My son Gary and I are only 18 years apart in age, so over the years we’ve had some pretty interesting conversations. The birth of his daughter Amelia four years ago generated some of the more memorable discussions, a few of which I am sharing below (with his full permission):
“Mom, its Gary.”
“Geneva and I went to the doctor today for her checkup. The baby is coming along fine.”
“That’s great. What else did he say?”
“You know Mom, I really can’t remember. I’m sitting in the examination room with my wife, and this guy is talking to me with his hand up her private parts. I know I’m supposed to be cool about it, because this is normal, right? But part of me wants to grab him and throw him across the room while I yell, ‘Keep your hands out of my wife’s vagina!’ Do you know what I mean?”
“Well, not exactly but I guess it is a bit weird to be the dad and watch that.”
“Weird is right, Mom.”
“Well, if its any consolation, by the time that baby is born, an entire high school band could march through her vagina and neither of you are going to care one bit.”
Five Months Pregnant
“Gary, why are you so upset? What’s wrong?”
“Mom, I don’t know what’s wrong. Ever since Geneva got pregnant it has been like this. I’ve gained ten pounds, my hormones are all over the place and I’m an emotional wreck!!!”
“Well honey, having a baby is a big thing, and every father handles it differently. Apparently, you are going to be pregnant right along with Geneva. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”
In the Birthing Room
“Gary, the doctor just said that Geneva has to get a C-section. Is now the best time to be reading a book?”
“It’s the ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ book, Mom. I hadn’t exactly read the chapter on C-Sections. So I guess I better brush up now.”
Home from the hospital 5 days after the birth
“Mom, its Gary.”
“What’s wrong, you sound upset.”
“I am, Mom!!! Everyone expects me to know what to do with this baby. Geneva can’t get out of the bed and I’m in charge of taking care of Amie. And I DO NOT KNOW WHAT I AM DOING.”
“Honey, I saw you at the hospital, you are wonderful with that baby.”
“Mom, I have not slept in 4 days. The baby won’t stop crying. That ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ book is fucking worthless. And I am totally clueless about what to do half the time. Why didn’t you tell me it would be like this?”
“Well, if I had told you what it was really like to have a baby, you wouldn’t have believed me, would you?”
“No, nobody could believe it is really like this.”
“Exactly. Being a new parent is like joining a secret club. All of us parents know what its really like to have a new baby. But until you have one, you will never believe how horrible those first few weeks really are. You just think, ‘oh, it will be different for me, because my baby won’t act that way.”
“You’re right, that’s what I would have thought.”
“Welcome to the club, honey.”
Day 6 after the birth
“Mom, I got a call from Mark today. He and Anna wanted to know how things are going. Since their baby is due any day now he was pumping me for information.”
“Did you tell him about the secret club?”
“Hell no. Let him figure it out himself, he’d never believe me any way.”
Two weeks into nursing
“Mom, it’s Gary.”
“Mom, when you were nursing me did you have dry, cracked nipples?”
“Gary, I am not comfortable discussing my nipples with you. Where is Geneva?”
“Mom, nursing is a perfectly natural thing to do, why are you so uptight?”
“Gary, I do not need a lecture from my son on the naturalness of nursing. Nor do I intend to talk to you about my nipples. It is just weird. Now put your wife on the phone.”
“Geneva, my uptight mom wants to talk to you.”
“Mom, it’s Gary.”
“Hi Gary, what’s up?”
“Well, believe it or not, Geneva and I were talking about possibly having another baby some day. And if it is a girl, we thought we’d name her ‘Cornelia’. What do you think about that name?”
“I think it has 8 years of therapy written all over it, that’s what I think.”
“Where on earth did you even get a name like that?”
“Well you know that TV show, ‘The Deadliest Catch’? One of the main ships is named ‘The Cornelia’ and I thought it was a nice name.”
“Gary, when she hits sixth grade all the boys will call her ‘Horny Cornie’. And when someone asks her where she got her name, she’ll have to say, ‘My parents got the name from ‘The Deadliest Catch’!!”
“Huh. I guess I hadn’t thought that one through.”
“Clearly. Now put your wife on the phone.”
I went through it and I still don’t believe it….
So very true! Laughing out loud. With my first, they decided to do an emergency c-section (after 12 hours of labor). I was introducing myself to the hospital staff as they trickeled into the room that felt like a deep freezer. After the 12th person, they really started pouring in and I gave up on introductions to the entire marching band.
God Bless You! But aren’t you afraid you have given away secrets of the secret club?
God bless you! Aren’t you afraid of giving away the secrets of the secret club?
Oh so very true! Laughing out loud while I am reading this one.
bless you for enlightening future parents & getting us out of the dark ages of mystery.
Awesome post Kelly! Best mom ever!
Kelly, you have totally captured the frightening experience of dealing with a newborn. I can still remember those days even though they were a million years ago.
Wonderful! Gave me chills and made me laugh at the same time!
I loved this! You had me cracking up. It is wonderful that your son talks to you so openly.