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It’s been a while. I’m sorry. Why? Laziness. I’ve taken a tip from the U.S Constitution’s preamble and deliberately misinterpreted it in order to satisfy my crippling lethargy: I take the “perfect Union” referenced by “in Order to form a more perfect Union” as the union of my ass with the couch. Thank you forefathers.

Now for the true post…

Impending fatherhood has encouraged me to hoard my time. Where once I may have used my few spare minutes to craft a blog post and sweat through a sit-up or two, I now requisition that time toward more lazy endeavors. Do you have any idea how many sit-ups I haven’t done in the past month? Neither do I. Counting is for active suckers.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy posting blogs. But I enjoy, perhaps just slightly more, having become so habitually lazy that I get winded just typing this sentence. There’s a morbid style of pride associated with being so out of shape that exercise may actually kill you. I’m not there yet, but I will cross my fingers (though not without first stretching to warm up those tendons).

Exhaustion could be a part of it. My wife and I haven’t slept well in a while. Since the pregnancy our cat, Burrito (or as my wife has named her, Your Fucking Cat), has taken to early morning choir practice at the foot of our bed. I, for one, encourage her participation in extra-curricular activities. My wife does not. We responded initially by shutting the cat away in other rooms, but the pitch of her wailing just grew in proportion to the number of doors and walls we put between us, and the volume in direct correlation to the number of pillows and hand grenades we threw at her.

Apparently this sort of strange behavior around pregnant women is normal for cats . And studies suggest also that the behavior is really fucking annoying. Why can’t cats respond to pregnancy in less aggravating ways? How about reacting to the hormones with 2am Taco Bell runs and free karate lessons? Do you have any idea, cat, how much extra Meow Mix you would get if you were to surprise me with a Chalupa and frenzied martial arts action? Lots. That’s how much.

And, though it is primarily my wife who is angered by Your Fucking Cat, it is I who must take care of the problem each night. Something about a cat’s toxic poop changes fetuses into retarded unicorn babies. Her inability to physically remove the cat from the room based on a fear of fecal contamination of course assumes that the cat had recently submerged itself in a tank of its own shit, turning every visible hair toxoplasmic. This is ridiculous, obviously, as Your Fucking Cat has yet to display intelligence enough to construct a feces dunk tank. She did once build a urine Slip-n-Slide, but the feat becomes less impressive when considering that she purchased the Slip-n-Slide pre-built and borrowed most of the urine from our dog. After all that work she wouldn’t even use it. She forgot that cats hate getting wet.*

If anyone has any ideas to shut a cat up, please let me know. I’m also open to adoption: Your Fucking Cat could become your fucking cat.

*Yes, the cat could have rolled around in its litter box, and therefore coated herself in the parasite. But by that logic I could be contaminated with the Kick Ass Itchies and Awesome Pox. Yes, I am saying that I often roll around in piles of Kick Ass Itchy and Awesome Pox-causing substances.
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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.

My wife woke me up at 4:30 in the morning to tell me she was pregnant. I think I kissed her. I can’t remember; I was tired. And I’m pretty sure I was dreaming of something naked.

Later, when recounting the news, after waking up a second time to my wife’s glowing yet still-spastic face, I had only one honest question: “why did you choose 4:30 in the morning to pee on a stick?”

Knowing me well, she was ready with some logical response about having to capitalize on the first—i.e., cleanest—pee of the day. Though still tired and confused, I was excited by the opportunity to add to my list of things for which clean pee is needed: friend’s drug test, dehydrated in the desert, and now, pregnancy tests. Of course I was excited by the test as well, but, come on; I had been searching for years to find a third CLEAN PEE APPROPRIATE situation to round out my list.

Though this was the first time I’d been woken up by news involving urine, this wasn’t the first occurrence of an a.m. stick-pee in our household. For weeks leading up to the positive test, the bathroom had been converted into a makeshift bulk peestick warehouse bunker, leaving little room for toilet paper and oxygen. Our nuclear war readiness kit suffered: 1) food: nope. 2) water: nope. 3) peesticks: regular and extra crispy.

She praised those peesticks the way most men praise their own biological peesticks, waving them around in other people’s faces and challenging anybody willing to step up to the porcelain to a swordfight. Remind me to throw a crazy party the next time I have a vagina. Get strippers. Probably both sexes.

Logically, she should have at least waited until a missed period before hosing down her peestick stockpile. Then again, logically, I should just shut up and let her have her moments…her many, many moments waiting for those many, many peesticks to Magic 8-Ball our future. Eventually, I did shut up (until this blog, of course).

My wife has wanted children for a long time, since her own conception, I swear. And as is common with the potential for any realized dream, all ideas of logic die immediately. Restraining orders solve this dilemma for most people. For those in committed relationships, the party sans-dream must learn to endure the chaos.

I can remember the exact moment I had come to accept that, during the next nine months, I would have to abandon logic in favor of disarray: the moment I was shaken awake at 4:30 in the morning with a stick of urine above my head, by a wife who couldn’t have been happier about the situation.

About this site:

These are the words of a man learning to be a father with nothing to guide him but the wisdom of friends, his wife, his family, and some pretty good hunches…like, really good hunches, though.

Action Montage:

4 weeks

8 weeks

12 weeks

16 weeks

20 weeks

24 weeks

28 weeks

The Goal (replace dotted line with actual profile)

Read this…

"A Mean Utility" short story from Craig Davidson's collection, Rust and Bone.(This goes to an excerpt; the full story deals more with fatherhood, I promise)

Shit Yeah, Another Baby. by By Amber Richardson

Archives: A history of things I’ve likely already forgotten

RSS The Bewildered Housewife

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