This week, Hamish took his fifteenth flight. Fifteen flights and he hasn’t even been born yet! I feel like I’m already raising him right. Granted, he was just a bundle of cells the collective size of a poppy seed for the first few—we didn’t even know he existed yet—but still, I feel like maybe I can use this as ammunition for when he’s older (“But you were such a good flyer when you were 21 weeks old! You were so quiet! You didn’t even kick anyone except me!”)
Last Wednesday, I came to London for work, and then on Saturday—when I technically ticked over into 22 weeks, but come on, I hadn’t taken my 21 week picture yet and wouldn’t it be a waste not to do that in front of the Eiffel Tower?—I took the Eurostar to Paris for a day. The original plan was that my sister Susie was supposed to come with me—we’d booked our tickets super far in advance to get the best deal and had been looking forward to it for months—but at 10 o’clock the night before we were due to catch a 6am Eurostar, she discovered she’d forgotten her passport. Thus, the third installment of The Burns Sisters Conquer Paris and The Burns Sisters Conquer Paris Encore Une Fois became, rather pitifully, One Burns Sister Attempts to Conquer Paris, But Finds It’s A Lot More Fun When There’s Someone Else There to Eat Macarons With.
(Wait, what am I saying? Hamish was there with me to eat macarons with. That’s why I ate so many, obviously. I was eating for two! Three, if you count the fact that I figured Susie would probably have wanted me to eat her portion in her absence. Crap, could have got away with eating more.)
I had a lovely, wonderful, extremely tiring time in Paris—I basically walked around all day, thus offsetting (or so one would hope) the extreme macaron consumption—and managed to purchase eight tiny little onesies before noon, all of them adorably sweet and stripey, and one of them even featuring the cutest little illustrations of firetrucks and ambulances. (How can the French make even their emergency vehicles look cool?) I went to the Eiffel Tower—thanks, nice Italian family, for agreeing to take my picture and not blanching when I suddenly whipped off my coat and pulled a set of turquoise papier-mache numbers out of my purse—and the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysées and many, many grocery stores, which are always my favorite place to go when I visit another country, and were, in fact—don't judge—the place I purchased five of the eight adorable onesies (nobody tell Hamish he's dressed in grocery store haute couture and not, like, Yves Saint Laurent.) I also got to feel him kick while I was sitting on the Metro, which made me start smiling like a loon—and several people start staring at me like I was a loon—but it was all worth it, even though I do rather wish he'd maybe start choosing another place other than my bladder to aim his kicky little feet.
In other news, I always thought pregnancy brain was a myth, but it seems to have hit me full-force recently and the way it’s manifesting itself is through a desire to destroy my phone. Around 14 weeks, I dropped it and smashed the back of it. When I was 15 weeks, I dropped it again and smashed the front. At 16 weeks, I left the bathroom at work after drying my hands on a paper towel, picked up my phone—which I’d stashed on a shelf at the front—and promptly threw it into the trashcan, while walking out of the bathroom with the paper towel in hand. Who knows how long it would have taken me to figure out that I’d mixed them up if the woman entering the bathroom hadn’t given me a quizzical look. Would I have put the paper towel to my ear and tried to call someone on it? Would I have attempted to send a text?
As it was, I had to fish my phone out of the enormous trashcan—just as pleasant and magical as it sounds—while trying to give off a casual "oh yeah, totally meant to do that; what, you haven't heard? It's a British custom" vibe to incoming and outgoing bathroom visitors. At 19 weeks, I left it in a restaurant and was only rescued by a very kind woman who chased me halfway up a hill to give it back to me. And, as my most recent act of ridiculousness, last week I dumped the entire contents of my carry-on bag onto the ground at San Francisco International Airport when I became convinced I'd lost it again—my phone, I mean, though you could quite reasonably be forgiven for assuming I meant my mind—mere minutes before getting on my flight. (It was in a side pocket. Of course it was in a side pocket.)
Seriously, will this absent-mindedness go away anytime soon, or do I need to invest in two velcro strips and attach one to my phone and one to whatever piece of clothing I'm wearing at the time? Do I need—oh, please no—one of those belt holsters?
Finally, the 21-week mark heralded the first time Sean and I ever stepped inside a Babies R Us store. Sean swore—quite adorably, although I am assuming also quite untruthfully—that he had been "really looking forward to it" and so we hit up our local branch Saturday night (yep, this is what passes for our social lives these days) and began what became a rather confusing and frustrating foray into the world of stroller research. I mean, help me out here: is it smart to buy one of those "travel systems" with the car seat included, or are we better off getting a stroller with a separate car seat? Does anyone have any opinions vis-a-vis the City Mini GT as compared to the Britex B-Agile? And while we're asking each other questions, is this who I've really become? Man, once I'm not pregnant anymore, I'm going to need to do, like, fifty shots of Jagermeister with Keith Richards to get a little edge back.