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Getting Physical

Disclaimer: This blog is not about sex. If I were a good blogger, I would lead you on to believe so until the very last possible moment, but since I like to think I have one last wispy shred of integrity left, I will just be up front with you. There. Now go read Perez Hilton or something if the following is of no interest…

(Resume normal blogging now)

“Yips,” said Drew, for the fourth time. “Yips.” I know he is referring to “lips,” as in he is wanting to watch the Veggie Tales movie entitled “I Love My Lips.” It actually sounds more like “Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-PS” (insert giant gasp) because of his stuttering. Problem is, Drew has already watched two videos this morning, he is still in his pajamas, and he smells like poopy syrup. It’s already 9:30.

Some mornings, I just can’t get it together.

I tell him reluctantly that no, we can’t watch Lips, and we need to get dressed and get ready for the day. He doesn’t understand this line of reasoning and collapses onto the ground in an impressive display of dramatic upheaval. I leave the room. As I’m walking down the hallway, a shooting pain rockets through my right hip like a hot shard of glass. I cry out. I catch myself against the wall. “Mommy,” whimpers Drew, startled.

“It’s OK. Mommy’s OK.” I hobble down the hall with Drew’s smelly little self in tow. I heave my body up the stairs — all nine months pregnant of it — and hoist Drew onto the changing table — all 31 lbs. of him. He squirms and whines and begins disagreeing with me that he has, in fact, pooped. He never likes to own up to it, as if the evidence wasn’t before us in all its awful glory. He successfully squeezed out a few drops of pee in his potty last week — a milestone of epic proportions. But since Saturday, he has shown no interest in performing that dog-and-pony show again, especially not when it comes to the more unsavory aspects of waste elimination.

So here we are: my hip socket slipping in and out of alignment, the nerves surrounding it crunching and firing and giving off warning flares, and Drew exhibiting all signs of being two-and-a-half, wiggling his soft cheesy legs and pinching the loose skin on my elbow as I wipe his big baboon bottom.

By now, it’s only 10:00 a.m. I yawn.

I was reading a blog last week by author Donald Miller, who has been “allowing” his dog to “write” his blog this week while he gets some other writing projects completed. One of “Lucy’s” entries makes the point that dogs don’t realize they have bodies until someone scratches their tummy. And really, why would they? The bulk of their life involves playing and sniffing out dirt clods in the back yard. Their bodies allow them to connect to the things they live for — investigating, playing and reveling in human affection — but dogs don’t believe the lie that says all we are IS a body. A body is simply a vehicle in which we hitch a ride through life -- like a Jeep, if you watch Seinfeld. Donald Miller was making the point that people give too much credence to our body’s appearance; that we’re too self conscious, too body conscious. Which is true, under normal circumstances.

But I suspect Donald Miller has never been a pregnant woman with a toddler.

I’m not really talking about how goofy-looking we feel in public as preggos hauling toddlers around on our backs like orangutans, or how it can be a small grief to lose our sex appeal. I’m referencing the general experience of being in a body that has been so completely overhauled and continues to surprise us with its developments on a daily basis (think stretching, sagging, leaking), while at the same time being responsible for another newer little body that hasn’t yet learned to control itself — much less feed or cloth itself. Pregnant mommies of toddlers are consumed with physicality. We’re all about bodies, but not necessarily for vain or shallow reasons. We can’t just prance through life like oblivious golden retrievers.

Last week, the doctor told me that Madeline’s body was weighing in at about 6.5 lbs, which, according to the doctor’s calculations, could indicate a hefty eight-pound corn-fed Midwestern gal when she’s fully baked. Except she’s from Texas and we don’t live on a farm. But hefty, nonetheless. Then I started wondering about other things — would she have hair? The black hair Drew was born with? Will she come out an oompa-loompa shade of purple, like Drew did? Would she have the most beautiful face in the world…like Drew?

I think God gave us bodies to inhabit and enjoy, and to admire when we see other bodies. We have an advantage over dogs in that we’re conscious that our exterior is just what it is: exterior; that we also have an interior. But I don’t necessarily think one is better or worse than the other. What can I say? I love contemplating nature with all of my imaginative faculties; I love connecting with God through the meditations of my spirit within.

But I also just Love My Lips. And my hips. (Sure wish they’d get their act together, though.)