Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pregnancy and Proof of Manhood

Pregnancy sure isn't easy for husbands.

There's all kinds of sacrifices we make as our wives go about the straightforward task of carrying, growing and delivering a life form.

As Mrs. Blackwell and I proceed a second time through her second trimester, one of the big inconveniences I'm noticing is that pregnant women get tired more frequently.

Whatever tasks you and your wife might have shared 50-50, begin to slowly skew toward 55-45, 60-40 and, before you know it, you're the only one who's done the dishes for 10 days straight.

Sacrifices indeed.

It takes a big man to silently, stoically and consistently pick up all this slack without uttering a word about it. I should know because I am only occasionally that man.

In the meantime, I'm the guy grumbling to himself while scraping dried sauce from the spaghetti pot that he had NOTHING to do with creating or eating.

He might have been a drug-dealing sociopath, but Gus Fring knew
 a thing or two about how tough we men have it.  
But, good luck getting any sympathy around my place where, with Mrs. Blackwell, it's a never-ending stream of, "Me. Me. Me. Me."

"I'm tired all the time."

"I'm nauseous."

"I'm burning up in here."

"I'm starving."

"I can't enjoy a drink at a happy hour because I've got a baby inside of me."

"I have to be conscious of my surroundings at all times because pregnant women have a litany of environmental factors that could adversely affect their life or that of their unborn baby."

"Blah. Blah. Blah."

Naturally, it's all very tough for me to live with, though I suppose it's been a bit tough on Mrs. Blackwell too.

Outside of the onset of the physical transformation and the numerous consequences therein, I think this process might be taking a toll on her psyche.

Usually she's got an endless supply patience for me and my hijinks. Now she doesn't. So, my particular brand of offbeat humor is increasingly met with icy glares and rolls of the eyes that silently scream, "How God? How did you let me marry this man?"

The boy is no help in these scenarios as he's only occasionally able to recognize dad's comic genius.

"Yes, two straws dangling from the corners of one's mouth do look like big fangs. Brilliant Dad! Brilliant!"

So my audience, while still captive, is far less receptive — a sad state indeed for someone as needy for attention as I.

Two victims of the scourge of Mrs. Blackwell's easy, cruise
toward having child #2. 
Perhaps the most telling evidence that things are changing is that not even the boy is immune to Mrs. Blackwell's degrading tolerance for the men in her life.

Usually she's got an endless supply of patience for the boy and his tantrums. Now she doesn't.

Master Blackwell has enjoyed a long run of seeing his impetuous eruptions met with a level of tolerance that's out of this world.

(Not from me mind you. If he's having a tantrum and flailing about on the floor and accidentally kicks my arm, I retreat with hurt feelings and promises of retribution.)

Conversely, Mrs. Blackwell moves calmly, smoothly and deftly to defuse the situation. Or at least she used to.

Let's just say, the days of the boy being infinitely indulged might be over. Sorry buddy. It was good while it lasted though wasn't it?

Yes, this whole "carrying another life inside of you" thing is most definitely tough for all of us guys.

But, that's what we're here for, to pick up slack.

We are oaks. Quiet, calm, perserverers that unflappably endure hardships and then keep the sacrifices to ourselves. We do it all in the name of the greater good; because a happy mom makes for a healthy baby.

We do all this because that's what a man does.

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