Sunday, January 29, 2006

Grab Bag

Answers for Questions You're Asked When You're a Pregnant Dad

This is the only practical answer to, "Are you going to find out the baby's sex." Even if you're not going to find out, say "Yes." Then tell everyone that they couldn't see on the ultrasound what sex baby is. As for us, we don't care when we find out (we will find out eventually, after all), which has led to the entirely unacceptable answer on our part: "I don't know." To this, everyone has replied, "Oh, you want to know, I'm sure." And I'm sure that we will know, save time and your breath--just say yes.

In the wisdom from the doctor file, the answer is your due date.
This is the correct reponse when anyone asks you how far along your wife is. As he said, it's complicated to figure out what it means when someone says, "She's in her 14th week." First, that's a confusing measure. You would never say, "I'm in my 31st year." when someone asks how old you are. You would say, "I'm 30." which means that you're actually in your 31st year. So, in her 14th week means that she's completed 13 weeks. You might be tempted to be more vague: "She's in her second trimester." Except that a woman at the end of her second trimester looks nothing like a woman at the beginning of her second trimester--and is having a totally different experience. Then there's the nitty gritty truth, which is that the average pregnancy is not 36 weeks, which would be nine months. It's 38-40 weeks, which is 9 1/2-10 months or, according to the doc, nine lunar cycles (I didn't check this, so you can tell me if this is wrong--but it sounded good at the time). This means that, after
you say how many weeks along you are, when people start doing the math, they will come up with a due date that is two weeks or more early. (There are also other intricacies involved with how they figure the due date that influence this--mostly that they can't know the date of conception, so they make an educated guess, based on averages.) Those were all the reasons the doc gave, which are all good, detailed explanations that you can actually include in your reply. I have a shorter explanation why you should respond, "She's due on [your due date here]."

--If you answer their question directly and tell them how far along she is, using whatever measure (and length and detail of explanation) you choose, their next question will be, "So, what does that mean? When is she due?" I've found this to be the case with men, women, moms, dads, and even expecting moms and dads. You might think that someone who has experienced pregnancy would understand, but no. Unless it's an OB, save everyone some time, save yourself some breath--give them the due date.

The Only Correct Answer When Wondering Whose Side That Trait Came From
"Yours, dear."
For example, one might think that if our child starts singing Chuck Berry's "My Ding-a-Ling" at an early age (in a crowded room at full volume, most likely), that it came from my side, since my dear Brother #2 gave it to us, along with a boatload of other high-minded tunes, as a Christmas gift. Ah, yes, but Mama's the one with a cousin named Charlie--or Chuck, one might say--who lives on the farm where she has been known to go berrying. See: Chuck Berry. Her side.

Beside that, her brother's the musician. Well, OK, my Brother #1 is also a musician, but I think that's beside the point.

When the child plays effortlessly through Chopin before entering kindergarten--that's my side. Even better would be if it tore off some Zarathustra tune (do I have to buy it a sequencer before it's toilet-trained for this to happen?). I'd definitely lay claim to that. What's more likely is some mashup of Dylan, Zarathustra, Bragg, Chapin Carpenter, Marley, Fleck, LSJUMB, DiFranco, and Colvin.


  1. Anonymous7:20 PM

    Wait who is LSJUMB?? I think your kid needs some Garcia and Weir, I could send you some. Yes and make sure he gets lots of Flecktones and New Grass Revival as well. We Love Bela!!!!
    TCB Baby
    PS Stephanie wants your dog.

  2. The incomparable Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band, of course. How could we not expose the kid to White Punks on Dope, Welcome to Paradise, and What is Hip? arranged for and played by a marching band?

    If I wasn't posting by e-mail I would have made them all links. As it is, you'll have to Google around.

    Garcia and Weir? Whaddya' think our kid's gonna be, some sort of ferret loving hippie?

    Actually, that's pretty likely, I suppose. So long as the kid shares all the good bootlegs, it'll all be good.

    You're right about not only New Grass ("grass"? say what? prank call! prank call!), but also Leftover Salmon.