Since I hit about month seven in my pregnancy, I have gradually begun to shape my life around one single, solitary goal: avoiding bending over at all costs.
By this point, 34 weeks, there's no way I could bend over even if I WANTED to. Its structurally impossible, like a walrus doing ballet. Consequently, I have to be much more careful not to drop shit now because if I do, the discarded item will just have to remain there until someone more able-bodied comes along or it rots and is carried off my vermin or -- very rarely -- I devise a super sophisticated way to retrieve it from the floor without the use of my immovable backbone. Like picking stuff up with my feet. I've become somewhat skilled at using my foot like a hook, shimmying it under a towel one of my brutish children threw onto the floor and lifting the leg up until I am able to pass it off to my hand.
By the time I deliver, I may be an honorary monkey. Silver linings, folks.
The other ingenious strategy I use to retrieve things without the use of my hands is to bark orders at my kids. I figure I created those hands and now they can repay the favor my being my proxy hands.
Sometimes I'll be polite about it like, "Honey, can you please pick up that pen for Mommy?"
Usually though, its more like, "Pick up that pen please. [Pause] Now. [Pause] Unless, of course, you're also 8 months pregnant with shooting pain in your back and it is impossible for you to bend over. I mean, for the love of God, how much do I have to suffer in this lifetime before someone will HELP me???"
I'm not proud of it but neither am I proud of having created slovenly children who perpetually have wax in their ears, especially when it comes to cleaning up.
It occurs to me that I could learn a thing or two about creative solutions to never bending over from my 80 year old grandmother. Nonnie is a pretty fit, feisty octogenarian, with a few problem areas including stairs, sprinting and bending over -- pretty much the same as me, in my compromised condition. Her FAVORITE household item is a dustpan attached to a pole which she uses, not just to collect dirt and debris, but to retrieve anything unlucky enough to fall to the floor. Cell phone slipped out of her hand? Sweep it into the magic dustpan and empty the pan on the table. BAM. Who needs a functional spine?
I want one of those dustpans, man, bad. Or maybe, even better, one of those toy robot hands they sell at Cracker Barrels nation-wide. Those are super portable -- I could just stick my robot hand in my purse and hit the town. Once I have the baby and regain use of my spine, I could continue to use the robot hand to reach stuff that's just out of reach without getting my ass off the couch. You can steal that idea if you want to. Put it on your postpartum wish list.