Photo: the bends, Flickr Creative Commons
I'm telling the truth when I say this is the result of a failed gamble on my part. I knew my wife wanted a second child, but she's unreasonably kind to me and never really pushed for it while she knew I was against it. Feeling guilty, I made a deal with her: One month without protection against pregnancy and at the end of that month if she was still not pregnant, we'd revisit our agreement. My plan had been to get through that month (which, for obvious reasons, would be far from unpleasant) and then take the out at the end of the month to keep this a one-child family. After all, it had taken us more than a year to succeed last time, and I figured with all of the biking and running in tight pants in excruciatingly hot weather would have fried my little swimmers. After all, they say sperm needs a temperature below that of the rest of the body to live. That's why the boys dangle a bit. They're keeping cool.
Turns out they're hardier than I thought. It only took a month. Less than probably.
Just let me say that my wife doesn't like me making jokes about parenting. In fact, she stopped me from referring on Facebook to the planned c-section we'll have as the day the child will be surgically ripped from her uterus. She thought it was funny, but she cares more about the opinions of those without senses of humor than I do. She did, however, give me permission to make these jokes on the blog. I have more anonymity here and those of you who really know me, know my sense of humor and are unlikely to mistake me for being the horrible misanthrope my comedy tends to portray me to be.
That being said, there is a true kernel within the bitterness of my jokes. I really don't consider parenthood to be anything special. I hate the cult of parenthood. I really do consider it to be quantitatively more of a pain in the ass than living without a child. That doesn't mean that in my private life that I'm not tricked by biology into thinking that my son is one badass motherfucker. Anyone who's seen me with the kid knows I'm a pretty competent father. I adore the kid (most of the time) and he, finally, seems to adore me. It just means I'm honest about the reality of it.
Probably shouldn't have mooned my wife in front of him though. I'm worried his instant copying of the move won't be the last time that little white ass is displayed as a joke.
They say that people suffering from depression tend to have a more accurate perception of reality than mentally healthy people, especially in regards to their own abilities. This is kind of depressing in itself as it seems to suggest that to be happy, you have to lack a certain amount of self-awareness, but it makes sense to me. I've spent at least half of my life struggling with depression. Although I've never been clinically diagnosed, I'm pretty sure years of suicidal thoughts should qualify me. Luckily, I haven't had those issues in several years. My wife helped, as did leaving a hellish job a few years ago, but mental illness runs in the family.
And that's one of the reasons I've been so reluctant to agree to a second child. Whereas most parents seem to be thrilled by the possibilities presented by their squalling, poop-smeared ball of joy, I tend to be terrified. In addition to mental illness, my gene pool of origin features a little autism, and that's not even including the freak of nature deformities and mental disabilities that would make the lives of both the child and me worse than I'm comfortable with. I was thrilled when it became obvious that my son wasn't going to be autistic. He's socially adept and fairly empathetic for a child his age. I still worry about adolescence, though. I really hope he doesn't have to deal with the depression I did for most of my teens and sporadically throughout my adult life.
Now, with a new child on the way, I don't just have to suffer through the sleeplessness and diapers and baby vomit of the first couple of years that I've gladly left behind with my son. I have to go through those same worries about what the new kid will become and no that I have very little control over any of that.
So, yeah. Congratulations to me and all that jazz.