The other day I received a phone call at the office. “Honey,” the voice said, “we did it. I’m pregnant.”
Fortunately, the voice belonged to my wife.
She had discovered while sitting at work that she had miscalculated her period date and was actually three days late. Rushing home for lunch, low and behold the second line showed up on the keepsake pregnancy test (of which I think is really stretching the boundaries of the word “keepsake” – normally my first reaction for an item that has been soaked in urine is not to put it in a scrapbook).
I certainly wasn’t surprised; she had been on Clomid for several months and we were actively trying to conceive. Even though, I still was a little shocked as the reality hit me. Not the grandiose notion that we were bringing another tiny human being into this mixed up world, no, it was much more shallow than that. I realized that my new title in life was to be “father of two”. It just sounds so… so… adult.
Our “cute young couple with a kid” status had been suddenly revoked. I was entering the land of the over scheduling mom and sports dads. In the far-flung past of the 90s, I made a solemn oath that I would never have children. I found only one problem with this plan. Being that I’m not Bradley Cooper and my choices of women were limited, I began to discover that it’s rather hard to find women who are along the same line.
I started to believe that only lesbians didn’t want kids – a notion quickly dispelled, as any avid reader of People magazine can tell you, lesbians are churning rug rats out as fast as anyone. Although I’m still not quite clear on how this works. Something to do with a turkey baster. So, I got married and hopped on the baby train. It was amazing.
The first one actually made me feel younger. The anxiety, the sleepless nights, completely clueless – it reminded me of high school. But what would happen with the second? I imagine that Ward Cleaver wore t-shirts, jeans, and hoop earrings when Wally was born. Then, along came the Beaver and – BOOM! – out came the cardigans, Bryl-Creem, and pipe.
This couldn’t be true. What about my friends? Perfect! I’ll just look at them, see how they changed after two kids… drat. My unsociable behavior has whittled down the selection pool – the few friends I have don’t have any children, let alone two.
This situation required some research in the field. So I decided to head out and observe some parents in their natural habitat – the mall. I covered all ground, weaving my way from Foot Locker to the candied almond stand, to Barnes and Noble, to Kohls, back to the candied almond stand (hey, can I help it that they are little tear drops from heaven? A man has his limits). I took careful, copious notes. I observed young parents with two tots barely one year apart. I saw a couple with two kids spread out by at least four years. Twins. One boy, one girl. Two girls. Two boys. Even an old guy with a young wife carting around a toddler and a newborn (what was he thinking? Actually, I saw the wife, and I know what he was thinking so I’ll move on).
After analyzing and comparing my results, I observed only one strikingly similar characteristic between all the parents – they looked tired. From my research I decided that I can remain the same despite my having two children. That’s a real load off. But one nagging question still lurks in the back of my brain. Should I get the silver Pilot or the black Odyssey?