I’m a bundle of emotions, which isn’t anything new when it comes to mommies-to-be, but definitely something new to me. The other day, I was wearing black maternity pants and a white wife-beater over a sports bra, and as Rob and I walked to his mom’s place and I grew increasingly self-conscious about my waddling, I swore a bird was laughing at me. It made this sound, like a low, hoarse smoker’s laugh, and bleated it over and over again while following us for two blocks. It so happened that Rob had just commented on how I looked like a penguin, and when I heard the bird I asked if maybe its laughter had anything to do with me.
“Yeah,” Rob joked, motioning to me. “It’s laughing at the big penguin waddling on Flatbush.”
So, of course, with the hormones running through my system, I took this to heart and almost burst into tears. “Really?” I cried, my eyes wide, incredulous. “I look like a penguin? Really?!”
Rob thought this was all part of the friendly banter we usually have, but no. I was serious. And the fact that he was laughing and poking fun at me was not well received. As he saw tears clouding my vision, he immediately changed gears. “Love, you know you make a beautiful penguin, right?” he cooed. I huffed at the thought of looking like a waddling penguin and he tried again. “Seriously. You look beautiful.”
We got to his mom’s house and I ran to the bathroom to pee. I was still in a huff, still on the brink of real tears, when I caught my reflection in the bathroom mirror, remembered Rob’s words, and felt a little bit better. I do make a beautiful penguin. Waddling or not.