If we followed the recipe correctly, a week from today we should have a baby.


Are we ready? By all accounts that’s a dumb question, so I’m trying not to ask it of myself too often. There’s one more picture we need to frame and hang in the nursery; a burnt-out halogen lightbulb in the living room; and new paint for the freshly-remodeled bathroom, which may or may not be achieved before D-Day. There’s still room in the freezer for more individually-packaged slow cooker meals. And of course, there’s all the lazing about and sleeping that everyone has been counseling us to pack in before we MAY NEVER SLEEP AGAIN.

It’s an ordinary Saturday morning at the Embassy of Narnia, perhaps our last ever. I’m sitting at the breakfast bar, noodling away at my laptop, and & is making waffles. The dishwasher is running. We’re listening to Scott Simon on NPR. The place is quiet, relatively clean, and suddenly precious: I am dogged by a paranoid need to savor every second of this, by the fear of everything that we’re purportedly about to lose. Are our calm, contented, grown-up lives really about to end? Are we really about to give up everything that we have come to relish, on the blind and uninformed wager that whatever follows will make us happier?

Bit late to second-guess that now, I suppose. Rien ne va plus.

And I *am* ready. If not for the unforeseen tempests of new parenthood, then at least for the end of this pregnancy. (My obstetrician friend Shefali has dubbed this condition TOPS — “tired of pregnancy syndrome.”) As wonderful as it’s been to carry a person around in my gut for nine months and change, it will be lovely to be able to breathe deeply again, to lay on my back and then sit up, to pee in quantity, to forget all about the complex system of bones in my groin and how they can grind up against each other. And the thought of recovering my concave waistline gives me the happyshivers, no matter how much dietary discipline that may require.

Still, I feel I should be making the most of this last week of childlessness, however that’s done. What remains to be crossed off our baby bucket list? We’ve remodeled at home, traveled abroad, performed to sellout crowds and standing ovations, eaten dozens of fancy restaurant lunches and taken hundreds of naps. What else should we be doing, these last few days before Mayhem arrives?