Gut Puncher

I’m having a baby. My wife is pregnant. What is the correct phrasing. We are having a baby. She is having a baby, and also I am having a baby, and together we will be parents. I will be a father, she will be a mother. The baby will be a baby. Oh, this baby? That’s my baby. This is our baby. We have made a baby. 

Actually, she is making a baby. I’m just watching. 

Just watching.Just watching.

Just watching.

I’ve been an uncle many, many times now. I’m good with babies. I like holding babies, like it when they fall asleep in my arms. Also throwing babies. I like to toss babies up into the air and catch them. I feel like this is good life experience to get early on, for a baby. To be launched upward as though gravity does not apply to you, only to experience the brief but thrilling plummet of your inevitable fate. 



I’m thankful for this happening now. I’m getting old. Which is to say, I’m feeling old, which is to say I’m feeling overly experienced. Lacking in surprise. Uncharted territory. I like my routines as much as the next person, or maybe more than most. They are safe, predictable, and they require very little thought, but relying on them too heavily makes them bleed into areas where they shouldn’t necessarily apply. There’s not a lot that happens to me anymore that I’m not (perhaps erringly) convinced that I already possess the previous experience to deal with the situation efficiently, quickly, with very little thought.

Very little.Very little.

Very little.

So this should prove to be a wonderful shake-up. I’ve uncled, but I’ve never parented. Sure, I’ve pet-parented. Our dog has been helpfully waking us up at two in the morning fairly often, of late, as if to get us used to it. But the difference between dogs and people is that dogs level off relatively quickly. A year, maybe two, you know what to expect. They become routine, their personalities only subtly evolving. Old dog, new tricks? Perhaps old dog, new tics. Cooper doesn’t like going on walks anymore. We can’t figure out why. But that’s the only major development in Cooper parenting for the past year, two, maybe three. Otherwise he’s the same nervous energetic barking seat-stealer he’s been for five years or more.

This baby thing, I’m expecting, will be throwing me for loops on the regular for years and years. 

Baby thing.Baby thing.

Baby thing.

Gretchen wants to find out the sex of the baby. I’ve always thought it would be more fun to wait. So we’re going to find out the sex of the baby. We went to a wedding this past weekend and the groom, whom we knew, was being careful before the wedding not to accidentally walk outside and see the bride in her dress before the right moment. I told Gretchen later on, during the reception, that this is why I wanted to wait on knowing the sex of the baby.  Because I remembered that moment from our wedding, where I took special pains not to see the dress or see her in it until she walked out towards me as I stood up in front of my friends and family, waiting to marry her. It’s that special sort of reveal you don’t get the privilege of having too often in life, one that kicks you in the emotional gut, in a good way. 

She smiled and said, “Nice try.” 

Nice try.Nice try.

Nice try.

Anyhow, I’m realizing now I’m actually pretty okay with finding out the sex early. Because that will only be one of the innumerable eye-opening, gut-punching moments of parenthood. And most of them we won’t get a choice as to when they happen, anyway, so we may as well take this opportunity a little early, on our own schedule. 

We’re only in the second trimester. She’s only in the second trimester. Due in May. We’re having a baby. I’m having a baby. 

I also don’t know how to adjust my usual blog voice to these circumstances. Mostly it’s doom and gloom, here. Afflicted with a reliably bloodshot pessimism. How do happy people talk? Is it emojis? Should I emoji? Sure, let’s give it a go.


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