Christmas is at hand, it’s cold outside and The Wife is about to pop.
In the waning months of my wife’s pregnancy with our daughter, Riley, there wasn’t much we did but work, go home, go eat, nap and eat some more. We became lazy recluses because she was tired and ginormous and I had the stereotypical pregnancy sympathies.
Riley is used to being the solo top dog in the house, so she’s already showing the telltale signs of a jealous older sibling.
She dearly wanted a sister, and now that she knows a brother is on the way, I have serious concerns for this imminent baby’s safety.
Riley is no “Daddy’s Girl” by any stretch of the imagination. Dad and boys in general are something to be scraped from the bottom of a shoe. She and The Wife routinely like to say the girls in the house rule — Riley, her mom and our 7-year-old daughter, Katie, a Chow-shepherd mix from the pound — and I, you guessed it, drool.
But ever since we found out the sex of the baby, we’ve been trying to soften the blow. So far, with about 10 weeks left, it doesn’t look to be working.
Riley still claims she’s going to “punch it in the face,” and make “it’s” life difficult and make him drink toilet water (seriously), and whatever torturous thought can come into her vivid little imagination.
The only signs that she might be loosening up on the idea of baby brother, is she is settling in to the fact that she can dress him in pink and pretend he’s a she. There’s even been an interest in feeding the baby, “but I’m not changing his poop,” she says.
That reminds me …
I’m no longer a father, but a playmate and a punching bag. Riley even calls me “playmate,” facetiously.
She’s definitely a “Momma’s Girl,” so I’m basically always sucking up to this kid, trying to get her to spend alone time with Dad.
It’s true when they — whoever “they” are — say to be careful what you ask for.
With The Wife in big-belly mode, Riley has had to settle for me, and that means from the minute I wake up in the morning she wants to play “camp out” under the covers, telling ghost stories; wants to color in her coloring books with me the second I walk through the door after work; and every minute in between she wants to play checkers, War or Uno, or — ugh — Barbie dress-up.
I get tired just thinking about it, but it’s what I wanted, so I’m having a blast.
That reminds me …
Not everything is a blast.
If you’re in a relationship and haven’t had children yet, and thought things couldn’t get much worse than that time of the month, I’ve got nine more — and much worse — months to tell you about.
PMS looks like a bump in the road when compared to the emotional demolition derby women go through when with child.
I get told I am annoying at least once a day, and when I try to defend myself, I’m mean and insensitive. There is no shortage of tears from her, and apologies from me. It’s part of the territory, I suppose.
And truth be told, I can be pretty annoying. And insensitive.
You should have read the original version of this column. I read it to my wife over the phone and she just about hung up on me … and started to cry.
These weren’t tears of joy, either.