My friend TG, to whom I have referred in the past, usually with reference to running and testosterone, and his wife of 7 years, have recently announced her pregnancy. You’ll note I specify it’s her pregnancy, although he did, presumably, make an appearance at the outset. And he does get credit for that, but as far as the pregnancy itself is concerned, since she is the one puking, swelling, stretching, and, eventually, birthing the baby, it is her pregnancy. I hope she doesn’t find this assignation problematic; I am trying to give credit where it is richly deserved.
In any case, the news of this pregnancy is welcome and wonderful, to all in their circle of friends, and I think they will make a wonderful family.
What I wish to record here for posterity is the kind of dad I think my friend will be. I don’t get the impression he feels the least bit ready for fatherhood. In fact, I get the impression he did everything he could to stave off its arrival, for many years, by spending hours in the sauna at the gym. I do not claim to know any other lengths to which he may have gone, but suffice it to say that they have waited a while for this baby.
TG tells stories of his childhood that would grey the hair of any mother. He claims to have been a wild kid. He, in retrospect, may well have been the kind of child offered Ritalin by the pediatrician, just to talk him down from the curtains during a check-up. Beyond mischevious. He even has the scars to prove it. And I get the impression that he’s a little worried about the “what goes around comes around” theory of fate. He figures he’s in for a kid like he was. I wonder how many times his mother wished that very thing on him? Come to think of it, I wonder how many Emergency Department waiting rooms have heard that kind of vow?
In any case, let me describe my friend. He was my first friend when I moved here in Grade 8. He and his wife are bookish. They have more books than, well, me. They also have a lot of cats. They live in a funky neighbourhood in a house that was a boozecan in its former incarnation, which they have fixed up beautifully. They are both professionals, working at the University. He is a self-proclaimed geek, much like my Trevor. In fact, they boys have a silly amount in common. We wives rarely get a word in edgewise.
He is, self-admittedly, terrified of fatherhood. He never seemed particularly comfortable around our children, certainly never offered to change diapers. He always looked vaguely terrified when they were around, like he was afraid they were going to break spontaneously or poop or ask him where babies come from. He never claimed to have any particular affection for babies, at least human ones (feline ones were always welcome). In short, he is a person whom I could easily imagine remaining happily childless for life. But then true love took over, and now he is on his way to becoming a dad.
I want to put down in writing, for posterity, the kind of dad I think TG will be. Here is my prediction.
I think they will have a girl and give her an interesting, different and not trendy name. I think she will be a little princess (I mean that in the nice way, not the snotty way) who loves frilly dresses and wants to be a ballerina. I predict she will love the colour pink and pine for a canopy bed. I think she will have a fluffy white cat and will cry for weeks when it dies during her teenage years. I think TG will be the ultimate princess dad. I picture him building her castles in her bedroom and playing the dragon. I picture him changing the diaper in the middle of the night before bringing her to bed to nurse, so mom doesn’t have to get up. I can see him memorizing the ages and weight limits for each kind of child restraint and I can even see him driving a mini-van. He will read to her the day she is born (immediately after he shows her the computer and teaches her the joy of Google, or, terrifyingly, World of Warcraft). I think he will be a patient and attentive, if realistic parent. His child, like every child, will be the Cutest. Thing. Ever. I see him passing along his dry and sometimes obscure sense of humour to his child. I expect this will be the most literate child in the history of the world. And will prbably have really good eye-hand coordination.
From her mother, she will get a sense of adventure, and will probably see the world, with (or from) a backpack. She will also have a spectacular wardrobe, and not a thing in it will have been bought for full price. She will attend every folk festival from conception to retirement and beyond. She will be born at home, and have a gentle, comfortable start in life.
I am so excited for this family. I can’t wait to see if I’m right. Regardless of whether I have the baby’s character right, I think these two will be fabulous parents.
I find it interesting to note that this baby was conceived about the time dad-to-be was shoring up his stores of testosterone for a 5 km road race in which he was running against our oldest (female) friend, whom he beat by mere seconds. I wonder if there’s a connection between hormones and, well, you know.
Another race in a week or two… it might either means twins, or a thrashing that will wither the ‘nads of our prolific friend?