Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Gene Pool

There's an old joke about different definitions of heaven and hell:

Heaven Is Where:
The French are the chefs
The Italians are the lovers
The British are the police
The Germans are the mechanics
And the Swiss make everything run on time
Hell is Where:
The British are the chefs
The Swiss are the lovers
The French are the mechanics
The Italians make everything run on time
And the Germans are the police

I was reminded of this joke recently when I thought about what traits and characteristics I would like our baby to inherit from Katherine and me.  There's a very good way to mix our genes, and there's a very bad way.

Do we want our kid to have white boxes or black ones?

I hope our spawn has:
  • Katherine's temperament 
  • my immune system
  • her work ethic
  • my appreciation for leisure
  • her quick thinking
  • my sense of humor (because despite what Katherine thinks, I am hilarious)
  • her musical ability
  • my sports ability
  • her organizational skillz
  • my dishwashing skillz
  • her patience
  • my enthusiasm
  • her initiative 
  • my morning person-ness (I don't want more people at the breakfast table who won't talk to me)
  • her math ability
  • my writing ability

There are also things that I hope our baby inherits from both of us:  intelligence, analytical thinking, independence, a sense of fairness, our nerdy love of spreadsheets.

Our little nerdling?

And then there are traits that we both share that it would be nice if the kid could mutate away from:  short, pale, paddle-like feet, our inability to dance, our (sometimes) social awkwardness.


Of course you can't customize your baby.  You get what you get, and you love it as best you can.  As I said in my last post, I have no idea how I'm going to take to parenting.  But it would be a challenge for me if our child had a wildly different personality than me.  What if s/he grows up to be shallow, stupid, materialistic, or cruel?  What if our kid grows into a Republican

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Random Thoughts on Impending Parenthood

This package was waiting on the porch when I came home from work:

Snugride Classic Connect 30:  Only the best for my spawn

Shit just got real up in here.

I was really looking forward to having a weekend this week.  For the first time in two months, I'm not traveling or working.  And what did we spend most of the weekend doing?  Setting up the nursery, moving furniture around, cleaning things out, putting together the crib.   


I thought that once all our summer travels were over (we've visited five different states since Memorial Day), I'd have some time to chill out before the baby comes.  But after this "free" weekend,  I look ahead to the next week:

  1. Tomorrow we're finally having our new sewer line put in.  This means we had to clear out a section of our basement so they could jackhammer up our floor.  It also means that for an entire day I won't have access to my computer or TV, or indoor plumbing.  How am I going to get anything done?  HOW DO PEOPLE LIVE LIKE THIS?
  2. Tuesday morning we have a routine appointment with our regular OB/GYN to check on the progress of Cletus Fetus.
  3. Thursday morning we're meeting for the first time with our new pediatrician. 
  4. Thursday evening we have the first of our two-session class, Caring for Newborns.  
  5. All day Saturday and half the day on Sunday we signed up for a childbirth class at the hospital.  (Goodbye, Weekend.  I hardly knew you.) 
If you're counting, that's four separate baby appointments this week.  It's not even here yet, and this baby is already taking up all of my time.  I was hoping to cram in more leisure time before it got here, since I know that once it comes my life will be over.


We're taking classes, re-arranging our house, visiting daycares, and thinking about things like cloth diapers, but the truth is there's no good way to prepare yourself mentally for a baby.  I know that it will be a lot of work.  An unrelenting, incessant amount of work.  Like, way more work than I've ever had to do in my easy life.  I know I will never get any sleep again.  I know that I will never have any free time again.  I will never get any privacy again.

I hear that it can also be fulfilling and rewarding, but the truth is I have no idea how I will take to parenting-- if I will like it, find it redeeming, or be any good at it.  It's a huge block box, sitting right on the calendar, dominating my future.

Am I eager to meet the new human who comes out of my wife's hoo-haw?  Sure.  I'm ready to meet the challenge.  And to feel the love.  But I don't have any delusions about it being all baby breath and pixies.    


From all the posts on FB on Father's Day, I understand there are a lot of people who respect, admire, and adore their father.

I wonder what that's like. 

Not to get all Dr. Phil here, but I do not have a very good relationship with my father.  I don't have much respect for him.

So it makes me wonder what my future kid, now due in less than two months, is going to think of me.  It's a fascinating and frightening proposition that there will be someone out in the world whose image of "Dad"-- what they think of when they hear that word-- will be me.

"What did you learn in school today?"