Friday, June 03, 2011

infants and mad scientists

It all started off with technical incompetence. It ends with mad scientist laughter.

When the spousal unit and I got our ultrasound photos of our impending bundle of joy, we decided we wanted to share our images of the little urchin with our friends...never mind that they looked mostly like blobs at that state. Figuring e-mail would be the easiest (not to mention most science-fictiony) way to share the shots, I took the images with me to work. I scanned the photos, tried a whole bunch of settings, but I guess I suck, because the scans were blurry...I mean, even blurrier than ultrasound photos of a few-month-old fetus normally would be. While the department's copier/scanner is great for making pdfs, it's apparently not up to image scanning....or, what is far more likely, I'm just a bit of an idiot when it comes to using it.

So, on the advice of our department secretaries, I hunted down the building's IT guy, and he was happy to scan the ultrasound shots for me. He also heartily congratulated me and told me how happy he's been after having a daughter. He treated me, a complete stranger, in a way which was, upon further reflection, almost like being welcomed into an exclusive group.

Unfortunately, out of those people I've told about Mighty who have their own kids, he's one of the few who've responded in this way.

Usually, I will tell my parent friend that the spousal unit is expecting. Then the lights will dim. Color will seep out of the room. Thunder will crack while lightning flickers simultaneously. And my friend will get that specific evil look in their eye. "Congratulations," they will say, and, following an ominous pause, "your life is going to change in ways you've never suspected."

They warm to their subject. As Tesla coils begin to flash, as the air fills up with the smell of burning ozone, the vibrations of ancient vacuum-tube fueled machinery, the unearthly whine of aertherphones fills my ears. A subtle vibrato creeps into their voice. "You will never get a good night's sleep again. You will hear crying, screaming, gnashing of teeth..."

"um, I don't think my urchin will come out with too many teeth."

They ignore my appeal to logic. "Your child will most certainly be colicky...the crying will never stop. There's nothing you can do. Waaaah. WWWWAAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!!! It's all you will ever hear. It will permanently implant itself in the deepest recesses of your brain."


"And then there's the future. Have you planned for the future? Do you have a good daycare lined up? Have you started on pre-school applications? Do you know in what your kid will major in college?"

"I think I have a little time to..."

"And the money. Did you realize how much babies cost? There's supplies...workout equipment...drum sets...dictaphones....All this costs money, you know."

"Gee, really?"

"And then there's the time. Kids take time. You have to be with them. They always need something. They demand your attention. This means your life as you know it is over. You will have no more social life. No one outside of your work will ever see you. You will have no time to go to bars, see movies, talk to strangers, eat food, use the bathroom."

"Have you considered decaf?"

"It's changing! Everything in your entire world is over. It's all changing. It's all about the kid. This means there's no more room for anything...ever...BBBWWWWWAAAAAHHHHAAAAAAHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!"

At least this has been my experience.

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