Here’s the deal. I’m thirty-five years old. I haven’t been completely ache-free for a number of years. Gone are the days when I could spring lightly from my bed, fresh and reinvigorated from my slumbers, and trip gaily down the stairs to perform cartwheels and back bends. (Ok, that last part I maybe did one time when I was, like, eight.) These days, I get up and I’m a little creaky. Nothing too insane, but it takes a little stretching and ambling about to get fully mobile. You know, the whole aging process, my bones and joints are eager participants in it. Anyway, I’m not thrilled about my gradual loss of limberness, but I figure it comes with the territory and it’s a pretty minor complaint, all things considered. I mean, there are kids starving in China, so I should just shuddup already, right? Right. But. Lately? My back? Holy skeet-shooting Christ it hurts all the time. I’ve *never* been one to have back problems. Some people, that’s where their body gives out. Not me: I’m more likely to have a life threatening allergy attack or acute gastritis or something. My back can normally take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. Even when we first had the Hatchling, and she was attached to me most of the day like a small barnacle, I’d maybe get a little sore, but one good night’s sleep and I was right as rain again. And I figured, yeah, she’ll get bigger, but it will happen gradually enough that my muscles will get used to it; my body will compensate for the extra weight. Uh-huh. Only, the problem is that the way my body compensates for the extra weight, apparently, is by BREAKING MY BACK. The problem is that the Hatchling will only stay in a cart or stroller for so long, and then you have to carry her. Well, I exaggerate. You don’t have to carry her. It’s just that your other option is inflicting her increasingly violent wails on yourself and everyone around you. Which is not an option I enjoy so much.

As I may perhaps have mentioned at some point in the past, the Hatchling is not one of your tiny wee slips of a girl. No, the adjectives one might apply in her case are more like “strapping,” “robust,” or according to some, “husky.” She hasn’t been weighed recently (we have a checkup tomorrow), but I’m guessing she’s at least a good twenty pounds by now, and while that may not sound like much, when it’s squirming and kicking around in your arms as you make the rounds at Target or somewhere, it gets pretty heavy pretty damn fast. One outing’s worth of baby-carrying, and my back is all, LET UP, BITCH. WE ARE TOO OLD FOR THIS SHIT.

And really, it feels like I am. I am soooo scheduling a massage for next week. Lawsy.

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