Octavian- but for short we’ll call you Gus

Last night after all the neighborhood ghouls and goblins were safely trading their candy loot, I was eagerly getting ready for bed. I grabbed a t-shirt that I haven’t worn for a few weeks (which is like dog-years in pregnancy time) and put it on as I entered the bathroom to join my dear, beloved, compassionate Hubby for some teeth-brushing. This allowed him to have an excellent view of something truly horrifying. I pulled the shirt down and it didn’t cover my belly. Then…it rolled up with everything but a sliding suction-pop sound effect. Oh, the horror!

Immediately, Hubby broke into laughter, toothbrush bouncing in his cheek. As I tried to pull the shirt down again he said, “You look like Gus-Gus!”

My beloved had compared me to a mouse from Cinderella, notable for his too-small-shirt riding up over his belly. I said nothing. I didn’t need to. I gave him the look.

“What?!” he said, smiling as he continued into the landmine. “His little shirt rolls up over his belly! It’s classic!”

Eyebrow up, slow head turn… continue THE LOOK.

He shrugged.“People love Gus-Gus.”

There was really nothing I could say to rebut his statement, so I launched into the I-sound-smarter-than-you-defense with information I used when I taught Roman History. “I’ll ask you NOT to call me Gus-Gus. His name is Octavian. Naturally, Gus is short for Octavian as he took the name Caesar Augustus after Julius’ death…”

Yes, a Roman Emperor of great historical and Shakespearean fame and Biblical significance (Now in those days Caesar Augustus declared a census should be taken…) had been reduced to a portly mouse. That’s a bit how every mother feels from time to time.

At this point Hubby had walked away. Darn! Excellent evasive maneuver. With his back safely turned, I allowed my shirt to roll back up and then found a bigger one. I’ve never heard a pregnant woman pray, “Lord, make me humble.”I continued the nighttime routine which now includes lots of lotion. As I rubbed it on my belly I heard my beloved’s voice; “Look at your hands moving quickly in a circle! You really do look like a little mouse!”

Great. I’m a mousey wife. I’m apparently not even a cute, girly mouse! I’m an overweight male mouse who provides comic relief in Disney’s version of Cinderella. Well, at least I’m self-aware. Lots of women wonder what their husbands think of them and their appearance. I don’t have to ask.

The great thing about Gus-Gus is that despite his heft and distractability, he was always ready to rumble. He wasn’t necessarily looking for a fight, but when the intimidating cat Lucifer appears on the scene he rolls up his sleeves.

He is also a loyal friend and hard worker; he follows directions and diligently climbs enormous flights of stairs with a key twice his size to help free Cinderella from her tower prison.


I may be a bit bigger around than some of the other Mommas around me but babies bring out the belly in me. As I often say, “It’s not me. It’s my kid.” I may need bigger shirts, but I am also ready to follow the leader, work hard, and be ready to launch a rescue in a moment’s notice. For now I’ll take a cue and a quote from an animated little mouse: “Gus-Gus. Yeah!”


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