Before he was born, my wife and I called our soon Roo.
It was born out of two ideas:
1. We both like the world of the Hundred Acre Woods, and
2. Every freaking time someone in my family creates a plan for us to go to Australia together, someone either gets pregnant or has health issues.
I had made a killer plan to go to the land down under, but it was not to happen. Thus, Poozer was called Roo in the womb because he was the child to Kanga (my wife) and kangaroos are found in Australia. Pretty simple.
Now, I don't plan on going through all the details (I think we can skip conception, right?), but many funny things happened over the course of the nine months leading up to and including my son's birth. Let's start in the beginning (but after conception, sheesh).
My wife and two of her friends went to New York in October of 2005. It was the first weekend of October, and my wife wasn't feeling well. This was supposed to be a girls' weekend in the NYC, but Mrs. Leab really wasn't in the partying mood.
I was here alone. It was me, my cats, and a deck of cards (they're quite good blackjack players, really).
When I first spoke to the gang of girls, I thought something was up. One of her friends said, "Yeah, she's not really feeling well. Threw up her dinner."
"Well, did she drink?" I asked.
"No, she only had water."
That set off the alarm bell in my head. I immediately assumed she was pregnant.
For the two months since they had set up the trip, all my wife had talked about was going to Babbo. My wife and I had been to another of Mario Batali's restaurants (Esca) where we were told that, while the food there was good, Babbo's food and wine were better.
As the story was related to me, my wife had such bad morning sickness (that would be the worst it was for her. The rest of the time she wasn't too bad) that she could only look at the food she ordered. She couldn't eat it. (On a side note, she ended up boxing up the food and giving it to my father. I have no idea if he ever ate it.)
Again, having talked to her friend, I am already suspicious. My wife calls me and says, "I think I just had some bad food," but I hear something in the background that sounds like laughing.
Fast forward two days. My wife returns home and gives me a gift. From Tiffany's no less (which is horrible, because my first thought was "Dammit! She spent money on me...and too much to boot."
I open the box.
It's a spoon with animals on it. I remark:
"It's a spoon. A very small spoon." My wife is smiling. "Seems like a baby spoon."
"It is," she says.
"You're pregnant...." I say.
"Yes!" she screams.
"I knew it. I knew you didn't have food poisoning," I say.
Now some people say that upon hearing they are going to be adding to their family that their mind races with possibilities. I have to tell you: It's true.
In my mind I started flashing through every room in my house trying to figure out what I would need to do to baby proof.
That led to me thinking about all of the things I would need to pay for:
And on and on it went.
My final thought I said aloud. In my best Roy Scheider voice, I say, "We're gonna need a bigger house...."
My wife laughed and told me to breathe.
But the images and thoughts kept running through my head:
What about my cats?
Am I going to have to get a more family-friendly car?
How is this going to work with the school year?
Private or public school for the kid?
I tried very hard to keep myself calm in front of my wife. I was excited, but there was a dark undercurrent to it.
If I was to become a parent, then my parents would be moving into the grandparent phase...which meant they were closing to leaving this Earth.
I know, I know. Strange thought, but it still wormed its way into my head. As I celebrated the beginning of my wife's pregnancy, I started worrying over what would happen to my parents. How much longer would I have them to help me? How soon before I, like my parents, became an orphan?
Of course these were not rational thoughts, but the first few minutes after being told you're going to be a parent rarely are.
I ended up getting a storage space out in Plymouth in order to clean out my house. (This was required as I had, according to my wife, "Too many books for one house.")
The pregnancy would be normal with some very interesting times ahead.