We still have the bag of pre-washed triple-cleaned pinto beans we purchased nearly TWO years ago, but the bag is closer to three-pounds now, give or take a few beans. It’s also WELL past it’s expiration date– who knew beans expired? — but I’m having a hard time parting with it.
We’ve made soup, frijoles and chili, and we’ve used the beans for counting, sorting and art projects. The beans also made an appearance at S.A.M.’s birth Feb. 9th, 2009, so they’ll probably end up in his baby box.
Here’s how it happened:
The morning of Feb. 9 my water breaks so I decide it’s time to make a big batch of chili. I might be having a baby, but we still need to eat.
Mondays I work at home, so I reply to emails and dice onions between contractions. At 3 PM I call D., tell him the baby is on the way and ask him to bring home some canned tomatoes and spicy V-8, because I like my chili with a kick.
By 3:15 the contractions are rolling, one on top of the other, so I email my team and let them know my maternity leave is officially starting. I season the beans and then decide that I really need a nice hot shower to soften the pain.
Forty-five minutes later I’m sweating, writhing and nauseous. I think I have the flu, then remember I’m having a baby. Lena, our exchange student, asks if I’m OK and offers to make me tea. I howl. Lena looks worried and retreats to the kitchen.
D. walks in the door and calls the midwife to assist at the birth. He also calls my aunt and asks her to bring L.K. home.
Between contractions I remember to ask D. to add the chili fixings to the beans and hamburger.
I’m now in the living room, on my knees with my torso draped over an exercise ball. My body feels as if it’s twisting apart and the phone rings. D. says it’s the midwife, asking how close the baby is. I yell “SHE’S GOING TO MISS THIS BABY!” D. says something into the phone and hangs up.
I curse the midwife.
My aunt and L.K. walk in about 4:10 PM and L.K.’s so excited she’s bouncing up and down like she has springs on her feet. She’s jumping around me and singing while I’m working the exercise ball for all it’s worth, clenching my legs so I don’t push and wishing I had gone to a birth center.
The doorbell rings again, and it’s our smililng neighbor bringing me a baby present. I’m draped over an exercise ball groaning, L.K. is dancing around me in circles and my neighbor is standing in my doorway. I turn my head toward my neighbor and say “this is not a good time.” My neighbor seems confused so I yell “NOT A GOOD TIME.” She leaves and I ask my aunt to bring L.K. somewhere. ANY WHERE. NOW!
It’s about 4:30 PM and I’m sure the baby is coming and I’m going to be delivering it without assistance. My aunt and L.K. leave and the midwife breezes through the door, checks me and says “the baby’s crowning.” Then she says “maybe we should take your pants off.”
Ten minutes later at 4:40 PM S.A.M. is born. L.K. returns by 5 PM and tries to wrestle S.A.M from my arms.
A few hours later S.A.M. and I are cleaned up, in bed and the midwife tells me I need something to eat. I’m thrilled to say we have chili, and offer her a bowl. I’m incredibly proud– I had a baby AND made a pot of chili.
The pinto-bean attachment is odd, but I think it’s understandable. Twenty-five pounds of pinto beans have made quite an impression on my household.
Happy late birthay S.A.M.