An unfamiliar sound woke me from my slumber yesterday morning. ‘Is that the phone?’ I asked the professor in my croaky-from-sleep-and-coughing voice. The phone almost never rings at our house, and certainly not before 7 in the morning. ‘Yes’, he replied. And then the phone stopped ringing, as it tends to do when no one answers it.
I did my still-half-asleep best to imagine who might have called. Lucidity descended upon me, temporarily. ‘Maybe it was my sister….maybe she’s had her baby!’ I announced. Her due date wasn’t for a few days, but apparently there are women in this world who don’t need to be pregnant for 41 weeks – plus – before meeting their spawn.
The professor stumbled downstairs to check the phone. He showed no signs of figuring out who might have called, so I left the comfort of my bed to find out for myself. ‘I don’t know which button you press [to see the caller id]’ he told me as he handed me the phone.
I checked. Sure enough. It was an Indianapolis number. It had to be my sister.
I’m sure the phone has some sort of ‘call-back’ feature, but I don’t know the first thing about how it works. So I had the unpleasant task of memorizing seven unfamiliar digits at the crack of dawn. 260…what was it again? Finally I got a hold of my sister who, despite having just brought a child into the world, sounded like she was shopping at the mall. Compared to moi.
‘You don’t even sound like you,’ she observed. Note to everyone who might call me before 9am: I cannot shrug the croaky voice until I’ve been fully awake for an hour.
But I can muster excitement over baby news.
After I hung up the phone, I began my vigil beside the computer, for the coveted first picture. The Gort woke up, clearly perplexed that neither parent was in bed. ‘Hello?’ he called, hesitantly. I went upstairs to assure him all was well.
‘Tattie had her baby,’ I told him excitedly, ‘do you think she had a boy or a girl?’ ‘We can call her and ask,’ he suggested, unaware that I just wanted to see if he’d guess correctly. ‘I already know,’ I laughed, ‘but what do you think she had…a boy…or a girl?’
‘A girl’, he decided. And he was right. I told him his new cousin’s name. ‘That’s a nice name,’ he sweetly replied, ‘I can’t wait to meet her.’ With that, the conversation was over. It was time to get ready for school. Ever since the alarm clock malfunction, the kid is par-a-noid about being late.
Several minutes later, we were sitting downstairs where I was changing young Percy’s diaper. ‘I wonder why your belly only had boys,’ he mused. And I laughed because I’d heard this line of questioning/accusation before.
‘Something’s strange in your belly,’ he concluded.