I am pregnant. This means that I am hormonal, sometimes easily bothered, and rather cranky at times. This also means that I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep because God is preparing me for staying up at night with a newborn. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that just incredible that He does that? I am so thankful! (That was dripping with sarcasm, even though it is actually amazing and incredible.)
I am combining these two traits of pregnancy–irritatedness (not a word, I know) and insomniaticalism (also not a word) to bring you this list of things that are under my skin at 1:29 A.M. and are somehow preventing me from going to sleep, even though my body desperately needs rest.
1. All this talk about Jameis Winston. (Disclaimer: I am an Auburn fan but grew up a Seminole and they are still my #2 team.) Yes, I realize I am adding to “all this talk” by bringing this up, but I am awake during the middle of the night. Let’s not squabble over the details. Okay, first of all, I detest what the guy said. I think it was a horrendous statement to shout from the top of a table to other college kids, especially considering the very serious dropped charges that are still under investigation by FSU. When you are arguably the best quarterback in the country and you have won the Heisman, you need to step up and represent. However, it’s time to shift the conversation to one of growth. This guy is not the only football player who has said disgusting, disrespectful things about women. Google it. It’s pretty common. And it is certainly not a problem only relegated to athletes. The topic of conversation should not be a 20-year-old who yelled something he had heard on the internet but instead how these phrases become a part of people’s vocabularies to begin with. I won’t apologize for being a feminist on this point: Women are not objects. You expose your complete lack of class when you use the b-word or the p-word in a phrase that slips off your tongue as easily as phrases like “thank you” and “you’re welcome” do for those who possess a sense of dignity. Let’s talk about the music, the movies, and the home lives that contribute to a culture of degradation for women. Let’s mothers talk about living a life that causes your son to rise up and call you blessed. I know I could be encouraged to do a better job at that.
2. Moving away from football and ESPN-related topics (whew, so uncomfortable in that zone) and onto topics of much greater importance in my life, let’s discuss NPR correspondents who begin their sentences with the word “so.” You are an NPR correspondent or a guest on a nationally-acclaimed news show. Please, do not begin your sentence with a conjunction if you are not conjoining anything. I only took one journalism class and recognize that I am not an expert, but this seems so unprofessional. Yes, I do sometimes succumb to this cultural phenomenon in my blog and in my conversation, but I am not being paid money to sound educated and informative. So just stop it! (Ha, did you catch that use of so? I’ve done it twice in this post so far.)
3. While we are on the topic of grammar, I will share that it also bothers me when people. overuse. the. concept. of. putting. a. period. after. every. word. I think this began with the Best. Day. Ever. phrase. It’s effective, kind of cool, a neat writing tool to use occasionally. However, when overused it just makes me feel. like. I. am. tripping. over. words. Please, do not use it in conversation or a term paper. Just don’t. (Yes, I used this irritating tactic in the title of this article. I am a hypocrite.)
4. Let’s stay with grammar for one more item. I had written “Reaganomics were” in my previous post. This has bothered me immensely. I had originally written “The Reagan years were” and then changed it to “Reaganomics” and didn’t catch that I needed to change the verb to was since I had changed my word choice from the plural years to the singular Reaganomics. I noticed this as I was reading my post on my phone, but I can only edit the blog from the laptop, which I rarely use. Several times over the past few weeks, while I have tried to will myself to sleep, this has popped in my mind and I have considered getting up, turning on the laptop, and editing my post. Some people are kept awake thinking about how they need to go mop the floor, clean the toilet, or marinate the meat. (Hopefully not at the same time! Yuck!) I am kept awake thinking about how I need to clean up my writing or how I could have better word choice. Finally, I succumbed. This edit is, essentially, what pulled me out of the bed tonight (or this morning?) and led to this rant about things that have been going through my mind. It is now corrected. Maybe this will cure the insomnia. One can hope.
5. Wow, I am really stuck on grammar. Every time I reread and edit what I write, I feel the presence of a college professor or two standing over my shoulder, shaking his and/or her heads (head?) at some of my sentences. I dearly appreciate and value the structure of the English language. I still have words that I misspell (the prior one is an example that sometimes trips me up), grammar issues that are sticky for me (meaning I know something is wrong but I can’t put my finger on it), infinitives that seem destined to be split, and I use downright Southern phrases which I’m not willing to altogether give up, especially in the presence of family (y’all, occasionally adding at behind a directional question, etc.). All in all, though, I respect the boundaries set before me when writing a scholarly paper or even a cover letter to a resume. In my informal, conversational writing, however, I take liberties. I end sentences with prepositions. (Really, sometimes “in which” inserted into the middle of the sentence just sounds wordy.) I overuse parentheses (examples may be seen throughout this post). I begin sentences with conjunctions (but I will not do so if ever asked to deliver the news on NPR). I sometimes use run-on sentences or sentence fragments to make a point. These are the things I do to honor the English language and to make my words my own. I hope if you are nit-picky (as all English majors and editors are, myself included), you will relax just a bit and enjoy the unique ways writers bend our language, reshaping it at times, in an effort to express thoughts that just can’t always be best expressed inside of the grammar box.
6. I rented Mom’s Night Out two nights ago, and I haven’t even been able to find the time to watch a movie about a night out, much less have a night out. Abby watched it and said it was funny. Well, that’s something. (Meanwhile, my redbox bill is now up to over four bucks and I’ve only seen snippets of the movie.)
7. (If you are still reading, I’m impressed. This post is nothing if not narcissistic.) Continuing on, it seems that if you have a list, there should be 10 items. That probably comes from years of staying up too late and watching David Letterman as a teenager. (I was a teenager, not Letterman.) Okay, number 7. Hmm . . . I got nothing. (See there? I realize it should be I have nothing, but that just doesn’t have the same ring, does it?)
I am so sorry to those of you who are reading this to get an update on our sweet baby. You had to, at least, skim all of that other stuff first. Please forgive my verbose exercise in emptying the contents of my brain. I do hope I can go to sleep now!
Here’s an update on our little one. (It only seems fair, since you had to muddle through those above musings.) I am 12 weeks, 6 days. We saw our sweet, active baby kicking, punching, rubbing his or her face, and waving at us yesterday on an ultrasound. The baby looks great, and I am doing my best to focus on the fact that our baby is healthy and whole at this juncture. I’m pretty sure I felt him or her move tonight when I reached down to pick something up, thereby constricting its playground. We will return to the high risk doctor again in a few weeks. That’s our scary appointment. We will either come away relieved or absolutely devastated. I just can’t allow myself to go there in my brain tonight, though. I’ve just emptied it. It needs to stay empty so that I can get more sleep before the alarm goes off and I start a new day with the husband and two kids who bring me more joy than football, grammar, and top 10 lists combined!
We appreciate your prayers and we thank you for joining us on this journey! Good night! (Or Good Morning?)