“It’s fine,” everyone’s telling me. “Nobody really knows what they’re doing. You’ll be a great dad. Just relax.”
Having a Baby
Almost 4 years ago I was told I could never have children. Now I’m trying to figure out if children will fit into my life at all.
A puppy and a newborn almost guarantee that nobody in your household will sleep consistently for months. The dog makes you more at the ready for those late night feedings and stretches your capacity for patience beyond anything you ever dreamed imaginable.
I began to think about other moments I’ve experienced, in frustration, as a parent and how they’ve been reflected throughout fiction and the media.
It’s guilt. And shame. And anger. A lot of anger.
As I stood in front of my mirror trudging through my morning routine one day, I thought how much I wished someone had shared certain things with me as I was growing up.
Why is it scary, though? Part of it has to be the obvious reasons — are they going to become lame, lose sight of who they are, forget what made the two of you so close to begin with?
From my not-even-remotely exhaustive observation over the past 6 months of my own burgeoning motherhood, I’ve managed to boil down the classification of your post-baby friends to the following 7 categories. Because generalizations are for winners.
Growing up, I could see directly into a Fat Naked Man’s apartment (mostly, I could see into his bathroom). It was my first experience as a voyeur, and I loved it. I watched him cook naked, use the bathroom naked; just about anything you’d want to see a Fat Naked Man do (and more).
Go home. Unfold / read instructions out loud with partner. Laugh at the phrases “urine stream” and “test wand.” Wait for her to come out of the bathroom, then examine the wand with a focus-level so intense you feel, ironically, detached from the event. Note the rapidity / absoluteness of the indicator showing positive, registering this as an In The Flow sign of fertility, health, and, for the first time, the health of your future child.