Monday, February 25, 2013

Any Day Now...

Bilguins of Montana
"I don't think I'll be a good mother," Alison Aiken informed me this morning.

Really!?! And why is that?

"Because," she said. "I don't think this baby is ever going to be born!"

She is right, of course, that the kid is about six days past its projected due date -- an arbitrary date set months in advance that doesn't really mean anything. She's wrong about it never coming; that kid will be here within two weeks. And something tells me she'll be rewriting the book on what good mothering looks like!

Meanwhile, as we play this waiting game, we have gotten great support from family and friends from all over. Take the above photo of three bilguins, expressing their support from Montana. Bilguins, as many biologists will tell you, are a cross between the Antarctic penguin and the Australian marsupial, the bilby. Although migratory patterns take them to all corners of the globe, their largest concentrations in North America are the northwestern corner of Montana, some urban centers along the east coast, and, most recently, New England.

Bilguins survive on fish, M&M's, both of which they enjoy washing down with beer.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

You know you're in Vermont when...

Conspiracy Theory

I'm starting to think this whole thing has been a ruse. That's right: a trick to get me to do the cat litter.

The backstory: I made no secret when I married Alison that I was a dog person. Yet when the cat of one of her patients had kittens, I was a good sport when Ali showed up with Waffle -- a cute orange kitten. I said just two things:

     1) when it stops being cute, I might trade it (the            kitten) in.
     And 2) I'm not changing the litter box.

I didn't make good on either promise: at 12 pounds, Waffle is still with us. And -- from time to time -- I changed the cat litter. But make no mistake; for the most part, the litter box has been Ali's responsibility.

Fast forward to this past June. There we are, sitting in the midwife's office telling them we're preggers. Before uttering "congratulations" or "that's wonderful," all eyes turned on me. As if it was the most obvious thing in the world, they said: "A pregnant mother can not change cat litter."

Apparently, there's something in cat litter that's poison to a developing fetus (duh, don't you know?). Again, they all looked at me, nodding in agreement. "Mark," they said (still nodding), "that litter box is all you."

How do you argue with that?

So, yes, it has been nine amazing months of watching Alison grow this new member of the human race...

... and nine months of scooping that box out after the cat.