Sometimes I swear I have Tourette's.
Tonight I was standing in line at the grocery store behind a nurse who was wearing scrubs and an ID from a nearby hospital. I was only buying a box of wipes and she had a few days of groceries so she asked if I wanted to go ahead of her. "No thanks," I said, "I'm happy to be out of the house for a few minutes and it looks like you're on your way home from work." She smiled and gestured at the wipes "Mine are fourteen and nineteen. It goes fast! How old is yours?"
"I have a one-year-old and a three-year-old."
"Oh, where did you deliver your one-year-old?"
I gave her the name of the hospital, a place I privately refer to as the Guantanamo of childbirth. A place I hated with every fiber of my being to the degree that I told Ryan if we ever had another baby I would be moving to The Old Town during the last trimester so I could deliver there.
"OH! That's where I work! And I'm in Mother-and-Baby! How was your experience?"
She beamed at me expectantly.
I froze as a filmstrip of Wes's first two days played in my mind. Getting woken up three times a night BY NURSES, usually when Wes was FINALLY asleep. Being forced to keep him in the room all the time because there was no nursery. The nurse taking Wes out for his PKU at eleven o'clock at night, fifteen minutes after we finally got him to sleep, then bringing him back inconsolable twenty minutes later. Ryan getting reprimanded for carrying Wes around out in the hall so I could get some rest. The nurse bursting into the room at midnight and turning all the lights on to get my blood pressure. The giant hassle they gave me about giving Wes a pacifier after nursing him for more than an hour. The nurse who pushed Ryan out of the way because she didn't like something about the way he was changing Wes's diaper.
So what did I say? Did I smile and say "great!" like a normal person making polite chit chat with a total stranger in line at the grocery store at eight o'clock at night would? Of course not. Because I am socially awkward.
I gave her the best smile I could muster and said "I think it only bad because my baby was such a difficult newborn." Then laughed nervously and busied myself with my wallet.
She was less friendly after that.