I don’t exactly know what typical behavior from a pregnant woman is supposed to be like; I’ve read quite a few articles talking about how the female may become a little hyper-emotional, or slightly unreasonable, and of course there is the stereotyped cravings of pickles and ice cream at the same time. Apart from a few isolated incidents, I’d say Rhiannon is doing quite well. What I have yet to see discussed is how the expectant father-to-be is expected to react. Outside of the congratulations and knowing smiles from other males, no one really seems to concerned with how I’m handling the pregnancy.
I’m actually quite concerned about my own mental sanity, quite possibly more than Rhiannon’s. I don’t mean to say I’m loony-bin material and a straight-jacket and a padded room, but my behavior as of late has become decidedly abnormal.
Case in point: I talk to my wife’s stomach almost on a daily basis. Six months ago, I would have rolled my eyes and told you than anyone who does that is stupid.
I have also named the baby – the baby who is less than half a foot long and doesn’t really have any chance at knowing who I am yet. I call him Beta. And no, when I say “him” I’m not giving away any state-level secrets. I just refuse to call the baby it. This is probably the reason I gave him a name in the first – to avoid the generalized use of gender constricting pronouns. Again, six months ago – naming the unborn would have qualified as a little idiotic.
I am also beginning to notice the enormous amount of money poured into marketing aimed at the parents of tiny children. I think for many years, it was probably assumed that mothers would make most of the child-related purchasing decisions, and baby products were correspondingly soft, soothing, and cuddly. It was only a matter of time until some smart marketing genius realized that if they made baby items in the form of cool-looking tech-laden gadgets, dads could be involved and spend even more ridiculous amounts of money on their offspring.
Case in point – Bugaboo strollers. (Not that we have one sitting in our living room right now or anything…) I get the same kind of same kind of rush watching the videos of how it folds, unfolds, and locks into positions as I do watching videos of cars with excessive amounts of displacement and low end torque or shopping online for completely over-designed computer systems.
Finally, I notice that a lot of the T.V. shows we watch seem to center around children or babies. Maybe they always have and I just never really paid any attention, or maybe it’s an unusually high amount of small-person related story lines at the moment, but hey, we only get about six channels; my options are limited, ok? Last night, there was a newborn that needed immediate and potentially dangerous surgery, and it bothered me – not because I was worried our child might have that problem, but more because, the poor baby and gosh I hope he’s going to be ok.
I haven’t gone past the point of no return yet. I’m not gushing over every infant we see in public, nor do I ever anticipate asking to touch any woman’s stomach other than Rhiannon’s. I also rationally understand that there will come a time when a small child who is unable to communicate using any form of recognizable vocabulary will refuse to cease crying despite the best efforts of the adults who created it. At this moment, I fully expect to question the order of the universe and ask what we ever did to deserve such punishment. And I will, again, question my own sanity for decided to reproduce in the first place. Until then, however, I remain blissfully enraptured in imagining the future with a small child in our house.
Is this normal? Gosh, I hope not. I am enjoying it? You better believe it.