I haven’t much talked about the impending September arrival of the Youngling for a few reasons. Mostly because it’s fairly personal and he doesn’t get a say in how he’s depicted here so I’d like to be fair. Also, I fear I’m tempting the Fates by speaking about it too openly. But mostly, it’s because I don’t want to become a huge bore who thinks his readers are going to be as fascinated/repelled as I will be by my kid’s bowel movements.
I used to work with I woman whom I will refer to as The Only Woman in History to Ever Give Birth, or TOWHEGB, for short. TOWHEGB spoke of nothing else but her pregnancy and often blamed her foul moods on hormones. This was a patent lie as she was foul long before she ever conceived. But she was one of these people for whom becoming a parent was not just a significant personal milestone but a moral imperiative that instantly makes one’s life more richly fulfilling and rewarding than the lives of those who happen to be childless.
I found her attitude condescending long before I thought I’d have a kid of my own and I still do, even now that things have changed for me. Some people have children. Some do not. It’s all down to personal desire and neither thing is objectively preferable over the other. So while my life will change completely, it’s my hope that I’m basically a sensible dad and not the dads I constantly snicker at, allowing their grandiosely named children to run free in movie theatres or carting their 8 year olds around in strollers.
So, after last week confirming my kid’s gender, and last night, after watching In the Womb on the National Geographic channel, I was awake for much of last night. I was worrying that my kid will someday put a nail in his mouth and choke on it, all because I couldn’t be arsed to sweep the floors, because I’ll become such a shitty dad. Alternately, I’ll be such a helicopter parent that I’ll have CCTV installed all over the house and neighbourhood just to ensure that, in the event that his protective bubble-wrap is punctured, I’ll be able to swoop in with my hired Trauma Team to ensure he isn’t scarred for life.
Yeah, it was real cute when it was all about buying books of poems for kids and little onesies but suddenly, it’s all become very real. This is going to be occupying my thoughts for some time to come so there may be some writing on this subject. I’ll try to keep the poop posts to a minimum.