I’ve accomplished many things in my life by moving little more than a finger. I’ve pointed at things; I’ve held onto plastic bags; I once fell asleep in an empty parking lot full of concrete and bricks, and I woke up inside a 42 story apartment complex with barely more than broken sweat and a strained flexor tendon. The biggest minimal-movement accomplishment: becoming the World’s Greatest Dad. Earlier this week my wife and I attended the first physical exam, and I did nothing more than follow my wife into a testosterone-deprived women’s clinic waiting room and sit. I was the only male in this room. Later, because of this, I’m told how great I am.

The father’s role so far seems to be just a glorified version of the schoolyard favorite, Follow the Leader*, which, contrary to the patriarchal stereotype, I embrace. This is something simple, something I can do. I once followed Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping through a cornfield for six hours. Why? Because it was simple, and I could do it.

While, the domestic version of Follow the Leader may involve fewer world leaders, the measure of success is surprisingly similar between the two forms. Victory is determined simply by the amount of following a single player will endure. And when that number of players drops to one (or starts at one, as in my case), the remaining participant is declared “Father of the Day.” If playing with political world leaders, the remaining participant is more appropriately declared “Martyr of the Day.”

Many of the preggies were far enough along to perhaps justify an absent companion. After enough of these checkups I can imagine becoming numbed by routine, and where there is routine there is a perceived unimportance. I’m sure the husbands had reasons for missing the appointments: work, kid hating, or maybe forced overtime at the kid hating factory. Despite the reasons, though, one fact remains clear: I am the greatest father in the world.

EDIT: Remained. Was.

Like too many great men of our time, when presented with a choice between maintaining the status I had so lazily acquired, and risking it all for potential gains otherwise, I chose the funnier option. After the examination, my wife stepped from the room, proudly walked back through the waiting area, and entered a separate laboratory office. She completed this entire journey with her pants left unzipped**, in what I contend was an animalistic approach at boasting that she is “with child.” Female Huntsman spiders accomplish this by filling their jaws with egg sacks. She insists otherwise; that it was a way of boasting that she is “with a jerk.” I’m not sure what that means.

This is sure to remain a constant battle in both this blog and in family life: play to the audience vs. play to the inherently funny.

*My history of competitive playground games doesn’t stop there. I once battled Joseph Stalin in a marathon game of four-square, which elevated quickly…too quickly, some journalists say. The resulting blood stains are how the city of Red Square got its name. True story.
**My wife is really embarrassed by this part. I am a jackass.
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