Every time I get pregnant it's the same scenario (the variable being how many people live in the house). Roughly 35 seconds after conception I start throwing up like a cancer patient. Shortly thereafter, I stop talking to all my neighbors and most of my friends. All non-essential life support systems are shut down. This includes things like watering plants, answering the phone, showering every single day, and writing notes to the school to excuse absences. (If you're wondering how I manage that, it's like this:
To Whom It May Concern,
Please excuse all of the [Aberjaber] children from any and all absences between (fill in the month) and (fill in the month). I assure you, if they were allowed to stay home during this time period, it was only because they were deathly ill. If you have a problem with this you may call me.
I have yet to receive a call.)
So usually the first nonessential things to go are the plants. They put on a good show, trying to stay perky for as long as possible; but in the end they always either die or are mortally damaged before some other member of the family takes pity on them. I am not proud of this. I feel as bad about this as you might feel about neglecting to feed a family pet- but, there it is.
Please don't misunderstand. I am not one of those black thumb people. Thank goodness, no. Plants can be mostly content coexisting with me. That said, I don't have a green thumb either. I acquire plants most often from My Beautiful. My Beautiful is one of those green thumb people. That is probably understating it. If the truth be told, she is sort of like the Layla character on "Sky High". Her MANY plants really know when she is home and they are all constantly vieing for her attention. "Look at me, I'm so big and full!" "No! Look at me! See how all my leaves are the deepest shade of green and I am so perfect and shiny I don't even look real?" "I have all these flowers I bloomed especially for you!" My Beautiful can grow anything. Indoors, outdoors, garden, pot, or planter box- the plants grow for her as if she is the sun and the rain. She really is that wonderful. When you think about it, you can't really blame the plants.
So my plant acquisition always goes something like this:
My Beautiful: I was thinning some of my gorgeous plants because they are so thick and luxurious they can't possibly continue in one pot. (I may be paraphrasing here a little.) I have a whole bunch of starts. I already potted most of them but I have a few left. Would you like to have one?
Me: Yes! Of course!
My Beautiful: You'll need to get a pot. This (fill in the blank) likes a lot of (this type of fertilizer). You'll need to give it...
Be sure to...
I think I have some (whatever kind of fertilizer/soil conditioner) if you want me to bring it over next time I come. (Then, seeing the glazed over look on my face and the expression of complete bewilderment as I say-)
Me: Sooooo... I water it then. How often...?
This is when she realizes that the poor little start doesn't really stand a chance with me. Then the next time she sees me she brings an already-potted and fertilized start that has been nursed along a bit and is doing quite well. This is the main reason my plants always look so nice and are healthy for years at a time- they are still basking in My Beautiful's care of them. Then, one of two things happens:
- I get pregnant and they die.
- I get pregnant and they become only "mostly dead". Again with the Princess Bride- must be time to watch that again.
(Note that NOT getting pregnant never happens. Ever.)
So then I do one of two things:
- I throw the plants away and wait until I am deemed capable of plant stewardship again, or
- I pull off all the dead leaves and water them twice a day and hope that if I do this a lot, they will not end up bald like Aphrodite. (Aphrodite was an aptly named, huge golden pothos with tendrils 5 feet long and was our college apartment mascot- yes I know what a mascot is-. She thrived for 3 years until she was turned over to my care when I got married. Aphrodite lived happily with me- until I got pregnant. Poor Aphrodite. She was never the same. A moment of silence.)
I think my plants are going to come out of this pregnancy unscathed. And that is the silver lining.