The Ambivalence of 'Father-To-Be'

by chasereeves on April 11, 2009 · 1 comment

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For about 7 days now there’s been three huge boxes in our living room — the crib, dresser and other baby furnitures from the grandparents.  Now, I would never have allowed these things to come into my house if I understood the dramatic effects they would have on my wife.

Since their arrival, I haven’t had a moment to spend thinking about all the important blog posts and projects I have swirling around in my head.  No, I’ve been too busy justifying to my wife why it wasn’t the time to start putting “Those Damned Things” together.

Things got so bad that, at day 4, while I was trying to get her to come to bed, she ran to her car to weep and gnash her teeth against me.

What is this crazy thing that happens to them?  That which those who’ve gone before call “nesting.”  Whatever it is, it’s craziness to me.  And I figured the best thing I could do for my precious projects and blog posts is put “Those Damned Things” together and be done with it.

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Screwdriver: check

Short Shorts: check

Let’s do this.

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Building This Damned Thing…

I didn’t get too far into it before something magical started to happen.  While I was trying to make sense of the yiddish instructions, it started to become clear to me that I was building “This Damned Thing” for my lil’ dude.  His little butt will be rolling around on this crib while he looks up at me with a look that could only mean, “WTF are you?” and/or, “can I eat that?”  And that, my friends, is something special.

Each turn of the screwdriver had some more meaning now.  And I took extra care not to strip any screws, forget any steps, or brutally scratch anything that would be in front of my wife or child for the next several years… you know, the usual installation mishaps.

There is this ambivalence that comes with fatherhood un-materialized.  My wife has this concrete understanding of the baby, but for me it’s very much an “oh yea, I’m sure he’s still coming out at some point; haven’t really thought of it” kind of thing.  And I know that’s hard for wifee; she wants me to be all fired up about it.  Which is why she always asks me stuff like, “What do you think he’ll be like?”  And I say, “big nosed, too sarcastic for his own good, a general good guy; now go to bed.”

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So, what’s the take-away?

My mom summed it up best in a text to me:

Talk with mom

Update: Finally completed the construction phase of the baby’s arrival.  Photos below:

[flickr 27809677@N04 72157617086247608]

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jake April 22, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Your mom is a wise woman. Enjoy every step of this adventure. It doesn’t happen very often. I was too busy once too, and I regret it. Best. Like the blog.

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