Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
TITLE: Waddle Walking
By Yvonne Blake
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Counting on my fingers, twice, I figure I'm only eight days overdue--only a week past the day I should be thin and beautiful again. I am tired of wearing these same clothes that barely fit. I am hungry all the time, especially for olives and caramel lattés. Plus, certain smells like Harold's socks and garlic sausages make my stomach turn inside out.
“I'm coming!” I push behind me with one hand and grab the arm of the couch with the other and stand up. Well, my knees and hips are moving up, but the rest of me is sagging a bit. “Ooomph!”
“Hello?...puff, puff... Hello?”
“Oh, rats, I missed them. I wonder who called?”
Since I'm up, I might as well do something. I press on my lower back and waddle into the kitchen. Before washing up the breakfast dishes, I think I'll have a snack. Looking in the frig, I spy some leftover pizza. Mmmm...perfect! I pop a couple grapes in my mouth and grab some cheese.
“Are you hungry, too?”
Sigh...the dish is on the floor! Spreading my feet apart and hanging onto the table I lean over, like a giraffe getting a drink, and plop a spoonful of catfood into her bowl—of course, holding my breath against the smell. While I am upside down, I notice a quarter near the frig. I waddle closer and pick it up. Oh, it's an Alaska one! Looking around, I wonder if there is anything else down there I can do. I notice my legs were getting hairy, but that would have to wait.
Feeling like a bloated Barbie doll, I straighten my back. Catching my reflection in the hall mirror, I wince. I definitely don't look like any Barbie doll-- more like one of those chubby Cupie dolls, especially with this pink maternity t-shirt that doesn't quite meet the top of my elastic pants. I pull it down, stretching the words “BABY ON BOARD” into a curve. It springs back up, showing my bulging belly button. I stick out my tongue at myself.
The mailman must have a package that doesn't fit in the box. I open the door and wave. There are only four steps off the porch, but when I can't see my feet, I feel like I am descending down into the Grand Canyon with my eyes closed. I grasp the railing and waggle my foot around until it sits firmly on each step. The mailman smiles as I approach.
“Good morning, Mrs. Sawyer. I see you haven't had your baby yet. Have a great day!”
"Of course, I haven't had it yet!" I grumble to the cloud of dust. Do I usually look like I swallowed a basketball?
As I turn back toward the house, a twinge wraps itself around my middle like a python. I hold my breath and grab the mailbox for support with both hands. Is this it? Is the baby coming today? Finally, the pressure subsides and I feel like jumping for joy--well, at least on the inside. I don't want to slip and fall on my... patooka!
Scattered at my feet are the envelopes and package. With a sigh, I assume the giraffe position again, but looking more like an elephant walking on my hands and feet all the way to the porch steps. “Unnnph!” Another python squeeze holds me in its grip. At this rate, it will take a hour to get inside to call Harold.
“Honey? It's time! Yes! Yes! Come as soon as you can. I'll get dressed and be waiting for you.”
I check my suitcase; baby clothes, thank you cards, chap stick, clean underwear, toiletries... I hear Harold's car pull in the driveway. After another tight contraction, I meet him with a smile.
“Are you sure it's time?” He leans down with a kiss.
“Yes, let's go.”
“Darling? I think you better look down at your feet.”
Easy for him to say! Grabbing his shoulder for support, I lift up one foot. Fuzzy slippers are comfy and nice, and probably excusable in this situation, but I suppose it would be better if they matched.
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