Monday, June 18, 2012

Dad: Father's Day and Man-Pregnancy

Yesterday was my first Father’s Day, and my wonderful wife turned it into a great weekend on behalf of Susan and four-year-old dog, Oscar. She planned a fun family picnic to the Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail, which is (history lesson) the last remaining track used during NASCAR’s inaugural season in 1949. It was a great idea because the entire family, including Oscar, could come and celebrate Father’s Day while doing some things that we don’t normally do: semi-hiking/exploring our town/nature and shit. Well, it turned out to be great fun for everyone, but I don’t think anyone enjoyed it more than Mary, who got to show me a little bit of what she went through during the 8.75 months prior to Susan’s arrival.

Father’s Day was also the debut of the Baby Bjorn, AKA the Male Pregnancy Simulator 3000. Here’s a picture of me proudly sporting the new baby carrier, complete with 15-pound baby accessory.

Before I learned the truth about the Baby Bjorn.
Susan fussed at first, but once she got snugged up, she was happy. I walked her around the house for a few minutes to get a feel for it. It was great! Carry the baby AND have two hands free? Absolutely! Why, I could read a book, mow the lawn or pretend I was trapped inside an invisible box…the possibilities were endless! If the people on the Baby Bjorn box were any indication, hiking and picknicking was going to be a blast! 

This family is all geared up for tennis followed by bowling and rock climbing.

If anyone needed a reminder, my wife carried Susan around in her womb for nine months. Yes, she occasionally said that her back hurt. I tried to be as sympathetic as possible. Well, after carrying Susan around in the Baby Bjorn for an hour, I’m now certain that I could never handle being pregnant. I’m a moderately fit person, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can prepare any man for the first time he front loads his three-month-old infant and starts walking. As it so happened, my first experience with man-pregnancy was on the trails of a North Carolina state park. With hills.

As I said, I never tried the Baby Bjorn before Father’s Day. The packaging on the box shows a happy father and his happy baby trouncing around who-knows-where with smiles on their faces. What it doesn’t show is how complicated the contraption is to put together, the father swearing during assembly and the baby wailing as it’s “inserted” into the carrier. Never in my life has fitting two pieces of equipment together been so difficult (Hold the sexual jokes please. I figured that out eventually, as evidenced).

Nowhere on this box are the words "Some assembly required."
What the BB also fails to show is the excruciating back pain you get from trying to stay upright while gravity latches onto your 99th-percentile-weight baby and pulls you both unyieldingly to the ground. When Mary was pregnant, her worst back pain was right between her shoulder blades. Guess where mine was. I complained once, and Mary shot me a “Well now you know what it feels like to carry a baby in your uterus.” I didn’t complain anymore.

At the halfway point...the Baby Bjorn is no
longer "hands-free."
I’m not complaining now, either. Today was one of the best memories I'll ever have and easily the most fun we've all had as a family. I just wanted to share with the dads (or dads-to-be) out there the lesson I learned on my first Father’s Day. If you want to know what your pregnant wife is going through on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour or minute-to-minute basis, just strap on the Baby Bjorn, drop a 15-pound bowling ball in there and walk around the house. Hell, just sit down for an hour and tell me that’s not difficult. If you drop something, don’t bother trying to pick it up.

So on my first Father’s Day, ironically, I gained even more respect for my wife.

1 comment:

  1. Ezra is 99th percentile baby, too. I used a carrier that is supposed to go up to two years until he was five months. Then the chiropractor said "no more." It was stroller from then on. Susan is beautiful!