Reality’s setting in, we’ve got less than 20 weeks to go. The belly grows and now pretty much anyone can tell by looking what’s going on. We have to make some crib / stroller / highchair decisions: Does anyone really need a 900-dollar German-engineered stroller? How about an “infant transportation system”. What about baby room decisions: Paint colors? Curtains? Does a baby really care about decor? Apparently my wife believes so.
The baby on the way is changing my perception on things. I haven’t been single in a long time, but now I have an even harder time relating to it. Listening to co-workers talk about their vacation or nightlife is like listening to teenage girls talk about their boyfriends. Instead I actually seek out other parents who just tell me about the hellish nightmare that is apparently raising a newborn child. I predict a swift but quiet exodus of our single friends shortly after the baby’s birth, not because they are bad people, but who the hell wants to be around a screaming baby that isn’t yours?
In walks with my wife around the city, my perception zooms to cracks in the sidewalk that might cause a trip, or homeless people or gangsters, or anyone with a dog. People that never really bothered me in the past are now cause for vigilance, even cause for crossing the street. Things that would have concerned me deeply a few years ago – the credit crisis, the elections, are just anecdotally important to me right now.
My long-term thinking revolves around things like public vs. private school and how long my wife can or should stay home with the kids. Not to mention the ‘second child’ which realistically should happen pretty shortly after the first. Of course the question of “when do we need to get a bigger house in a better area” looms not-so-far-off in the distance, at that inevitable but unforseen time when the baby is not a baby anymore but a little kid, going to school on the school bus.
It’s a weird place to be – the anticipation is kicking into overdrive, but I know that it’s all just a few months away. So for now, I try to distract myself with home improvement projects and SimCity 4.