Saturday, November 2, 2013

Birth #1

There comes a point, fairly early it seems, when you're writing a stay-at-home dad blog and you realize you're going to have to begin a post with a clause like "Once when my wife and I were in birth class together" and you panic because there is no way, with apologies to all the people who wrote the clause before I did, to write that clause without sounding like a James Spader-level douche.

The first problem I guess is the idea that you're in "birth class" together.  You are in a classroom together.  But it's your wife who's in birth class - you're confronting your art anxiety, or your abandonment issues, or your commitment issues, or whatever douchey bullshit you decided you were going to freak out about while your wife was preparing to grow a new human brain inside of her and then bring it forth and feed it and nurture it into a human being.

The pregnancy phase is a time when you become acutely aware of your own shortcomings as a man.  Since you have no persistent connection with the reality of the baby, the pregnancy presents itself as "Wow, my wife has been acting pretty strange for the last forty-so weeks, HOLY SHIT A KID!" which is not conducive to being any kind of adequate partner to someone who actually realizes on a gut level (AIW, FS) that there is a baby coming and that the two of you are going to have to take care of it until it gets into a car and drives away.  And then you still have to take care of it if it decides to drive back.

Yet things happen when you're in birth class together, and sometimes you have to start stories that way.  Unfortunately I don't remember what story I'm going to tell.  I got off on birth.  I guess I'll just bitch about laundry for a few paragraphs and then call it a day.

I realized for the first time today that despite the fact that yes, you do separate by color (and I do!), you also have to make a some sort of effort to wash clothes on a "first in, first out" basis if you are ever going to tolerate more than a one- or two-day overhang in the laundry.  Otherwise older clothes jump the line and you have important garments people need regularly languishing in the bottom of some hamper without anyone knowing where they are.

My beautiful, patient wife is probably clawing her hair our over this because I'm sure she's been telling me this for 20 years, but for some reason it took me until age 37 to actually notice the way my approach sort of conditions everyone in the house to have the same dysfunctional relationship with laundry I do.

Now the question is, am I actually going to do anything about it?  Hopefully so, but I'll keep you updated Dear Reader; I know you're anxious to know more salacious details about the primitive laundry habits of the suburban male.

Your assignment is to thank your wife for providing you with the glorious gift of fatherhood, preferably not in a sarcastic voice while your five year-old is cackling in your bed at 9 p.m. and trying to rub his genitals on your iPad.

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