As a man of some honor, I am the first to admit that we fella’s can be more than a little childish at times, especially when it comes to telling stories about injury or tough times. Those tales tendtobe overblown to the point where they become patently ridiculous, yet it’s part of the man code that we male’s accept every one of those tales at face value. We all expect women to be the level-headed, mature one’s in the relationship, which is a role they play magnificently well, but that all seems to fall apart when one of them becomes pregnant.
The mere mention of the “P” word leads women to start telling horror stories of their 46 hour labors, and how all manner of clamps and torture devices where used to unleash their spawn upon the world. It’s something of a shock for men to hear these tales, and we all forget for a moment that we do it all the time. I clearly remember some of the stories that my poor ex-wife was subjected to when she was pregnant with our first. I can’t remember a single woman coming to her and saying, “Congratulations, I hope your delivery goes as smoothly as mine did.” No. it was all gloom and doom that did nothing but put the fear of God into a first time expectant mother.
It didn’t help that the delivery didn’t go that well as that led to a chorus of I told you so’s, as well as also making my ex develop a horror story of her own to tell to future moms. When the baby is out and welcomed to the world, you start to believe that the worst is over, but that’s when the tales of the terrible two’s start, and when that passes it becomes a waiting game until you have to succumb to the creeping terror that is apparently going to be your thirteen year old daughter.
The cautionary tales of impending disaster never seem to end, and while I felt a great deal of concern about what my ex would have to go through in delivery, the real fear was reserved for myself, since I was going to be the one staying home with the new baby. As the 24th month drew near I would find myself unable to sleep. Night terrors gripped me as I imagined my precious little girl having complete meltdowns in the grocery store and basically making a scene wherever we went.
Those terrible two’s never happened in either of my kids, and my daughter made it through her 13th year with a few small blips on the puberty radar, but nothing to really write home about. Of course, in true male style, I have developed an entire back-story of horror for each of those time periods that is enough to make any new father quake in his penny loafers. It’s the least I can do to exact a little revenge for the tales of misery we were forced to listen to.