“You know what? You did this to me,” the little lady said recently, pointing at her Butterball-turkey-sized bulging belly with her eyes gleaming, half-laughing and half-serious.
Which is to be expected as she approaches the eve of her third trimester.
And what a ride it’s been.
Since that initial, seemingly-innocent question where she asked what I would do if I found I was going to be a father at my apparently-over-the-hill age, nothing has been the same at Strange’s House of Mirth.
The room that was going to be my very-cool combination office/entertainment room is rapidly filling up with donated toys, a bassinet (whatever that’s for… apparently it ain’t a bass clarinet.), some plastic thing whose purpose escapes me, and other items the little lady looks at once in a while and says, “awww, look honey, they’re soooo cute!”
And it’s going to get even more full, judging by the list of stuff she says we’re going to need and can’t afford: A crib. A tub of some sort that I’ve been told is critical to the future of mankind. A “changing table,” (why can’t we just use the top of a desk?). A car seat. Diapers. Baby clothes (which I have to admit I’m already looking at in stores and yes, saying “awww….” Newborn socks are just too cute for words.). I’m sure there are dozens of other items I’m leaving out, but I’m scared enough as it is, so we’ll leave it there.
Anyway, so much for the big-screen television, high-end sound system, cool lighting and comfy chairs I’d initially planned for the room.
Instead, it’s going to hold Mason, our little boy, in a few months.
But that’s life, I guess. Literally.
Don’t get me wrong, though. All my griping about the costs involved and the sudden-maturity I’m having to endure pales in comparison with what the tiny little lady is going through.
Right or wrong, I’ve always thought of myself as a fairly tough fellow — until the past few months, that is.
These days, I lie awake at night and watch her sleep, awe-struck at the fact she’s creating another life inside her, and wondering why someone as beautiful as she is would ever consider being with a bum like me, much less go through the trauma of having my baby.
And I’d do just about anything to make it easier on her.
Anything, that is, except go through the morning sickness, raging hormones, leg cramps, sore back, sore belly, sore feet, and any of the other sundry aches and pains she’s experiencing on a daily basis — to say nothing of the impending act of getting what I can only surmise is disemboweled via C-section.
So ladies, I hereby concede that you are tougher than men, at least as far as procreation is concerned.
Once in a while, though, I like to wander around the house and tighten the lids on all the jars so I can feel important…
Keith Strange is a staff reporter with The Mount Airy News. He can be reached at email@example.com or 719-1929.