Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Finally Told

We went to a party a few weeks ago and, since most of our close friends were there, decided to break the news about our baby.

Now, there were some interesting responses that night. Some even made it a point to trace back to the moment my wife and I first made physical contact — at a restaurant in Thai Town during a birthday party. It was our first date. I was holding the hand of my wife-to-be, about to give her a hand massage, and when someone asked if everyone had paid their share of the bill, we turned around to a roomful of stares, all watching me holding my wife's hand. I was shocked, she was both shocked and embarrassed. Okay, so I don't embarrass easy.

But there was one response I didn't expect during the party. It was from the ex-wife of a former roommate of mine. They were dating when I still lived at his condo, about 9 years ago or so. She said, "I hate you."

Now, if this were said by a typical Millennial, I might say, "huh," and just shrug my shoulders, which I often do when Millennials say the darnedest things. Things like, "I don't understand why I can't just keep a bottle of scotch in my drawer and take a swig whenever I want to." That was from a coworker in accounting. But this "I hate you" was from a woman in her early 40s.

Will someone please help me understand this comment? I'm sure it's something silly and that I should just take it as a compliment. I like to think I keep pretty up on the lingo and social trends, but I can't quite wrap my head around the psychology of this response.

Anyway, the wife and I struggled for well over a year to conceive this baby. I would at least expect a congratulations from your so-called "close friends." Actually, everyone else at the party did congratulate us, I'm happy to report. But it always seems to be that one response that gets under your skin.

My family also knows about the baby now, and I got mostly congratulations on this as well. My sister, however, gave me an interesting warning. She said her in-laws didn't allow her to be a mother to her son until he started to show some behavioral problems they couldn't handle. As soon as that happened, they were like, "Okay, here's your son back. He's all yours."

My wife is an only child. Her parents raised her like a son. My in-laws have been very loving to me, probably more than my own parents, to be perfectly honest, and my wife hints it's because they've always longed to have a son. But if we have a boy, I do have to wonder how my in-laws will respond — with pure joy, I'm sure, but it may even go beyond that.

Well, my wife and I will be working parents. We'll need all the help we can get. It helps to have some loving grandparents willing to do the occasional parenting. Just hope I'm right about that.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I'm getting tired and the baby isn't even born yet!

Our Chinese acupuncturist told us I had to step up my duties around the house. As I've mentioned already, my wife is in her late 30s, so we're doing everything possible to help her body bring this baby to full term. For me, that means household chores galore.

I'm actually okay with this stuff. Since we got married pretty late, I had to be a pretty self-sufficient bachelor. I can cook a decent meal, don't mind doing the grocery shopping, and I hate a messy bathroom and kitchen sink. I am, however, a pack rat and tend to pile things up on my desk and in my bookshelves. That makes me sort of a Felix Ungar/Oscar Madison all in one, I suppose. (Yeah, you Millennials out there need to Google that.)

The good doctor told Sophie no bending down to reach something like a pot in the dishwasher and no reaching up to grab something like a cup from the cupboard. The two actions apparently cut off the 'life support' to the child. So, I'm right there to grab and reach for whatever Sophie needs. I also scold her every time she does the Asian squat.

Because of morning sickness, and because this seems to help, I cut little apple wedges for Sophie every morning and put them in a Ziploc. I also prepare her herbal tea twice a day, and accompany her on our nearly nightly shopping trips to the market, since her cravings change so often.

But I gotta commend Sophie's mom on bringing us a care package of food almost every week. That's pretty sweet. Doesn't mean we always eat the stuff, but it's still pretty sweet.

This past week, we went to a restaurant called Totoraku in West L.A. It is probably going to be our last major dining indulgence for a while. We thought it would be okay for Sophie since the omakase-style meal is mostly beef, but it turns out that much of that beef is raw, so no, it wasn't so worth the price of admission for her. (That's beef tongue on the grill, BTW, and it was delicious. A third of the meat dishes were served (raw or seared) before the portable charcoal grill got to the table.)

We all brought wine to the dinner that night, so with eight people on our table, we had one bottle for every two people. Guess who had to drink an extra portion? Yup, it was the one night I did not especially enjoy having so much good wine.

This place is kinda exclusive, though I'm not exactly sure why, so good luck getting a reservation. But if you do go, don't bring your pregnant wife. She will not appreciate the lack of good ventilation in the place, and neither will the baby.