Tag Archives: comedy

What To Expect When She’s Expecting

Walk into any bookstore (if you can find one) and you will find row after row of books devoted to advice for women on their pregnancy. While these books offer tips for dad’s which generally boil down to “try not to be a jerk while your wife is pregnant,” there are very few practical guides for men, outside of Billy Cosby’s 1987 bestseller “Fatherhood.” Which, if memory serves, is mostly just a transcript of that “Cosby Show” episode where Denise makes Theo a really ugly shirt.

So, in the interest of helping expectant Dad’s navigate the minefield that pregnancy can sometimes be, please enjoy these tips, tricks and observations from a man who has went through one pregnancy and is in the midst of a second. This is solely based on my experiences, so your results may vary.

First of all, don’t be a jerk. Your wife will be going through a lot of physical changes, and you are going to see, feel and hear a lot of things. Things that you will want to make “funny” comments about. Don’t. For those nine months, you would be best served by sticking with Omerta, the Mafia’s Code of Silence. You didn’t see anything and you didn’t hear anything. “My wife is as beautiful today as the day we met” is what you will say under oath. And that’s all you will say.

The real challenge comes with the emotional changes she will be going through. During Jen’s first pregnancy, she would cry during insurance commercials, old episodes of “Friends,” and anything featuring dogs and the music of Sarah McLachlan.

This commercial should be outlawed under The Geneva Convention.

This commercial should be outlawed under The Geneva Convention.

During this pregnancy, things took an even stranger emotional turn when Jen passed gas like a long haul trucker, then asked me to leave the room, then started laughing, which led to crying, and then went back around to laughter. When she asked me to come back in the room she went into a half laugh/half cry which I can only imagine would be the reaction to finding out that a beloved clown had passed away.

In these type of situations, you will be expected to react accordingly to the situation. Do you offer reassurances, laugh with them or just offer a hug? I would like to be able to offer you a guide on how to respond accordingly, but the truth is that no matter what you do, you will have made the wrong choice.

The most important piece of advice that I can give to expectant Dad’s or new father’s is to always be doing something. Fold clothes, hang pictures, unload the dishwasher. It doesn’t matter. To be safe, just carry around a tape measure.

While the first pregnancy can be tough, the second can offer a whole new set of challenges as memories from the first time around are still fresh on your wife’s mind.

What I didn’t realize when I became a father was that I would never again be truly tired. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I am very tired. But I can’t say that I am tired without receiving a reply from Jen that begins with the question “You think you’re tired?” Apparently, she has not slept more than two hours straight in the last 15 years. Like Leonardo DaVinci….or a meth addict.

Similarly, after your wife has had a baby, any physical pain you may feel pales in comparison to childbirth. I don’t care if you have stepped onto a bear trap, unless you want to hear the phrase “Now imagine if that bear trap came out of you,” it is best to keep it to yourself, hobble your bloody stump to the kitchen and take out the garbage.

And when you add a toddler to the pregnancy mix, as a Dad you better be ready to take it up a notch. Our son Matthew hasn’t quite figured out that he can’t do a running belly flop onto Jen’s stomach, so I need to take some of the heat off of her and bring his attention to me. Like a rodeo clown.

As a Dad you need to recognize that your pregnant wife needs some time to take it easy, and that means you to take over baths, play with blocks for hours at a time and read your toddler loads and loads of terrible books. I don’t think the author of “The Teletubbies in Who Stole the Tubby Custard?” was even trying. But I may just be bitter because Tubby Custard was my nickname at summer camp.

So basically, whether it is your wife’s first pregnancy or her sixth, the real key is just to be a good guy. Be nice, get involved, and save all of your snarky comments for a little-read blog.

I think that ultimately, my wife will be able to look at this and laugh. Or cry. I really can’t tell at this point.

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Filed under Baby, Fatherhood, Humor(?), Parenting

So what? So let’s dance.

As a 36-year old white guy, there are a lot of things that I can’t pull off: 

  • Either of the hawks (faux or mo).   (It’s one of the things that kept me out of contention for a role in the A-Team remake.)
  • Skinny and/or baggy jeans.   (Nobody needs or wants to see more of what I have going on in the slacks-region.)
  • Any use of the phrase “Bieber Fever.” 

These are all things that I can, and do, avoid. But there is  one thing which keeps bringing me back for a humiliatingly one-sided showdown again and again.  My old nemesis: dancing. 

Fast or slow.  Jazz or tap.  Popping or locking.  I cannot dance.   Not only do I have two left feet, but aside from my regular left foot, I seem to have another left foot which was injured in a misguided foray into the world of rodeo clowning. 

I have one move, and one move only.  I shift from one leg to the other while slightly swaying my arms.  A move that reminds my wife of an “As seen on TV” exercise slide, but slowed down for rehabbing Seniors.  My only variation is that I speed it up for a fast song (i.e  Morris Day and the Time’s “Jungle Love) and awkwardly grab onto someone for a slow dance (i.e.  Jeffrey Osborne’s hauntingly beautiful “On the Wings of Love”). 

The guy in this still picture is already moving more than I usually do.

Maybe my non-existent dancing skills are due to a lack of strong dancing role models as a kid.  Without the constant bombardment of C-level celebrity dance programs on network TV, did I ever really stand a chance?  Despite my proclivity for gold lamet headbands, I knew that no matter how hard I worked I could never be a Solid Gold dancer.  Instead, I saw Bruce Springsteen’s moves in the “Dancing in the Dark” video and decided that they most closely matched my skill level. 

Solid Gold dancer was the number one career goal for pre-teens in 1983 according to Bananas magazine.

In grade school, my lack of dancing prowess came head to head with my lack of skills with the ladies, as my gym teacher decided to focus less on my inability to do a pull-up and create a more hoedown-centric curriculum.   Square dancing was the perfect storm for the 12-year old me, as it combined the mind-blowing nervousness of physical contact with the opposite sex and down home choreography.  I think I would have rather done push-ups.  Girly style. 

Things didn’t improve much in high school, as school mixers leaning up against the bleachers in the gym led to my first formal dance, when I awkwardly swayed to “High Enough” by the Ted Nugent led super-group Damn Yankees.  I don’t know it is possible to sweat through a blue blazer, but I think I came as close as humanly possible. 

No one sums up the feelings of young romance like homemade jerky proponent Ted Nugent.

Most of my displays of fancy footwork these days come at weddings,  the event which comes as close as most adults will ever be again to attending prom.  (I hope)  I got married last year, and the part of the day that had me most nervous was the dancing.   Having my picture taken repeatedly or meeting loads of people whom I have never met?  Child’s play.  Dancing with everyone watching?  Horrifying. 

We outlawed the Duck Dance and the Macarena but, as the wedding approached, a highly choreographed wedding party dance became an internet sensation.  Wisely, Jen realized that having a husband that looks like he is doing the Robot even when he is trying not to may create an internet sensation of a completely different kind.  So she let me stick to my one move.   I love her because she knows that I will always dance when asked but she accepts the fact that my dancing will only continue to get worse.  Much, much worse. 

So, I will continue to dream of a world in which John Lithgow has outlawed dancing, “Footloose”-style, but in my heart I know that I will be called on to dance again.  Just as long as it isn’t “The Cha Cha Slide.”

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Filed under Humor(?)