Tuesdays at 9:00 are channel flipping time in our house. I generally run the remote, so we spend most of the following hour watching Scrubs on NBC. Is it just me, or since they started airing the new episodes in back-to-back fashion, isn’t the first episode always much funnier than the second? Anyway, during commercials on Scrubs, we flip over to TBS and watch Sex and the City reruns. Or, as I tell my wife, “Now you can laugh for awhile.” Not that I don’t find S&C funny, it’s more that like most of the TV and movie humor I’m into, my wife just doesn’t get Scrubs. She’s finally admitted that My Name is Earl is “kind of funny,” but can’t connect with the wacky docs at Sacred Heart or with the hilarity that is The Office.
Tonight I think we entered the phase of pregnancy where we sit and stare at S.’s stomach a lot. Little Fetisina was flopping around, sticking parts out, and jumping around all evening. Perhaps it was the etoufee we dined on to celebrate Mardi Gras. Most of the night S. sat on the couch with her belly sticking out so we could watch the show and try to guess what body parts were in each position. Do you think those are her feet, or is that her head? Could that lump be arms or her butt? Terrific fun when it’s not working your innards over; S. seemed a little more weirded out and uncomfortable.
I think we’re both going through odd phases right now. S.’s job is much different than it was during her pregnancy with M.. Now she’s dealing with lots of very sick premies; a routine week involves the deaths of several newborns where at her old job it was rare to have any deaths. I can’t imagine dealing with that under normal conditions, let alone when you’re carrying your own child. To make matters worse, in the past week to ten days, she’s started seeing kids whose due dates were after Fetisina’s due date. She had a kid last night who was due on June 1. Poor kid had no steroids over the last couple weeks of gestation, so on top of some other serious issues, its lungs are woefully underdeveloped and it doesn’t have much chance to survive the week. I know each time she deals with one of these kids, she’s thinking, “What if this happened to me?”
I, on the other hand, have started to have the crisis of confidence I assume most dads have when #2 is approaching birth. I’m finding it hard to imagine how I can possibly love another child as much as I love M.. Like all the other aspects of fatherhood; changing diapers, cleaning up puke, staying up all night with a screaming infant, dealing with mood swings, etc.; it seems an impossible task when it’s just a concept. When I finally have to deal with it, as with the diapers and the puke and the crying and the mood swings, I’m sure it will come without effort or thought. But sitting here at 28 weeks, I wonder how on earth will I be able to love Fetisina in the same amount that I love M.. What’s the old cliche of parenthood? You don’t love any of your kids any more than another, but you do find ways of loving them differently? Chances are good that Baby of the Blogger #2 will act quite different from her big sister. Where M. is full-speed-ahead exuberant, equally easy to entertain and frustrate, her sister might be cautious and calculating, sizing up things before she rushes in. Where M. fills the house with her screams and laughter and talking, Lil’ Sis might sit in corners reading books quietly. Or perhaps she’ll be a brute and force her will upon M.. We have friends whose youngest (4) shoves her 8-year-old brother and 7-year-old sister around without any objections from them. It’s those differences that will make me love her in a way that is different, but equal, to how I love M.. It’s just difficult to come to terms with that until I know what those differences are and can start connecting with them.