The Little Guy: Part 6, A Birthday

This is the sixth installment in the Little Guy’s Tale, which starts here.

The last “episode” took place the weekend of my fiancé’s birthday.

I had a complicated plan for his birthday.

I was baking a vegan chocolate-peanut butter birthday cake, and bringing a very large surprise.

It was a fountain.

The Fountain of Youth?

Obviously, in my delicate condition, I couldn’t carry that fountain. I would need help. A co-conspirator.

I tracked down my boyfriend’s nephew’s phone number and enlisted him. His job would be to get the fountain out of my car and set it up in the backyard while I created a distraction.

Getting the fountain to my fiancé’s house was another matter entirely, since I lacked a car and he lived across the city.

This was my plan:

Plan Part 1:

  1. Reserve a Zip Car.
  2. Go to the nursery (conveniently enough, a block away from my condo), purchase the fountain and have them hold it for me.
  3. Walk three blocks to another street, catch a bus, ride 10  blocks up the hill to the Zip Car. (The “hill” is literally a mountain, a dormant volcano!)
  4. Do all of the above with my four-year-old in tow, and conduct Step 3 while pushing a stroller with a booster seat balanced precariously on top.

Plan Part 2:

  1. Install the booster seat. Put the stroller in the cargo area.
  2. Drive to the condo, pick up the cake.
  3. Drive to the nursery, and have them load the fountain.
  4. Go to the party, Initiate Operation Surprise Fountain.

But first, an aside: “Zip Car Rant”

If you’ve never used a Zip Car, you may not be familiar with the degree of thought you must put into budgeting your time and money.

Things to consider include:

  • Where’s the closest car available for the time you need it?
  • How much time will it take to get to the car?
  • How much time can you afford to have it out?
  • How much time do you need for your activity?
  • How late can you leave without getting a late fee?

I almost always budgeted too little time, mainly because I had too little money. Without fail, as my time was drawing to a close, I would be speeding, rushing to get the car back to its spot to avoid a late fee of $50.

Once, I got a photo speeding ticket (the first time I used the Zip Car in fact!).

Once, I bumped a sign-pole while parking the car in a crazy, hectic U-turn.

Once, I waited in a torrential down-pour by the side of the road for 20 minutes because the people who had it before me were very, very late.

Every time, using the Zip Car was a desperate, mad dash.

Back to the Party: Operation Surprise Fountain

Trying to get to my fiance’s birthday party, we climbed the hill a couple of blocks since there was no bus in sight.

I felt something leaking down my legs.

I kept quiet about it, crossed my mental fingers, and stopped walking when we got to the next bus stop. We finally got to the car and carried out the rest of the plan.

The birthday party was fun. People liked my vegan chocolate-peanut butter cake, and nobody made me feel ashamed of my growing belly and ring-less left hand. I always felt so conspicuous in my pregnant, unmarried state.

My fiancé loved the fountain, and the surprise almost worked. Good enough!

When it was time to go, I maintained a deliberate air of calm as we said goodbye to everybody.

As usual, when we got into the car, the panic set in. I wasn’t sure if we’d get the car back in time to avoid a late fee.

As we pulled up to the parking spot, doing a U-turn, with seconds to go, I shouted at her to get out of her seat. I tried to trick the Zip Card sensor by opening her door and the trunk, but locking my door and swiping the card so the car would appear checked-in on time. Somehow, I got the stroller out, slammed the trunk and threw the booster seat out of the car. My daughter was, as usual, the only witness to my desperation.

The hemorrhaging didn’t start until after we got home.

But this time, it was different. There was no blood, just pinkish grey… stuff.

I felt for sure, this time, it really was the end. I called my ex-husband and had him pick up our daughter, telling him, “Please come get her. I think I’m having a miscarriage.”

I went to bed.

I called in sick.

I went to the hospital for yet yet another ultrasound. The baby was still there. Whole. Perfect. And the hemorrhage was gone. Vanished.

We had made it through the first trimester.

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Part of the solution since 1973.

11 thoughts on “The Little Guy: Part 6, A Birthday

    1. I knew I should have linked to that!
      We have a car-sharing program in our city. Cars are parked all over the city, and you can reserve them, for about $12/ hour (and pay a monthly membership fee).

      This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for at least 6 months. I always intended to edit it, tighten it up, but I realized I should just post it so I could move on and write the rest of the story. I thought the earlier posts were better written, and more compelling, but this is what happened–and the endless lists show the endless logistical complications of that period in my life.

      Thanks for reading, Carrie.

      1. Thanks La La! It was such a saga. A total roller coaster. I’m going to try to finish up this series–hopefully not more than 9 posts total!!! Thanks for stopping by.

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