Really? That’s what I’m calling this?
Shut up, me… Just keep writing and know that no one will read this.
We’re at 22 weeks and life’s about to go Pinocchio. (That’s a catchphrase I’m trying to start or maybe a hashtag I want to get trending, ya know, because it’s about to get real. Like Pinocchio did!? #amiright? No? #jiminycrickets). I’m gonna be a dad. Caitie’s gonna be a mom. We’re gonna be parents. And a little person is going to think we’re the best, then the worst, then whatever, rinse and repeat.
There is no way around how excited I am. When I was 17 I wanted six kids–true story. I wanted to start when I was 22 or something stupid and just keep going until the lucky girl in my life threatened to leave me or kill me if I knocked her up a seventh time. I’m 32. My wife, Caitie, is cooler than the other side of the pillow (RIP Stu), and she’s talked me down to “two, maybe three if the first two are girls.” Ew, girls. We don’t know the gender, but it’s sitting inside a little gender-neutral green envelope on the refrigerator with creepy 3D pics of our genital-toting baby. My family is torn, taking sides and forming alliances of Team Penis and Team Vagina, with an epic battle for gender prognosticating superiority set for the baby shower in July.
Did I mention my wife was cool? Of all the things she could want on that day to help celebrate — artisan cookies, fireworks, trained doves, or whatever else Pinterest is pushing — she wants an ice cream truck. Yup. That’s right, she’s mine.
Without the slightest hit to my pride, I can honestly say that I have never seen her so happy. Example:
“Oh my God, I’m getting sooo big.”
That sentence said one way with one tone can sound so sad. But, and I don’t think she knows that I notice it, she says it with an awed smile. Back before we got engaged, I went ring shopping for the first time. I walked into the store and the woman asked, “Are you looking for something?” And I said, “I’m looking for something that makes her do this –” and I put my hands over my face the way Caitie does when she’s really happy. She covers her mouth as if the happiness might try to escape through her smile. That’s how she says, “Oh my God, I’m getting sooo big.”
It surprised me the first time I noticed it, and after 22 weeks I know it’s not rehearsed or inauthentic. She’s not going to be a great mom. She IS a great mom. Because the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things that kiddo is doing to her over this trial of trimesters doesn’t stand a chance to the love I know she already has. She gets sick, she aches, she cries … and then she smiles. It’s awesome. Sunday is Mother’s Day, and she’s earned it already.
In give or take 18 weeks, we’ll give a person a name. It’s a weird thought now that I’ve typed it. I don’t know how to give a name. Probably more alarming is I don’t know how to prepare a bottle without YouTube. The feet from our IKEA dresser are still on backwards three years later. Oh, and I’m only OK at cleaning, apparently.
But I can make funny noises. I can be a horsey. I can peek-a-boo. Yeah … I can dad.