Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Is Anyone There?

In my last post (November of '07) I put away my O Uncle Lar pen until I could find something interesting to write about. At least something that interested me which stood a better than average chance of interesting anyone who happened to read. I think I've found said inspiration with the impending arrival of my son.

I'll do my level best to keep things from getting too maudlin or cloying. Kind of like my flying blog, I really just want to be able to keep track of what's going on with these months leading up to the birth for my own edification. And if Blogger is still around when my son is old enough to read, for his edification too.

Tonight I went to the first of several pre-natal classes which will prepare us for the process of childbirth and the first few weeks following it. Those crucial weeks when I will be acclimating myself to an entirely new world. Of course so will Laurie and our kid so I'll be in good company. I anticipate more than a few moments where we'll all just be staring at each other with, "What the . . .?" looks on our faces. I fully expect my child to give me that one the first time I try to change his diaper. Or maybe he'll just giggle as he pees on my shirt. Who knows. But according to our First-Time-Daddy-Class instructor I can pretty much count on the latter. I guess the cool air on his undercarriage during a diaper change will make the little guy go. The instructor said they actually make "blast" cups specifically for those moments. I figured one of those small Dixie cups we keep by the sink would work just as well.

I think the most valuable thing I learned tonight was how important the first few minutes outside the womb are for the imprinting process. According to our instructor, animal babies only imprint with the mother. Only human babies can form an imprint for the mother and father. Shortly after birth they say I should let junior lay on my bare chest so he can taste, smell and touch me in addition to seeing and hearing me. This will form an indelible bond between he and I. She said he'll already recognize my voice as they can hear pretty well from the friendly confines of mom. Which means I guess I'll have to start watching my language already.

Perhaps the most comforting thing about the class was getting to meet a lot of guys who were in the same boat as I. I thought for sure I'd be among the older guys, but I 'd say about half the class or more were within 5 years of me. I think there was maybe one or two guys that were older than I.

We wrapped the class up with a video that included a natural birth. Not sure I needed to see that, but it didn't really bother me. I will cop to getting a little misty, though, when they laid the newborn on dad's chest. It was just a lingering shot of the kid laying there working his little mouth and hands and glancing up now and then to try and get a look at dad's face. Trying to get a grip on his new surroundings. I'm really looking forward to that part.

I promise not all posts from now on will be about the kid, but I'm sure it will be a major theme for a while. Like I said, I'm really writing all this down for me, but wanted to share these thoughts with family and friends that are interested. So if you read this far, thanks. I can't wait for us to meet my son.