It is late October and my wife continues to be more pregnant than ever. Leaving the country for two weeks only seemed to speed up her progress. I left with no proof of a baby growing inside her except for the grainy little screen in the doctor’s office.
"There's your baby." the tech said.
"That's a shrimp." I said.
My doubts prove that the pregnancy, in my mind at least, was still just a concept. Reality hadn’t sunk in. Of course, I'm not the one who spends all day fluctuating between being hungry, sick, tired, and hungry.
She looked different when I got home. This woman is pregnant. Where's my proof? Everything she wears is made out of elastic. She eats meat on a regular basis for the first time in our relationship. She sleeps 16 hours a day. And of course, she is still just as gorgeous as ever. And we’re having a baby.
People have started to ask if I care one way or another what the gender is. I tell them that I don’t as long as it is really smart and really athletic. The truth is that we have been referring to the child as a “he.” There is no real reason behind this. That is unless you count the voodoo pencil test that my sister-in-law made us do.
Why are we so confident? We're not. We just felt it necessary to step out on a limb and pick a gender. Maybe we’ll be prophetic in our doing so. Maybe we’re giving our unborn child a complex. We'll take our chances if it helps us avoid calling my kid, "it".
Additionally, I tend to believe that it is easier on a girl to handle mom and dad thinking that she was a boy than the other way around. A growing young man doesn't work well if he believes that mommy wishes he was a girl. So until we know otherwise, it is a boy.
And if it is a girl? What’s the worst that can happen with our current prediction? She'll be fine. It might even make her a little tougher. She might become a softball player.
Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. At this point, I am not sure we are having a baby at all. The way my wife talks about it, I think we are having a fruit. No, not that kind of fruit. I’m referring to an actual, literal piece of fruit. Each week, I’m given an update on my son's growth based on fruit size. One week, he was a grape. The next, a lime. Then, one time, he was a strawberry with arm nubs. That's effin creepy.
All that to say, the kid is growing, which is a good thing. Tests continue to come back positive and progress is good. For the most part.
“Did you know in a week, the baby will be able to hear us talking?” Torrie informed/asked me over dinner last Wednesday.
“What?” I said as I put down my fork, “Like all the time?”
“Yeah, isn’t that cool?” she said.
“No.” I said straight-faced. “That’s terrible. The last thing I need is a little spy listening to everything I say.”
I’m no sailor. But to say that I don’t occasionally use words like “ass”, “dammit” or in desperate situations, “ass-dammit” would be a lie. Don’t judge me. I’m working on it. But now that I have a little strawberry with ears living under my roof, the best thing for me to do is to begin to tighten up those bad habits in a hurry. I know my mom expects me to watch my language, especially with a kid moving in next spring. I’ll do better.
But for the record, all bets are off at her softball games.