Needless to say, the kids did not take the news well.The four of us ate breakfast together, just my wife and kids and me with our bowls of Cinnamon Life and strawberries in the dark quiet of a Tuesday morning. We talked about the sweet science of armpit farts, sang a song that the kids are obsessed with right now, and got ready for school. The dog ate a whole piece of toast off the counter.
I always buckle in Max into his car seat, and my wife does Hannah. It’s just another part of the unspoken choreography of our mornings, a parenting division of labor that no one assigned but just started happening. On this particular morning, I buckled in Max as usual and kissed him goodbye.
“Dad, I’m not buckled,” Hannah said.
Oh. Where’s mom?
Hannah didn’t know. She just wanted someone to buckle her. So I buckled her and kissed her goodbye.
A moment later, I found my wife, ten feet from the car, bent over and vomiting Cinnamon Life and strawberries in a neat little pile on the sidewalk. When she finished, I shrugged and kissed her goodbye, too. Just another morning.
Push launched years ago as the pregnancy journal of a soon-to-be father who was trying to piece together the weird changes to his wife and his life. It culminated on a hospital floor at the University of Chicago Hospital in Hyde Park, where Hannah first said hello. It resurrected itself a short time later as a travel blog to the Far East with baby in tow; then it buckled under the weight of diapers and bottles and Elmos, and disappeared for a few years. Now Sarah is pregnant with our third child, which seems a good occasion to reignite this blog. I didn’t keep a journal during Sarah’s second pregnancy, with Max. The middle child gets screwed, as usual.
I can’t remember how we felt either of the first two times, but I do recall that we had all the time in the world to quietly reflect and prepare. We studied pregnancy as though we would be tested on the subject in the end. (I suppose we were.)
Today? We’re just two tired adults trying to squeeze in another pregnancy among the playdates and potlucks, the deadlines and meetings and all the other trappings of full-fledged adulthood. Our apartment, and our time, is shrinking. The dog won’t stop barking, the kids won’t stop whining, and the bathroom smells like a port-o-potty on day three of Taste of Chicago. That’s what this blog will be about, not the wonder of pregnancy or the miracle of life, but the futility of trying to navigate the most complicated nine months in my life without stepping on a goddamn Lego house. Come on in and make yourself at home. And don’t mind the smell.
Photograph: Jeff Ruby