We’ve known for a little while now, but if you’re reading this it means Elizabeth has told her work and thus the news is ready for the internet: we are expecting baby number three at the end of August.
If your reaction is something along the lines of “Hey that’s great, good for you guys, what’s for lunch?” you’re like most of the dudes I’ve told. One gentleman, an overworked father of two himself, told me, “Woah. Okay.” He stared at traffic for a little while, and then said, “Congratulations?”
Perhaps the thinking among the other fathers is: “Why invite such hassle? You’re set up with two, brother! Be happy and move forward.” It’s strange. Babies and children have gotten a bad rap among parents.
As with anything, it’s all a matter of choice. One can certainly focus on the sleepless nights ahead, the needs and demands that are set to multiply, the inevitable minivan. One of my favorite comedians, Natasha Leggero, says babies are a DUI from the universe. I love Natasha Leggero, but I’m not going down like that.
It may be less acceptable, especially for a grinding stay-at-home parent to say, but I can’t wait. I’m not just excited to have another kid, I’m excited to have another baby.
I suppose I should confess a love for (almost) all things psychedelic and metaphysical. I jump at a chance to catch a glimpse of the perfect geometery that threads the multiverse, and have experimented with various plant medicines in those efforts. I tell you as one who’s dipped his toes into the deep waters, babies are the ayahuasca of everyday existence. You leave your body and they transport you to this holy, otherworldly dimension. Time barely exists, all is love, sleepy and fulfilled. There is no friction. You float through problems and setbacks, you drift effortlessly from annoyance to deep contentment. Bliss is unavoidable.
And then, it’s three months gone by. The baby is kinda stable. Real life slowly starts to creep back in so that by the time they’re walking and talking at a year or 16 months, you look around at you’re grooving the laundry and the floors at naptime, hustling the mise-en-place. The trip is ending, the magic lifted.
One has choice to make. You can focus on the sleep deprivation, the disgusting state of your appearance and your home, the chaos of your work and financial situations. Or you can put that wee thing in your arms and step out of the noise and into a parallel dimension where time stops and bullshit is washed away in a flood of soul rejoicing.
This baby will be our last. I’m like 99% sure of that. We’re no spring chickens. If we stop now, I’m 42 by the time this last one is in school. I’ll be 39 or so when we’re reliably sleeping through the night (if the sleep patterns of our previous two look anything like this one’s).
But no. Let’s make one adjustment at a time. For the time being, my leisurely-vasectomy-recovery fantasy is just that. Conscious parenting, living in the moment, living the life that you sing about – this is why we have children, and this is what makes them good. Whether I shall behold the pure, shimmering bliss-scape of babyhood again is unknown. What is for sure is that when number three comes along, I’ll let myself fall headfirst into that rare, wonderful space and will treat myself to the splendors within.
And for a while, gents, I’ll be a little unavailable, so you gotta come to me, preferably with food and beer.