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Surviving Your Third Trimester

How to sit down in a restaurant

1) Request a table.

2) Receive a booth.

3) Try to slide your enormous bulk into booth.

4) Note with alarm it's the sort of booth where table is bolted down.

5) Lift belly as high as it will go.

6) Inch your way into booth.

7) Release belly, which lands on table with a plop.

8) Rummage beneath belly for silverware and napkin.

9) Place silverware and napkin on belly, and ask waiter to just put your food there too.

How to put on a seat belt

1) Reach blindly beneath your gut, hoping to locate both ends of seat belt.

2) Find one end.

3) Use elbow to push poor, unsuspecting fetus to one side while you find other end.

4) Exhale fully and attempt to close belt.

5) No dice.

6) Let out belt until long enough to fit an elephant seal.

7) Close and tighten belt.

8) To avoid repeating, spend day in car.

How to avoid unhealthy snacks

1) Retrieve chocolate cake from fridge.

2) Close fridge door while reaching behind you to put cake on kitchen counter.

3) Lose balance and flail about like cartoon penguin.

4) Drop cake.

5) Scrape cake from floor, intending to eat it anyway.

6) Notice frosting is now embroidered with dust bunnies.

7) Sigh and throw cake away.

How to use a public bathroom

1) Attempt to cram self into stall.

2) Repeatedly get stuck between door and toilet.

3) Exit stall.

4) See that handicapped stall is free.

5) Glance around furtively.

6) Conclude that being in third trimester counts as handicap.

7) Dash into handicapped stall.

8) Do your business.

9) Discover toilet-paper dispenser is empty.

10) Shout for help.

11) Blush as person in wheelchair hands you TP under door.

How to tie your shoes

1) Sit on a firm, comfortable surface, right shoe in hand.

2) Raise right foot and place on left thigh.

3) Realize this is impossible.

4) Attempt with left shoe and left foot (also impossible).

5) Decide to do this standing up.

6) Bend toward floor.

7) Observe you have no idea where your feet are.

8) Wonder if a hand mirror might help.

9) It doesn't.

10) Phone neighbor to come over and tie your shoes.

Melissa Balmain is a mother in Blacksburg, Virginia.