i know what you mean!

burning 3000 calories

Posted on: November 20, 2010

or it felt like I did, yesterday.

Let me start at the beginning.

Son: you’re packing the Ergo carrier? But you don’t need it any more, do you?
me: oh yes I do! When travelling with you I might not, but without you and no car this time, believe me, I do.

I was only saying that but I wasn’t 100% believing I would use it. After all, I have not touched the carrier in 6 months. I was just thinking I might need it.
Jim was out in OH on a business trip, so it was just Helen at home. Thursday is her full day of work, so Helen was out of the house by 7:30am and said she would not return until after 8pm. I offered to make dinner for us, so when May woke up at 8:30am, I fed her, bathed her, and got everything ready for our first trip to Berkeley Bowl. We left the house at 10ish, walked leisurely downhill towards campus (Helen is up on the hill behind the football stadium), finally stopping on Bancroft and Telegraph to catch a bus down to Berkeley Bowl. Boarded the bus at 11:40am, got to Berkeley Bowl, shopped, bought lunch, ate lunch there together (rice bowl with grilled saba plus yogurt), loaded everything up and went up to the nearest bus stop to catch one going back to Helen’s place. At 1:50pm, the bus arrived, we got on, but this bus goes to Helen in a very round about way: we caught it on Ashby at Adeline, it then went up to 7th St before turning onto Dwight and going back down to Shattuck, turned onto Durant and ending up near College. May fell asleep sometime near Ashby and San Pablo, 2ish. I was a bit stupid and got off the bus too soon. I knew it would go all the way up to Piedmont, but I got off at College, which was at the foot of the hill, 1 LONG block too early. And boy did I pay for my stupidity.

There I was, with 10+ lbs of groceries, plus my 23 lbs baby sleeping limp as a sack of rice. And NO carrier. NO CARRIER. MAMA MIA. Going up that hill was a total absolute miserable bitch, I assure you. I had grocery on my back (that damn chicken and the glass bottle of milk, I hate you), more grocery bags on one arm, and May flopping around on the other arm. She kept on slipping off because I didn’t have enough upper body strength to keep her up. And a sleeping babe works with gravity against me, not with me. So there I was, sweating profusely, panting, thinking “Oh God, oh God, I don’t know how to get through this, should I just toss $50’s worth of grocery away to end my misery??”

And, ahem, I must say, this is where Berkeley and California urban area in general pale in comparison to York, PA. In PA, within 2 minutes I would have had someone stopping to ask if they could help me in anyway, maybe carry the grocery for me or give me a ride. I kid you not. Here in Berkeley, a million people passed a fumbling young mother with a sleeping baby and grocery bags, and no one bothered. I didn’t expect anyone to, mind you, BUT, I would have asked if I were someone – anywhere. It warms the heart.

Any way, back to me at the foot of Berkeley hill, now ascending.
Oh God, this is how Jesus felt carrying his cross, bless him.
Fuck, this is so miserable.
I asked for this, no one forced me to buy grocery.
Stupid stupid, I should have brought that carrier. Oh God, I can’t do this any more.
Think of Helen’s house, nice house with chairs and bed I can finally rest in.
Oh fuck, think of the 100 steps leading up to her doorstep.
I will NOT buy a house on the hill, ever! It makes walking home NOT FUN
On and on went my thoughts, while I dragged the sleeping May up hill.

The amazing thing is, May was still asleep. I mean, I have seen parents walking around with a sleeping toddler on their shoulder, and I used to think, oh geez, I wish May could sleep like that, because my babe is such a light sleeper that I could only manage to carry her around for a few minutes before she wakes up. But Thursday, oh man, she was so exhausted she slept even when I kept on shuffling her into different positions every minute or so. At one point, I was carrying her at my hip, and her head was swinging freely here and there, yet she slept. I could have hoisted her up to my shoulder and she would have slept.

2/3 way up the hill, I had to stop to sit on the curb because I was so pooped. Then after a few minutes, I got up and dragged us all up hill again. When I got to Piedmont, I crossed the street, walked yet another block along the International-house. I would have sat down on the grass had they not decided to sprinkle their lawn with manure that day. Ack. I finally made it to the courtyard of a sorority house behind the I-house. There’s a nice path belonging to the sorority house that everyone uses to cut through to the Football Stadium in the back. There were the benches that I had in mind. The spot has foot traffic, but is also very quiet. I threw everything onto the ground and held May in my lap. I sat like that with her in deep sleep for almost and hour before she woke up (ate a bunch of tangerines to lighten my load). Then I picked her up and we climbed the hill again, up up up to Helen’s house with her 100 steps (maybe just 80).

You’d think I had enough for one day, except after I poached the chicken for May, nursed her, gave her a snack, we headed out again! This time I learned my lesson and stuffed May into the Ergo. Down down down the hill we went, caught the bus on campus, transferred to another line on San Pablo and Cedar (Acme Bread) and got off at Yaoya-San grocery in El Cerrito more than 1 hour later. Picked up plenty of sashimi and sanma for dinner, went back out to catch the bus going back. After a few transfers, we got off on Durant and College (the same miserable spot earlier that afternoon) and I scaled the motherfriggin’ hill again. Up up up we went. I was staggering even with May well balanced in the ERgo on my back. up up up. I will not buy a house on the hill. up up up. Oh geez, why did I buy so much food, damn me. up up up. Sometimes, looking up to Helen’s house from the street, I feel faint with pseudo vertigo – because I don’t have vertigo, but seeing how high up it is, all 4 stories of it with the cellar, the apartment unit, and finally the first floor of the house at the top of the stairs, and knowing I must soon scale those mofo before I can rest makes me feel dizzy. I only have this problem ever since I grew an extra unit known as May. heh heh.

That’s how I burned 3000 calories in a day and slept like a log soon after.


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