August 06, 2009

Thoughts From an Expectant Father

Last week marked the start of birthing (formerly called lamaze) classes for me and my wife. Since I likely won't be doing much in the way of birthing, the classes are more geared towards my wife; I'm included, I believe, mostly as a reminder that I'm somewhat responsible for the pregnant situation she's currently in, or at least I THINK I am. I better be. . .

I was not looking forward to birthing classes, because quite honestly I can cram a lot of television watching into two hours on a Tuesday night, which is frankly far more interesting to me. Being herded into a classroom filled with other expectant couples is a stark reminder I'm in my thirties and have to give up my own personal dreams and ambitions.

I kid, of course. I'm actually excited about becoming a father, which is tempered somewhat by the shooting pangs of stark terror that can jolt me awake at night. Aside from said pangs, impending fatherhood holds much appeal for me, not the least of which is the chance to educate the next generation about the endless joys of toilet humor.

From what I've experienced, however, birthing classes have very little to do with toilet humor and everything to do with having a baby, so I naturally have a hard time paying attention.

I spent a disturbing amount of time during our first class playing with a rotating information disk that explained what my baby will be able to do after three months and up to five years. Having read that disk extensively, I can tell you that my child's accomplishments up to and including five years don't sound like they're going to be all that impressive. What I can't tell you, however, is about two thirds of what our instructor told us that first night. I found the disk far more engaging.

I learned, for example, that my baby will be able to hold up its head after six months, to which I thought "I do that every day!" The more I read that disk, the more I realized babies today don't have much in the way of expectations in front of them. Oh, you'll be able to coo and recognize shapes? Well, congratulations. I was able to do the same exact things back in college after a particularly long night of partying. Here's your "minor accomplishment" ribbon.

Being the excited yet acerbic father-to-be that I am, I couldn't help but think of things I wanted to add to that disk so it would reflect some of the things I think my baby should be able to accomplish at the given developmental intervals.

For example, while it's great that my baby should be able to walk and recognize simple words at 12 months, I don't think it's too much to ask that the child should also be able to do push-ups and calculate some some simple mathematical equations. If the child can do both at the same time, all the better.

At two years, the disk informed me my child will be able to run and jump, which is great and all, but any human being with that sort of energy level is clearly ready to start earning some money to help defray household expenses.

I won't go into what the disk said I should expect after five years. Suffice it to say, "Establishing a viable moon colony," wasn't on the disk, which I think is an egregious oversight, as such an accomplishment is more than reasonable for a five-year-old, in my opinion.

My child is going to hate me so much.

Posted by Ryan at August 6, 2009 01:08 PM | TrackBack

As long as you're already prepared for the hate, you'll have a wonderful dysfunctional family.

Posted by: Keith at August 7, 2009 12:56 PM

Nice! Glad he turned, now walk walk walk to get everything stretched out, thinned out and moved out of his way!
I can't wait, this is going to be so much fun!

Posted by: Donna at August 11, 2009 09:16 AM
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