EssentiallyJess had had her fair share of ridiculous situations, and most times she embraced them with either gusto or reluctant enthusiasm; ridiculous situations, were, of course, what blogging was all about.
This chair, though — this would be tricky.
It wasn’t that it didn’t fit the necessary criteria for blog-worthy news. Rather, she wasn’t sure how her fight with a stationary object meant entirely for sitting, could adequately translate to written form. It was the kind of battle that one would expect to see on an American Sitcom, not the pages of the internet.
Admitting that, however, was akin to letting the chair win once and for all, and so during what was a rather long night, EssentiallyJess determined that she would blog about the chair in order to show it that she was victorious, even as it tried to devour her.
It all started last Wednesday afternoon, on the maternity ward of a country hospital. (Prior to this, EssentiallyJess had not visited the wards in this particular facility, preferring to keep her visits focused on the Emergency Department instead.)
It took her a little while to even realise she was on the maternity ward, (that in itself rather remarkable considering she walked past the delivery suite), but given the rather stressful nature of her circumstances, I think it’s safe to forgive her lack of notice. (She was to find out later that due to hospital renovations, a busy children’s ward, and very few tiny babies, this was the most logical place to be.)
Now she had assumed, prior to admission, that as parents staying with their children was a mandatory event, she would be provided with a fold out bed. She had seen them in children’s wards, in Darwin. Not the most comfortable things in the world, but they still allowed one to lie out flat and pretend that sleep was not an illusive dream granted to those at home in their beds.
What she was met with instead, was a steely gray recliner, that subscribed to the notion that reclining is optional and not necessary for a chair of its name. Phlegmatic in nature, this chair was content that half a lean was good enough, which left EssentiallyJess wondering just how she would achieve any sleep at all.
She had little time to ponder this dilemma, however, as anaesthetic took its toll, and she became the chief officer in charge of sick bags and hand washing; two activities that go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong. When the effects of surgery finally wore off, the pain was managed, and the TV turned down (turns out having thick bandages over your ears is a valid justification for insane levels of volume), she confronted the chair once again, wondering what to do.
It was at the point the midwife came to her aid. Arming EssentiallyJess with a blanket and a pillow (something she and the other midwife had chosen to vote on — Jess was glad the odds were in her favour), the midwife went on to say that the chair did recline fully.
Hmm… Thought Jess. I have yet to see this reclination.
Rearranging the furniture so that the recalcitrant recliner was positioned close to the now peacefully sleeping child, Jess sat down and pulled the lever. The chair reclined halfway.
She leaned back.
She leaned harder and, trying to pull the lever as she did so, but the chair refused to budge.
Not to be out down when she had been assured of further leaning-backedness (totes a word), EssentiallyJess stood up and pulled the back of the chair backwards. At last she had success! The chair reclined fully into a somewhat sleepable position.
And then sprung back.
Clearly lying down flat was passed its comfort zone, and being the selfish sort of chair that it was, it had no interest in helping a tired mother out.
She pulled it back again, waiting till it was as far back as possible, then jumped in, using all her weight to hold the chair in place. Surrendering to its inevitable suffering, the chair complied and allowed EssentiallyJess to carefully arrange her pillow and blanket, and close her eyes in the somewhat vain attempt at peaceful slumber.
Eventually, she succumbed to sleep, ignoring the cries of the one newborn on the ward, and the incessant beeping of a drip that wanted to be updated every sixty minutes. The stress and the emotional nature of the day won, and for a while at least, EssentiallyJess did too, proving to the recliner that she was the boss.
The chair was unhappy, however. Frustrated at being stretched passed its comfort zone (a metaphorical lesson EssentiallyJess understood only too well), it waited for just the right moment. The dozing mother made the mistake of shifting her position, just slightly, and bang! The chair snapped up and suddenly her halfway horizontal view was now an almost vertical one.
It was a mistake she would go on to replicate many times during the night.
Refusing to be outdone, as well as being stupidly tired and in no way inclined to let a lazy lazy-boy wannabe (that was the exact opposite of inclined) get in her way, the ever thinking EssentiallyJess came up with a plan. She positioned herself into the shape of a ball, using her entire body weight (which she was now thinking was less than she had originally thought, so Huzzah!) to keep the chair in place. Even stretching became possible with a carefully planned system that involved correct weight distribution and the stretching of one leg at time.
So successful was this process, that EssentiallyJess even managed to fool the midwives into thinking she slept like a baby. (Which was, arguably true, considering how awake the baby in the next room was.) In reality, she spent the majority of Thursday feeling like the world’s sleepiest person, but seeing as she hadn’t had her ear cut open, she decided she was in no position to complain, and chose instead, to revel in the excitement of her win.
One, which in her mind, was considerable.
And that, my friends, is the story of how EssentiallyJess beat the recliner.
How’s your week been?
Won any battles with furniture lately?