was a totally new and weird thing. It was bothering me, but I thought nothing of it until we got home and I realized why. (No matter how many health filmstrips I’d watched, I still missed all the warning signs.) When I walked downstairs to where my mom was standing at the kitchen sink (I can picture it really clearly, actually), she responded to my news with little surprise or fanfare. It was in keeping with her New England roots, and I frankly wouldn’t have wanted her to react any other way.

Which is funny because I can just picture how I’ll be when Kate gets her period for the first time. I’m sure I’ll be all crying and hugging her, and then when we’re out at the grocery store or something, I’ll feel compelled to put my arm around Kate and announce to the check-out lady that my little girl became a woman today. I know it will annoy and embarrass her to her core, but sometimes you just have a feeling about what you’ll do in a given situation, and you just can’t deny it.

1 Comment »

One Comment on “Aunt Flo Returns”

  1. 1 MissThany said at 12:53 pm on October 27th, 2006:

    I came across your blog in a Google of “Schlumped borfin” and I was thrilled to find someone else who used the term! My parents used that all while I was growing up and even went to far as to photocopy the book and if the picture of the schlumped borfin was up, we knew someone wasn’t in a good mood. My son, 3, is very moody and my hubby and I have continued the tradition.

    Glad you found your reason for the schlumping in your home on this day.

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