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Effortlessly Average

Sort of half-heartedly leading the charge into mediocrity since, oh, let's say around 1987 or so.

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Location: Roaming (additional charges may apply), Argentina

Proof that with internet access and a powerful laxative, even insipid people will blog; the place where your excellence and my mediocrity collide; where my Karma whips ass on your dogma.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Prince of Dorkness

Many people claim to receive messages from God, although apparently these tend to normally run along the lines of "Kill! Kill! Kill!" Mine, however, occurred the day my son was born and consisted of a snickering God saying "Jesus, you're screwed now."

BuddhaWife and I had been married for somewhere around a year when she was invited to the baby shower of one of her friends. Just before she left she told me she also had a gift for me and handed me a small, colorful gift bag. Her face betrayed her excitement. I removed the tissue paper and pulled out a tiny pair of shoes. Baby booties. Huh? Now normally I try to be one of the sharper knives in the drawer, but as she was on her way to a baby shower, my first thought was that somehow she'd mixed up the presents and given me her friends' gift instead. My second thought was "dang, she's really giving a cheap-ass present to her friend." It never occurred to me that these booties were symbolic.

"What am I going to do with these?" I asked.

That's me: The Prince of Dorkness.

Since we'd met I'd been the one who really wanted kids. Well, not right in the beginning, mind you. It's not as if we'd only known each other for two days and I was already talking children. I may be The Prince of Dorkness, but a stack of restraining orders has taught me that women you've only just met don't normally like it when you discuss baby names during your first date. Go figure. Besides, BW maintained that she wanted to live a while as a married couple before becoming parents.

Then my career started to take off and she decided it was time. Rather than clue me in, however, she decided to surprise me and get pregnant on her own. To that end, she stopped taking her pills and figured nature would take its course. After several months it finally happened, which she was announcing to me with the pair of booties I held in one hand as I gave her a look of confusion.

She perched on the arm of the couch, her brown eyes and raised eyebrows willing my brain to put two and two together. Eventually the wattage amped up enough to activate the lightbulb. And all this time I didn't even know I was trying. Had I not enjoyed hot baths so much it may have happened sooner.

We'd also said that when we did have kids we wanted them to be close together in age. So not long after The Puffinator was born, we decided it was time for another. Rather than plan it out, we again figured we'd simply do nothing to prevent it and let nature take its course. Our thinking was that since it took six months for it to happen the first time, perhaps the same would be true for the second. Sounded reasonable, if you subscribe to the belief that two weeks is the same as six months. She was pregnant faster than it takes Pat Roberston to make an ass of himself.

In direct contrast to The Puffinator, however, FlyBoy was not as easy a birth. He was huge, somewhere along the lines of a water buffalo. The Daughter's entrance into our lives happened so quickly I didn't have time to truly consider what was going on. Around 7pm BW said she was uncomfortable and suggested we call the hospital. The nurse suggested we come in for an ultrasound just to "check on things," but insisted we wouldn't be staying. Two hours later, The Daughter was born. It was so unexpected, in fact, that our normal doctor was unavailable and we had to partake of the OB-GYN on staff that night. She was a very nice young woman with a very famous name and while the irony is lost on The Puffinator, I find it humorous that her birth certificate bears the signature of "Cindy Crawford."

FlyBoy's birth, however, dragged out far longer. Two weeks past her due date, BW had to be induced. This time I was able to be more a part of the whole birthing process. I felt qualified; mostly. We'd been to the classes and we now knew the proper way to breath when passing something the size of a watermelon through a hole the size of a lemon. Personally I'd think the proper way to go about it would be stand up in the stirrups, grab your husband's jewels, and growl in the voice of the devil himself "Remove this creature before it claws its way out my chest." But wouldn't you know it, modern medicine suggests something less abrupt. They actually recommend husband and wife work as a team. As the father, my job was to bend her in half and keep the ice chips flowing. Otherwise it was to stay the hell out of the way. Frankly my nuts prefer this method.

You know how a child will bug you endlessly to help with something you'd just as soon do yourself, so you give the child a completely trivial task, just to shut him up, then talk up his participation as if he's assisting in the drafting of the Bill of Rights? This is exactly how I felt when they'd dressed me in the blue paper ensemble and gave me the vitally important task of "stirrup." While my wife labored at passing a bowling ball through her abdomen, I was in charge of holding up her right leg. After all that preparation and here I was, reduced to a piece of furniture.

I stood there watching my wife give birth and was equal parts amazed at the enormity of it all and uncomfortable that so many people were viewing with interest that part of my wife's body. Unfortunately, when I get nervous or uncertain, I tend to act like a wise-ass. Call it a defense mechanism.

The doctor reached for another device. At first I didn't know what it was. That is, until he spread his fingers apart and I caught a momentary glint of shiny, stainless steel blades before he quickly slipped them inside my wife and started snipping away like he was pruning a hedge.

My eyes widened in horror to what sounded like someone cutting a thick piece of cardboard. -KER CHUUUUNK!-

"Aaaauuughhh! What are you doing, man?! I gotta use that later!!"

The doc looked up at me. "Don't worry, we'll stitch it up just like new."

My life needs a rewind button. If ever there was proof of this need, it was when I replied "oh yeah? Why don't you throw a couple extra stitches in there and make it like brand new?"

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