Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You say "nesting." I say "domesticating."

Right up there with the term “giving birth,” I balk at the term “nesting.”

I know, I know, it’s silly. It’s just that “giving birth” makes me think of fluids and placentas and…gasp!...pushing (while “having a baby” is just sterile enough to assist me in envisioning walking into a hospital and walking out the next day with a newborn). I told you, it’s silly. But it’s me.

Nesting, on the other hand, makes me think of hamsters. Dirty little clods of yucky sawdust and poo. Nests are not pretty, if you really think about…but I’ll stop thinking about it and get to the point. Eventually. I also dislike it because I hate it when people assume stuff about my actions with their smug little grins.

“Oh, you are so nesting.”

Oh, I am so not.

I merely spent 9 straight hours reorganizing my spice rack because I had the rational compulsion to do so. Duh.

Nomenclature aside, I’m at 38 weeks and some change and I have this unbelievable need to domesticate everything around me. Me. Our house. Our kitchen. My projects. The closets. (shudder) The garage. (vomit) They are beginning to haunt me and give me this frenetic energy for very detailed, specific tasks and periods of time. Then, of course, I need to sleep on the couch for three and a half hours and eat 2,300 calories worth of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. ‘Tis true.

I made jam this weekend. Not just jam, but two batches’ worth of jam. Purple jam. Red jam. I had it in my hair, under the stove’s vent hood, between my toddler’s toes. By noon it was all cleaned up.

By 4 p.m., I had the itch to bake. And when I bake, I don’t just bake. I embody this “take no prisoners” persona…this manifesto to leave no surface unsullied and no pantry door unopened and un-emptied upon said sullied surface. Hurricane-level destruction occurs when I bake, and it’s not bound to change anytime soon…it’s part of the allure of baking for me.

It’s why Boo and I are kindred spirits in the kitchen together. We are mess makers, taste tasters, and risk takers. But mostly mess makers. So by 5 p.m., we had a plate full of Strawberry Rhubarb Bars that we ate until dinner sounded like the most vile invention ever created and our fingers were dyed red for the next 48 hours.

It was the longest stretch of time I’d spent in the kitchen for the past few months (I avoid cooking whenever I can these days, where “dinner” is often a four-letter word) and at the end of it, all impulse to bake or can or eat was gone. The domesticating instinct came on like a tsunami and retreated just as quickly. I am now back to my usual habit of perusing cookbooks and food blogs, happily imagining what life would be like if I had that plate of Salpicon in front of me.

The bottom line? Nesting by any other name smells just as sweet, and makes me just as manic. I do my best to just go with it, knowing in a few short weeks (or days?), the opposite reaction will begin taking effect.

Commonly known as wallowing or drowning in infant care, the post-partum phase will be upon us with a vengeance any day now.

Who’s excited?!

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