Good News Comes When Nature Calls
Hormonal Dad has fancied all his life the moment his babe will break the good news of becoming pregnant. They would hug and look into the sunset. But life chooses its own course.
Seven PM. I’m in the so-called water cabinet, holding my belly and praying to Zeus to help me. I am down and out, seriously sick and my body urges me to cancel all plans for the evening. I’m trying to remember what I’ve eaten that can cause such intestinal upheaval, but there were so many things I’ve stuffed during the day that it seems impossible to single out a distinct suspect. Once, many thousands of years ago, homo sapiens did not have such issues: he would get up at dawn, hunt and eat his food and go back to sleep until the day after. We, on the other hand, get up to endless traffic jams, work under fluorescent lights and eat industrial food from takeaway boxes. The only things we really hunt are pralines and chocolates from that young woman who just came back from Europe, whose name we don’t know. The first thing we ever asked her is “Really? This has coconut? I must taste it. Yummy!”
I understand that this session is going to be operatic, so I pull a magazine from the toilet bowl-side. Until a few years ago, I’d keep a permanent collection of man magazines, but now it’s a choice between Good Housekeeping and the Ikea catalog.
“Sweetie, are you there?” It’s my babe knocking on the soundproof door. I react like a Cheetah, pouncing on the door handle to make sure it’s locked. “Yes, honey, I’m here, but please do not enter,” I warn her, ‘as there is a cloud of toxic gas and you may get hurt.”
…soon enough, some entrepreneur will get it that water cabinets improve the reading experience and we may see toilet bowls instead of chairs in elite barbershop waiting rooms
In truth, my stomach already feels a little better, but I don’t want to be disturbed in the middle of reading “10 things that show that he loves you.” It’s amazing that of all the things mentioned in the article, it doesn’t say that the first thing a man who loves you does is simply say it to you. We males are not as sophisticated as women may think. In this case, I am enjoying the free time that I suddenly have and it suits me to stay here a few more minutes despite the agony of my digestive tract. No doubt, soon enough, some entrepreneur will get it that water cabinets improve the reading experience and we may see toilet bowls instead of chairs in elite barbershop waiting rooms.
I understand it’s going to be even a longer sitting, so I take another magazine from the bowl-side. “Snooze!” she begins complaining. “I can’t wait. It’s important. Top priority! Are you sitting?” “Of course, I’m sitting!” I shoot back, what else can I do? Hug the shower? Then a sudden series of cramps send me folding, and it seems all hell breaks loose as toxins get expulsed, foreign objects as well as native ones. “I can’t wait! It’s critical!!” The penny drops: something happened to the car, but she preempts me, “And nothing happened to the car. Pest!”
“Don’t disturb me now. Wait until I’m out of here.” I try to postpone the breaking of the news, and my stomach suddenly calms down, or perhaps it’s the quiet before the next storm. When she tries to speak again, I start shouting, screaming, singing: “No, no, no! I cannot hear! I cannot hear! You won’t force me to hear!!!” It really doesn’t matter if these are good news or bad news, I do not want to carry on a dialog inside a smelly bathroom. I also have the Sudoku to complete. As far as I’m concerned, my calendar is full for the evening, and all bliss can wait outside.
“Are you done shouting?” she asks, and indeed I’ve quieted down my protests, and silence falls on both sides of the door. Could it be that she’s given up and gone? Not for long, because now she says, “I just want you to know that I am pregnant!!!”. WHAT? I almost fall down the toilet bowl, screaming in joy, panic and anger,” Who’s pregnant? You’re pregnant? We’re pregnant?” My heart is racing, filled with joy and happiness, but I feel unease, even anger at her for not waiting for me to leave the bathroom first. It’s not that she’s going to give birth this minute.
“Why like this? This is great, but why? I love you!” I shout in total confusion. I scream with both indignation and joy. There’s a plethora of feelings and sensations that in my state can be probably best described as temporary insanity.
I am mostly happy: I am going to be a father, a grown up. A new father is born in Israel! It is a roller coaster of spiritual ascents and uncertain, anxiety-ridden descents. On the one hand, I could mark a V on one of my life’s main goals, something I craved since I was a child. Just as most girls dream of their wedding day, I’ve always dreamed of being a father, by all means necessary. But I must admit, I do not yet have an idea what being dad means. It’s going to be an incredible transformation, from being a young, sexy, charming and modest young man as I am ─ I am going to do all kinds of things differently. I will speak like a dad and walk like a dad, and argue at the counter like a dad, and will also get a Daddy Certificate from the Ministry of Welfare. But where am I going to learn how to do all these things? My father, for example, was born a ready-made father. Even his childhood pictures show him as a calculated, serious, authoritative little man. I, on the other hand, was a grumpy fat kid who grew up to be a grumpier fatter man. I am still a child, so how am I going to be a dad?
Maybe it’s not so hard. All we need to do is try to remember what our dads did when we were kids and follow suit. After all, what they did is what brought us here so far. Although, on my side, there have been several failures, and some culinary choices are still controversial, it may be said that I’ve succeeded at becoming something.
But what’s the hurry, right? I am comforted by the thought that I still have nine months to get used to the idea. It’s still nine months, right? Nothing to do with daylight saving time. This seems like plenty of time to make the necessary cerebral switch; it isn’t going to be hard to feed the kid or to play ball with him. Or maybe it will be difficult, and I have no idea what lies ahead. The idiot that I am; better learn fast and become the daddy you always wanted to be ─ if I’d known what it is!
“Nu? are you coming out? I want a hug!” Babe’s command it is, and my stomach turns on the aching mode again. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to hug now. It feels like the beginning of Ebola,” I apologize and go on, “but I’m so happy for us, my love. This is very exciting for me, and I really love yaaaaa,” I say, punctuating the sentence with a long loud sigh. “What’s happening? Is everything all right?” she says, banging on the door. Then silence falls, and my breath is back. “Yes, honey love, it’s all right now, Babe. You’re pregnant and I think I’ve just delivered… I love you, my one and only. It’s all right now.”
And this, my friends, is how the story began.