This week’s column was supposed to be a real tear-jerker. I had planned on recounting, moment by precious moment, the birth of my son. He was due to emerge on the 14th.
Alas, you’re reading this on the 16th, and we are still waiting.
After several false alarms, we’re getting tired of hearing the nurses tell us, with beaming smiles, “Don’t worry. You’ll definitely just know when he’s coming, and then you can come back in.”
Uh, hello? That’s why we’re here right now. Can’t you just wiggle a Snickers bar in front of her belly button and whistle?
Anyway, my wife’s theory is that it’s too cold outside, and he’s just enjoying the snuggly womb while he can. My theory is that, if he’s anything like her, he’s got an electric blanket and a portable DVD player in there, and he’s just waiting until he gets through the last season of “Lost” before he comes out.
Of course, the real truth is that he’s just lazy. Which I can understand fully, of course. It’s a rough world out here. But it’s a down economy, and we need him to start pulling his weight.
We already let it slide when he gave us a few false alarms (and false hopes) before the New Year. I mean, the opportunity to claim him on 2012’s taxes alone would have been worth a year or two of allowable freeloading. If he’d come a bit early, I would have even looked the other way at all that crawling and burping.
Instead, he chose the short-term option, and he’s going to have a lot more expected of him when he finally decides to (ahem) move out of his mother’s basement. That’s the problem with this generation: They’re so entitled. This kid already thinks that an arbitrary due date permits him a few extra weeks’ rest. Well, he’s going to need to work all the harder to make up for that gap in his resume.
I’ve already started brainstorming ways he can begin being useful. Physical restrictions, like his inability to walk, talk or operate heavy machinery, will keep him from finding gainful employment. The inability to relieve himself without some form of wearable storage system may also hinder his interview appeal, though this hasn’t seemed to stop Neil Armstrong, Dale Earnhardt or Gerard Depardieu. Most unjustly, today’s oppressive child labor laws (darn you, FDR!) and snooping social service workers will keep him at home, where his earning potential is at its lowest.
There are a few options for making this situation profitable for my wife and me. First, I can put together a rude collection of baby outfits equipped with practical household floor-cleaning tools, and then set him about scooting and mopping (bonus: he can eat all the dead spiders he finds in the corners).
Second, he can be really cute. I understand it’s some sort of scientific, evolutionary advantage that makes us coo and babble at the young of our species, instead of seeing them for the needy poop factories that they really are. Cute babies get cast in commercials, kissed by politicians, and are lovingly accepted by relatives and other babysitters for a night or two, especially when Mommy and Daddy really need to just get in the car and drive for a few hours without hearing “The Farmer in the Dell.”
Given this baby’s gene pool, we’re predicting a 15-pound redheaded chub-monster, which should be cute until his ADD kicks in and he starts eating Crayola crayons and rubbing 124 Wonderful Colors of infant fertilizer all over the walls. As long as we can get him in a few plus-size Baby Gap ads before then, we’ll be fine.
The third option, which I think is the most profitable, is getting that baby’s online profile going right now. Parents everywhere are securing Twitter handles for their unborn babies (“Mommy and @redheadedchubmonster7 just kickin back and watchin some vintage ‘Ninja Turtles’ #splintervs.yoda #donatelloistooserious”).
I could also start up one of those perky, informative newborn-centered blogs. You know, the ones that follow the baby through each breath-taking/breath-holding moment (“Today’s blog: ‘The Joys of Diaper-Changing,’ or ‘Who the #$#$ Snuck Into Our House and Fed This Baby What Appears to be a Mixture of Dijon Mustard and Mulched Pork Byproducts?’”)? Wrangle up enough followers, and that’s at least a book deal. Maybe even a full-time publicity job for one or more parents.
Meanwhile, precious work-days trickle by, and he appears quite content where he is. I’m just shocked at his lack of ambition. I hope he doesn’t want to be a writer.