i wanted to write a facebook status update yesterday wishing jared a happy father’s day & enumerating all the ways he has earned recognition for being a great father even though our kid isn’t hatched yet, but jared isn’t really the publicly demonstrative type & i didn’t want to embarrass him. so instead i’m going to write a blog post about it! maybe i’m wrong, but i feel that my blog gets less traffic than my facebook. that’s probably not true at all. but i bet that my blog gets less traffic from jared’s colleagues than my facebook does. for some reason, being all goopy & romantic in front of jared’s work people seems especially uncool. i have always felt that way, but it was really hammered home a couple of months ago when we were at a history department dinner party thing & i saw one of the professors grab her partner’s ass while they were chatting with a group. my friend chepina (she is married to jared’s colleague brian–she’s one of the few student partners i have really bonded with, which is especially crazy because she’s a math professor & i dropped out of high school because i couldn’t pass algebra 1; opposites attract, i guess) saw it too & we were both like, “oh my. did you see–?” “yep, i saw that. yikes!”
anyway! like a week before father’s day, i told jared i was going to buy him one of those big mouth billy bass things. they’re the ultimate father’s day gift. when i was a kid, i swear my grandpa or one of my uncles would get one every single year for one holiday or another. despite the fact that they are not genuinely funny in the least to a thinking adult, they are a riot to kids, who struggle with the concept that a gag gift doesn’t really count as a real gift.
anyway, jared said, “i don’t deserve anything for father’s day. i’m not a father yet!”
“sure you are!” i said.
“i think it takes more than fertilizing an egg for someone to be a dad,” he said. sorry if that’s a little graphic; i’m just repeating what he said.
but since i have gotten pregnant, jared has stepped up to the plate across the board. here is a but a sampling of all the ways he has been awesome:
* when it’s hot, he lets me sleep with the air conditioning on even though i know he hates it.
* he has taken over almost all the cooking because i haven’t had the energy to contribute.
* he has made it a priority to wash the dishes every night after dinner because food smells lingering in the house make me feel sick.
* he has taken over all litterbox duties, even though the chances of our indoor-only cat who lives in a rodent-free environment carrying the toxoplasmosis virus are pretty much nil.
* he has taken over almost all trash duties because the smell of the trash makes me feel sick.
* he has gone with me to all my pre-natals.
* he actually read “american baby” magazine so he could make fun of it with me.
* he spent like three hours submitting to this really complicated baby name-selection algorithm i invented & not once did he complain or act bored.
* if i say i’m craving meatballs, he makes meatballs for me. if i say i want raisin bran & there’s only enough for one serving, he lets me have it.
* he encourages me to go to the city pool three times a week for morning lap swim. i never want to do it, but i always feel a lot better when i do, & i know i’d blow it off if he wasn’t cheering me on.
* he takes pains to be really quiet in the house when i am napping (which is like 80% of the time).
* he drove me all the way to topeka just so we could go to babies r’ us & make fun of the ugly crib sets. seriously, the disney princess nursery collection was the most hideous thing i’ve ever seen. it was a four-poster canopy crib & each poster was topped with a huge fake crystal/diamond. i tried to find a photo, but maybe it’s been discontinued. i did find photos of lots of other terrifying canopy cribs though.
* he started doing pretty much all the grocery shopping after i was put on pelvic rest.
* when we’re out running errands, he carries my bag if it seems especially heavy (like if i’m returning library books).
* he goes to the school library on a regular basis to check out DVDs for us to watch. we’re working our way through “the sopranos” because i guess it’s 1999.
* he doesn’t give me any guff about what i eat.
i pointed all of this out to him & he said, “but that’s for you! not the baby!” & i said, “it’s kind of for the baby.” i mean, the baby is why i feel so tired & nauseous so much of the time, & when he accommodates that, he is helping me have an easier time taking care of the baby.
plus he helps me not take this whole baby thing too seriously. today there was a baby swim class happening while we were doing laps. well, it was more like a baby dip class, because the babies were all just being held by their caregivers & dipped in the water. they were also given plastic rings for some reason, which they either ignored or threw. i pointed the class out to jared & said, “maybe that’ll be us next summer!” & he said, “all those babies look really confused. they’ve been in water before when they’ve been given baths & i bet they’re really confused about why they’re all wet but being forced to wear hats & diapers.” we went to a new pizza place for dinner, & a couple with a baby came in & sat near us. the baby kept craning around to look at jared & i (i think he was attracted to my sparkly pink shoes because he kept looking at my feet & smiling). i told jared, “there’s a baby looking at you,” & he peeked over & said, “that baby is all back-lit. he looks like he’s giving secret testimony on ’60 minutes’.”