It thunderstormed like crazy on Friday night. Sarah is deathly afraid of lightning and couldn’t sleep, so we went down to the basement and turned on the TV. I fell asleep on the floor, with her snuggled up against me, squeezing my arm a little tighter at every clap of thunder. The next morning, we found that the basement had flooded around us while we were sleeping. Every step we took, water squished between our toes. It was such a bloody mess that we had to buy a wet/dry vac, a dehumidifier and two electric fans—and it still took three days before the carpet dried. It still smells like an armpit down there.
Then our toilet overflowed the next morning. I won’t go into details here, but I will say that we were still wearing flip-flops in there to avoid the invisible tiny shards of broken glass from the mirror a few weeks back. The clean-up process was a nightmare.
So let’s see, since Sarah got pregnant, we’ve got the broken mirror, the ladder in Vegas, an army of stray black cats wandering around our back alley, and now we can add overflowing toilets and acts of God and to the list. All that’s left for us to do is step on a few cracks while swallowing our gum on Friday the 13th. It’s a good thing we don’t believe in superstitions.
I decided to go online to see what’s out there regarding Expectant Father Anxiety. I found a web site that discussed the worst fears of expectant fathers to see how I’m holding up.
Fear: My wife will turn into a crazy woman.
Reality: A couple of meltdowns here and there, but so far, so good.
Fear: My wife will get fat and unattractive.
Reality: Sarah views this as a nine-month free ride, food-wise—but she currently looks better than ever.
Fear: She won’t lose her pregnancy weight after the pregnancy.
Reality: Sarah’s weight has always fluctuated more than NASDAQ, and I haven’t sold my stock yet. I’m not worried.
Fear: We will never have any money again.
Reality: This is a legitimate worry. The average household spends almost $10,000 in the first year of their baby. We’ve got two mortgages and three credit cards and we have never really paid attention to how much we are spending.
Fear: I’ll never be able to have sex with my wife after watching the delivery.
Reality: I can’t imagine what level of carnage, short of a seven-pound maggot writhing out of Sarah’s uterus, could possibly make this happen.
Fear: We won’t have a healthy baby.
Reality: I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t think about this. But 97 out of every 100 couples have healthy babies. Then again, someone’s got to be those three.
Fear: I’ll faint during the delivery.
Reality: It’s entirely plausible; I can’t even give blood without getting woozy. I even feel a little sick after typing that maggot line.
Fear: I’m not ready to be a dad.
Reality: This one hits close to home. I’m still just a kid: young, dumb, and impatient. But when I look at all the other fathers out there who are younger, dumber, and more impatient, I’m pretty sure I’ll do OK.
Babu is now about the size of a Star Wars action figure and its heart rate is equal to that of a cocaine addict (120-160 beats per minute). And I’m slightly alarmed to read that it has started to develop a fine, downy covering of body hair called lanugo. Lanugo. Sounds like the name of a Hispanic boys’ band.
Thanks to brain impulses, Babu is now frowning and grimacing nonstop; its liver is secreting all kinds of bile and, furthermore, the kid is discharging more urine than ever into Sarah’s amniotic fluid. So this fetus, as far as I can tell, is hairy, grumpy, and incontinent. Spend any amount time in an assisted living home, and you’ll realize that life really does come full circle.
With this weirdo mutant thing nesting inside her, my wife sometimes feels entitled to take advantage of the situation. I don’t mind the manual labor, but Sarah has begun using her pregnancy to get me do things that she should be doing for herself. The other day, I was sitting on the couch, uploading music onto my laptop, when she hollered across the room, “Honey, can you hand me four Wheat Thins?”
I looked over. She was sitting at the dining room table, reading, and the open box of Wheat Thins was on the table, no more than two feet from her. I was at least ten feet away.
“You want four Wheat Thins.”
In any other set of circumstances I would’ve responded with something along the lines of, “Are your arms broken?” But I must have stared at her for too long, because she glanced up from her book, and the look on her face was chilling. My blood stopped pumping through my veins and coagulated on the spot. I got her the Wheat Thins.
And you better believe I handed her four.
Then I got the hell out of there.