The Shape of Things to Come, Part 2

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.

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10 thoughts on “The Shape of Things to Come, Part 2

  1. Hey at least YOU aren’t kept awake thinking about the GIANT mutant baby that WILL come out of your woo-woo one way or another!

    It’ll be fine. You *know* that I most definately wasn’t raised in a sterile bubble and I survived and thrived (and probably ingested poop/metallic objects at some time)!

  2. With a five year old, I’m starting to wonder if that feeling ever goes away.

    If I let my kid play on the front lawn, will she chase something into the street and get hit by a car? Or will some pedophile swoop by with a van and take her away? My kid is crying it’s eyes out because we denied them candy at the checkout counter. I feel it’s just a kid being a kid, but am I just wrong and should somehow do or have done something that this would not happen? Am I not doing enough with my kids in the name of allowing myself to have my own time to relax (or to do housework)?

    Sometimes it’s easy to think they’ll end up OK either way. But at the same time you wonder if you might not be doing enough.

    Parenthood can be a tough gig sometimes. It can be an incredibly rewarding one also.

  3. Oh Sir…

    I know… yet, you’ll suddenly realise how aware of the things you at one time were not aware of… nails on the floor and the suchlike.

    While still trying to figure out what being a dad is, I do know that stuff has changed within me that I wasn’t even aware of… trust your instincts and let it all happen naturally…

    I think.

  4. Oh Sir…

    I know… yet, you’ll suddenly realise how aware of the things you at one time were not aware of… nails on the floor and the suchlike.

    While still trying to figure out what being a dad is, I do know that stuff has changed within me that I wasn’t even aware of… trust your instincts and let it all happen naturally…

    I think.

  5. You will be the only guy ever to become a dad. K will be the only woman to ever to have a baby.

    That’s the way it works, it’s just your turn now.

    Yes, you will worry. Oh, how you will worry. But it won’t be constant, you will have lots and lots to enjoy too.

    I think worrying (within reason) is part of what makes you a good parent. After all it is your responsibility to pick up those damn nails! And you will.

    You are going to be an awesome dad! So try not to worry too much.

    You can always order one of those cool metal detectors that those old guys on the beach can’t seem to get enough of.

  6. Pre-delivery reality really starts to hit when you see the videos in your pre-natal class (if you’ve decided to take one). Luckily, you only have to watch for a few minutes and then you can go back to pre-child (somewhat) ignorant bliss (or selective thinking) ;).

    Luckily every day will start anew giving the chance to do better as a parent. At least, that’s the way I’m trying to look at it.

    As for the nails, we’re actually trying to organize a baby first aid course with a babysecure instructor (babysecure.ca). If you guys are interested, e-mail me or the tinman for more info.

  7. scott says that he was nervous right up until the moment he saw his son. then he became a dad. 🙂 it just happens, and you’ll feel your worldview shift… so i’m told… i being one of the ones you mention who have no particular desire to have my own, as i get a hundred every year of other people’s.

    you’ll be a fine dad. 🙂

  8. Okay, I have nothing to add from parenting experience…but the fact that you even worry about becoming one of ‘those’ dads tells me you won’t.

    BTW – thanks for sticking up for us childless by choice. We’re not all self-centred assholes who’d rather spend our money on cocaine than raise children. My own ‘TOWHEGB’ once referred to any woman who didn’t have children as ‘a bitter old maid’. I didn’t bother correcting her on the term.

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