There’s been a lot of emphasis on “flattening the curve” lately.  In keeping with this current trend, our family is going to do our part by flattening a rather large curve of our own.  The only difference is that our local medical community won’t be getting any relief.

  Quite the opposite.

We will actually be enlisting their help flattening the curve of my youngest daughter’s tummy as she delivers her first child.

In full disclosure, I guess it isn’t exactly a family effort, per se.

In fact, they aren’t even going to let ME in the hospital.  No extraneous personnel allowed.  Each laboring mother is allowed just one “support person” these days and my daughter has chosen the baby’s father.  (You might remember him from last year, when he co-starred in another one of my family’s productions as “The Groom.”)

I never dreamed I’d see the day when one of my very own children would be bringing a child into the world and I wouldn’t be at least a few feet away in the hospital waiting room drowning myself in coffee and prayers, watching that red second hand on the big industrial wall clock…

Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick

But, I do get it.  Kind’ve…

It makes sense in these days of uncertainty over the novel Coronavirus.  I’m sorely disappointed, nonetheless. 

Gracie told me back in September – when she informed me of her (SURPRISE!) pregnancy – that she wanted me in the Labor and Delivery room when the baby emerged into this world.  Not just out in the waiting room, but actually in the delivery room.  I was so delighted.

But, alas, I’ve now been deemed “non-essential.  Never matter, I’ll just position myself outside the Labor and Delivery Room window in the parking lot.

It will be similar to the sonogram I wasn’t allowed to attend.  I did get to participate somewhat via FaceTime.  The technician pointed out what appeared to be static on the screen, informing us it was hair.

It was concentrated on the back of this baby girl’s neck.  What we know thus far…

She’s sporting a Lady Mullet!

At this point, we actually know more about her character and personality, than her looks. We know she fought hard just to exist against some pretty insurmountable odds and then proceeded to battle even harder to stay nestled safely in utero during a grueling 9 hour cancer surgery.  So that tells us a lot.

That tells us she’s got chutzpah, this wee girl.  Which, honestly, could explain the mullet.

I carry my copy of the sonogram picture around in my purse.  When I gaze at it, I’m struck by the fact that, while she was being formed, I was spending thousands of dollars on her parents’ wedding photography that I really never look at.  Yet I do take time to ponder over this grainy, fuzzy image they handed over free of charge.

Isn’t life ironic?

What I find myself searching for is various family traits.   Since the image was only available in black and white,  I can’t tell if she’s blessed with The Gingerness.  So, instead I search for my family’s infamous WTF line.  This is a large crevice that runs horizontally smack down the center of everyone in my family’s forehead.

Mine is larger than the Grand Canyon so I’m thinking it might show up in ultrasound technology.

I was sitting with my brother in his backyard two nights ago when I noticed his. There it was.  Bigger than Dixie.  Since he’s a dude, he can’t cover it with bangs like me and my sister.  Poor Schmuck.

I call it our WTF line because it’s connected to a prominent muscle in our forehead that scrunches up when we find ourselves in utter disbelief at the idiocy of the people around us.  And apparently, there is an accompanying face we make to go with the emotion.  It’s the WTF face.

Which is quite expressive.

Which results in an enormous wrinkle.

Which is intense.

Several of my offspring were born with it and in others it showed up as early as 6 weeks of age.  This is why I always “fed on demand” and never implemented those sly parenting tactics such as, “cry it out” or “sleep training.”

These creative strategies lead to babies crinkling their foreheads and looking up at their inept parents with dismay as if to say, “What the flip?”

It was bad enough whenever I happened to accidentally disappoint them to see their tiny little furrowed foreheads wrinkling like a Shar Pei puppy, deepening that crease, ensuring a lifetime of Botox injections.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that one could dip a ruler in most of my family’s foreheads and gauge, with total accuracy, just how challenging our lives have been.

Rest assured when this baby is born, I’ll be sitting outside in that parking lot waiting on her tomorrow.  I will require her parents hold her up to the window so her Lay-Lay can get a good look at her forehead.  Because this little angel has already been through a lot and might have the forehead wrinkle to prove it. 

So tonight, as I lay me down to sleep, I pray to The Patron Saint of Foreheads that hers is a smooth one. But, if it isn’t, she can just rock that WTF line alongside her Lady Mullet and be the Bad Ass Baby we already know she is.

At least until she can grow out a decent set of bangs.


(Me watching the birth in the lawn under the window of Labor and Delivery.  Thank you FaceTime.  The next best thing to being there!)