Mona is very pregnant. (I know, one is either pregnant or not, but she is right at the end and it’s the first thing you notice about her) She called me the other night with exciting news. “I am feeling pleasure in my tummy,” she told me.

“Uh, good. I guess,” I said. I thought about it. “Do you mean contractions?”

“Yes,” she said.

But it wasn’t quite contractions, since she wasn’t in labour. Donn was the one who figured it out. She meant pressure.

Nonetheless, I am calling contractions “pleasures” from now on.


That was last week. She had a c-section scheduled for Sunday morning at 8 a.m. at a hospital clear across town. She had to be there by 5, and she asked me if I’d bring her mother and her 12 y/o twins to the hospital a little before 8. So I did. We were there all day, till after 7.

Mona told me about her previous c-sections, in Baghdad, where they made her “sleepover”–in other words, gave her a full anesthesia. She was scared to experience the American version, where they only knock you out from the waist down and put up a curtain to block your view. But, she told me later, relieved and happy, that the American version was “too much better, too much easier.” (Her English is excellent, overall, and her few mistakes charming)

The baby is adorable. She has a cleft chin, a dimple, and enormous black eyes like her father’s and older sisters’. She has a lovely round head and tons of silky black hair. I got to hold her a lot in the afternoon, and she gave me lots of those squinty suspicious looks newborns give you, where they squinch their eyes barely open and look at you sideways, obviously thinking, “Who are you and where are we?” I love babies, especially when I don’t have to sleep in the same room as they’re in.

At one point they shooed us all out of the room. Mona’s mum is elderly and has knee pain and a hard time walking and getting out of chairs. I carried a bunch of stuff and herded us all down the hall. We spent some time in a family waiting area before heading down to the cafeteria for some coffee. Again, between the elevator and several long hallways, this took some time. And then I realized I’d inadvertently left my purse in the waiting area.

I called security and they told me they had it, brought it to me. It didn’t take me long to realize my iTouch was gone. It took me longer to realize my camera was gone (I thought I’d left it in the room). It took me till the next morning to realize that the tickets to the midnight opening of the new Batman movie, Elliot’s birthday present, were also gone.

I called security and reported these things missing. I called the police and made a report. I described my things, both to the security guard and the policewoman. “My  iTouch is silver, no case, and it has an inscription,” I told them. “What does it say?” they both asked.

Why do husbands always seem to enjoy doing things that will embarrass their wives? You can’t tell me men ever really grow up! I’m sure many of us have our own stories, which I’m looking forward to reading in comments. Just tonight, I was telling a friend of mine, who is an elementary school principal, about this. She told me what her iTouch says. “TW is HOT!” (Her initials are TW. Although it has her full name, which I don’t feel like sharing with all of you. Nothing personal.)

My  (former) iTouch says, on the back, “Wild Thing.” We can’t remember if it goes on to say “I love you” or “You move me.” I told this to the security guard. “Uh, let’s just assume that’s from Maurice Sendak’s children’s book,” she said drily. When I told the policewoman, I was better prepared. “Husband’s a Hendrix fan,” I muttered shame-facedly. “Ah,” she said noncommittally.

Mona’s family was very sorry about my loss (as am I!). Donn went ahead and cancelled all our credit cards anyway, even though they weren’t missing, since each item taken was in a different area of the purse and the thief obviously took his/her time going through it, deciding what was of interest. Maybe s/he wrote down the numbers and left the actual card, hoping to surprise us later, Donn thought. (He’s naturally suspicious and often right) So we have no credit or debit cards for 10 days.

That was Sunday. On Monday, my computer went out. Donn’s hopeful that he can fix it, but it won’t even give me the tiniest little blue light to show me it’s trying. I’m typing on the kids’ laptop, which someone recently gave us. He built it himself. It runs Linix. I am not complaining in any way; I am very thankful for it, although if I was going to complain I would point out that the mouse pad is very squirrelly and I am recomposing this post, after it lost it even though I had saved it. But I miss my laptop. No I hadn’t done a back-up recently. Even more photos will be gone.

I am expecting my car to break down tomorrow or possibly the day after. I’ll let you know.

Although I don’t expect to replace these things anytime soon, I am doing okay. After all, in the larger scheme of things, these are infinitesimal. The iTouch was already, in this strange world we live in, practically obsolete, although I liked it just fine. The camera had pictures on it that I’m sad to lose, but I’ve lost pictures before and I know I’ll forget about them soon. The baby is healthy and lovely, and her mother was back in full hostess mode by Monday afternoon, telling ME to sit down when I first walked into the room. (Me: No, you sit down. You’re the one recovering from major abdominal surgery!)

They come home tomorrow. Today I took grape leaves to Fiona, who lives in the same apartment complex, so that she could cook them dolma to celebrate their first day home, to give Mona a break. “You come here at 1 to pick up your dolma,” she told me. I don’t know why I’m getting dolma too, but I do know it will be a great addition to the all-American hot dogs and hamburgers we’ll be eating with friends tomorrow evening.