Thursday, September 01, 2005

I Am Living With A Crazy Woman

I am living with a crazy woman.

Let me clarify, I am living with a crazy, pregnant woman.

She has been eating nothing but "hormone sandwiches" and I fear for my life. I only mention this in case I am found on the side of the road strangled by my iPod headphones - my story deserves to be told.

I understand how many of pregnancy's symptoms are nature's way of protecting the mother and child. I understand the swelling, the cravings to ensure nutrition - but if we are truly animals and these symptoms are survival instincts genetically woven into our DNA for protection, why would nature create a symptom the forces the male mate (the traditional provider and protector) to want to go bowling by himself 5 nights out of the week?

When I come home from work every night, I turn off the headlights two or three houses away, cut the engine and coast up to the house. I do this in case my wife is on the roof with an M-16 waiting for me. Once I make sure the perimeter is sniper free, I then check the front walkway for trip wires and land mines.

If I am still breathing, I open the front door - CAREFULLY - and listen. Is Ella, our 2 year old crying or laughing? And more importantly, can I hear my wife and is SHE crying or laughing. If she is crying, screw it, game over and I sleep in the car. If both are laughing I proceed with caution because we could still sink to Defcon One at any moment.

The problem with pregnancy hormones are the follow no logical pattern. No werewolf's full moon, or Dracula's sun setting - oh no. They can strike at any time, right in the middle of watching "Meet The Fockers" for example. It's approach is silent and deadly.

After Ella goes to sleep my wife and I usually retire to watch 4 or 5 of the 3,256 episodes of "A Baby's Story" she has TiVo'd off of TLC. I have seen every episode at least 3 times and I gotta tell you - I can totally guess the ending by now. They have a baby every time! No ninjas, no bombs to diffuse, no giant robots - where's the drama? Nope. A baby. Every single time.

But what keeps me entertained is watching the show from a different perspective. Women viewers watch the women. "Oh she didn't gain any weight at all!" or "I hope the baby doesn't have her nose?" or "Geez, how many family members are going to crowd around her crotch?" I watch the show differently. It's like I have special decoder glasses that reveal a whole new level embedded in the selfish "me me me" cries of the mother.

Watch the dad's face. Watch his eyes as he looks from the clock to the doctor. He is counting the seconds until those hormones flush out of her system. In some episodes the men cry, and my wife always says, "Oh, look how sensitive he is." Fuck that. The men are crying cause they are mentally saying, "Doc, Doc, help me doc. If for any reason this baby can't be born today....kill me. Kill me right now. I can't take another frozen yogurt run during the last 2:30 of the game...I can't stand being asked questions there are no right answers for...Can I have an epidural?"

But of course the baby comes, and it is one of the most joyous moments of your life. You feel connect in a way you never did before. You look at this beautiful creature you've created and blah blah blah...all that mushy Dr. Phil stuff.

And a few months later things go back to normal. You have spit up and baby shit all over you, but that is your new definition of normal.

But remember a year, two, three years later when she turns to you in bed and say, "I want to have another baby..." Kiss her gently, look into her eyes, say "Whatever you want honey."

Then punch yourself square in the face.

No comments: