Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Real vs. Royal - A Tale of Two Births

I'm not much of a follower of what's going on with the royal family, but you'd have to live under a rock to not know that they are expecting the arrival of the future king or queen.  And while I know that this has everyone all atwitter, I think the person it has affected most has been Kim Kardashian who had the unfortunate luck to be pregnant at the same time as Kate Middleton.

Even though I make it a point not to feel sorry for people who purchase homes for around $11 million, I couldn't help but pity Kim a little for constantly getting compared to the most perfect
pregnant woman in the world.

Of course, I also feel kind of bad for Kate.  As all of us parents know, once we have that little bundle of joy, the focus on us shifts completely over to the said bundle.  And it is obvious that Kate has recently been demoted from gorgeous princess to "that lady who's going to squeeze out the next royal polo player."

Anyway, as I said before, I don't follow the royal family much.  However, I am addicted to US Weekly.  So, I just finished reading about all of the preparations that are underway to get ready for the newest little addition.  And I couldn't help but compare it to my own experiences when I gave birth to three very regular American kids.


Royal:  To quote Us Weekly, "as soon as Kate feels that first contraction, she alerts her private secretary who rings Kate's doctor on his palace-issued mobile phone." 

Real:  When I felt my first contraction, I tried to wake my slumbering husband who was dead asleep, thanks to the large amount of beer he had consumed during the Air Force/CSU football game that day.  I believe he took more pain medication than I did after the birth, thanks to his pounding hangover.


Royal:  180 journalists have been camping out in front of the hospital so they can have a prime baby-viewing spot when the newest royal makes his/her debut and the delivery room has been sanitized since July 1st.  The official family photographer has been banned from drinking as his presence will be required immediately after the birth.

Real:  My dad waited a week after each one was born before making the trip from out of state to see them, ensuring that he would not have to witness anything resembling the messy part of the actual birth.  And while I'm sure the room was properly sanitized, that did not keep my family from sitting there and gulping down large quantities of Good Times while they waited for me to get the show on the road.

I don't think the photographer at Sears had been drinking before he took my kid's picture, but I can't be entirely sure.


Royal:  A sterling silver commemorative penny from the Royal Mint will be given to all of the children born in the UK on the heir's birthday.

Real:  Yeah.  We didn't have that.  The Mint told us that their penny maker was broken that day.


Royal:  "The child will probably have three or four Christian names and they will have to go through certain channels to make sure of the details such as who's previously had the name."

Real:  We just wanted to make sure our kid's name didn't rhyme with booger and that he or she sounded more like a CEO than a felon (but these days, that's pretty much the same thing).


Royal:  William will call his grandmother, the Queen, on an encrypted phone that has been installed in the delivery suite.

Real:  Couldn't he just update his Facebook page like everyone else does?

Royal:  "Royal aides then race to notify the heads of the 54 Commonwealth countries....Within an hour, of Kate giving birth, a bulletin with the heir's gender, weight, and time of birth will be chauffeured in its own car to Buckingham Palace."

Real:  I think we sent an email out to my extended family some time during the month after each kid was born.  I know I sent birth announcements for the first kid, but after that it just seemed like too much work.  As for the countries I run...they still don't know anything for sure.  We're keeping it under wraps until each child begins their reign of terror at the age of 13.


 Royal:  Hundreds of well-wishers are expected to be outside the hospital when the new little royal family leaves.

Real:  I don't know about the rest of you mothers, but leaving the hospital with a newborn was never my finest hour.  No make-up, droopy maternity wear (because you can't fit into pre-pregnancy stuff yet, but you don't have that big bump to hold everything up), my hair frizzy from the hospital shower and the immediate slump back into my bed, and every female part on my body hurting for various reasons...I think if I had to expect hundreds of well-wishers, I'd ask the Queen Mum if there was room in the budget for some sort of stunt double.

So, after reading this article, I thanked my lucky stars that I gave birth to three average children who did not cause the world to constantly watch me until I popped them out.  And while I know my kids didn't get their own pennies and I was unfortunate enough to have to use a regular phone to announce our big news to the mere handful of people who really cared...I'm so grateful that I didn't have the entire world photographing my every move as I gained 50 pounds and had the heads of 54 countries watching me like some royal ticking time bomb.

So, I tip my crown to you, Kate Middleton.

You got jewels, girl.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

From 7 to 37 - What We're Reading This Summer

Me - 37
I started out my summer sitting on my couch getting absolutely nothing done because I had gotten sucked into Caroline Leavitt's Is This TomorrowI have been a fan of Caroline's for years, but I think this one is one of my favorites - it grabbed me from the beginning and wouldn't let go. 

From there I moved on to The Good House by Ann Leary (fabulous) to The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman (sad, but gripping), and now I'm on a Anne Rivers Siddons kick.  I'd read Peachtree Road years ago and happened to pick up Off Season a week ago at the used book store.  I got so hooked that I ran out and bought four more of her books.  They're addictive enough to keep you interested, but you can easily concentrate on them while you're sitting next to the pool.

Haley - 11
My daughter has always been a huge fan of Beverly Cleary (LOVE Ramona!) so when I saw several books by her that looked a little more mature, I snapped them up - First Love, Fifteen, and The Luckiest Girl are sitting on her shelf waiting to be read

But right now, Haley's literary heart belongs to Sarah Dessen.  Her nose was buried in Dreamland during the spring and she constantly carries around Lock and Key so she can read it when she has a spare minute (which, in pre-teenland is rare).

Michael - 9
Like many mothers out there who are parenting young boys, it's hard to make the flutter of pages sound more enticing than the sounds of construction that come from Minecraft.  But I'm determined to win.

Enter the 39 Clues series.

Michael had been a fan of the Magic Treehouse series when he was little, so when another mom at the bookstore told me, "My son loves 39 Clues.  It's like Magic Treehouse for older kids."


Sarah - 7
I don't know if I'm alone on this one, but I was pretty happy to see my daughter's interest in the Junie B. Jones series wane and watch her move on to Ivy & Bean.  Her bookshelf is full of the Beverly Cleary Ramona books that my older daughter has outgrown and, of course, picture books about bugs.

Every once in a while she still asks me to read her a story before bedtime.  This is code for "let's read Dinosaur, Dinosaur together" because we've come up with our own way to rap the story.

Who knew that a picture book could bring out the DJ Mama in me?