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the story of the ceiling fan

the ceiling fan

(Otherwise known as my first hormone-driven pregnancy freakout… fortunately, there have not been many.)

First of all, let me say: I blame Pinterest for this. Pinterest combined with pregnancy hormones is an extremely dangerous combination, and I am usually a very relaxed, go-with-the-flow, adaptable person. But add those two? Danger, danger, red flag, danger. (Sigh.) Here’s what happened:

When I was about eight or nine weeks pregnant, Chad and I were reading our iPads in bed, just winding down before going to sleep. And like a pretty typical newly-pregnant blogger, I was browsing the neverending, beautiful supply of nursery photos on Pinterest, picking out my favorites and saving them to a (then secret, now public [1]) board of my own.

“Hey,” I said, in passing, not even really thinking about the answer. “Can we put a chandelier in the baby’s room?”

Chad looked at me funny. “No–” he said, like the answer was completely obvious. “That makes no sense. Where would it go? There’s a ceiling fan in there already.”

I looked back at him, shocked, and explained that obviously, we would remove the ceiling fan and install a beautiful crystal chandelier, so that our nursery could look like all the ones on Pinterest (duh).

At this point, Chad basically thought I had lost my mind. No, his opinion was made up, we were keeping the ceiling fan. Kids love ceiling fans, he pointed out to me (true, our friends’ six-month-old had recently stayed with us, and while the kid was kind of ‘meh’ about our four bedrooms, gourmet kitchen and pool, he was incredibly excited by the fact that almost all of our rooms had ceiling fans), and they serve a practical purpose, unlike a chandelier. And what if the kid got older and wanted a fan?

I have to add a little caveat here: the house is basically My Thing, so Chad doesn’t really offer a lot of opinions, much less ultimatums, so this was actually something he felt strongly about. When I asked in the first place, it was almost rhetorical — it honestly never occurred to me that the answer might actually be no.

So, since he felt so strongly about it, I said I’d reconsider the chandelier idea, and started trying to search Pinterest for photos of nurseries with ceiling fans.

And you know what? Every single freaking nursery on Pinterest has a chandelier.

So that’s where the pregnancy hormones kicked in, and with the benefit of hindsight, I can explain what actually happened at this point:

I lost my mind.

Because the more I scrolled through nursery photos of beautiful, chandelier-laden rooms, the more I became completely and totally certain that without one of our own, there was no way to make the nursery beautiful. Basically, if we didn’t do this one, crucially important step, we were dooming our child to nights in some dark, drab, undecorated and depressing nursery. (Yes, I realize now that a baby probably doesn’t even know the difference between a decorated nursery and a random closet, but again: pregnancy hormones.) And in my mind, without a chandelier, there was just no way to make it pretty.

And so, after a few minutes of scrolling through photos, I started to cry. And not, like, pretty, dainty tears. I started to basically hyperventilate and bawl big, ugly, gasping tears.

A few seconds later, Chad looks over at me, terrified, and goes “What’s wrong?”

(Because, you know, it couldn’t possibly be the ceiling fan that instigated this total meldown, because that would mean that his wife was crazy.)

And in between sobs, I managed to choke out that we were going to have the worst nursery, that I hated the whole room, and that the ceiling fan was going to make EVERYTHING UGLY FOREVER.

Again, I’m not proud of this. I’m just saying: it happened.

Chad manages to calm me down, and eventually tells me that he thinks it’s a bad idea, but that if I really want a chandelier, then whatever, we can put one in. And after a few minutes of choking sobs, I finally stop crying and start reading up on how ceiling fans actually reduce the risk of SIDS, and the fact that putting in a chandelier is going to be kind of expensive and not at all a DIY project, and after a while… the chandelier doesn’t seem quite as crucial as it did before.

Because, seriously? There are beautiful nurseries without chandeliers (maybe not on Pinterest, but there are). And there are happy, well-loved babies whose nurseries are completely bare. If we were still living in New York, it would have been a challenge to even find an apartment with a bedroom for a baby, and here, now — I’m worried about a chandelier?

But here’s the tough part: It’s so easy to concentrate on the things that a baby will be surrounded with. You want to give your child all the most beautiful things so that their life will be so easy and perfect from the first minute on. And it’s easy to forget, when you’re stressing about stroller choices or nursery decorating or buying the right clothes and toys and shoes and socks: the baby isn’t going to care about any of that stuff.

What the baby cares about, and all that really matters, is that you care enough to want to give it the best that you can, that you love it enough that you’ll put yourself into hysterics over whether or not it has the right lighting fixture.  Because that same instinct is going to drive you to give it what it really needs — all the love and attention and care that you can give. 

But the chandelier? Not even on the baby’s top ten list.

I’m happy to say that four months later, the nursery is just about done, and the ceiling fan is right there in the center of the room where it always was. 

And you know what?  In a few months, when you search Pinterest for “Nursery with ceiling fan,” you’ll see ours.  And I like to think that maybe I’ll save some other poor mom-to-be from a hormonal meltdown.  Because there’s a lot to worry about and focus on with a baby on the way… just not this.