I'm preparing myself for the worst. It's something I'm very good at.
In this particular case, it's going to work out well for me -- and, honestly, assuming the worst has generally been a self fulfilling prophecy in my life. But there are rare occasions when I expect something to be as horrible as anything can possibly be, and then I'm pleasantly surprised when it's only just regular old horrible.
And that is how I've been thinking about my impending fatherhood.
I have visions of getting 5, non-consecutive hours of sleep a week. I picture my wife, ragged bathrobe, curlers in her hair, and somehow now a smoker. I picture piles of feces stained laundry that never gets any smaller. I imagine that we board up our windows and doors and that I have to wear sunglasses to work as my eyes can no longer tolerate sunlight. I imagine myself, defeated, kneeling, praying to our child to release me from this horrid existence. I picture blood, sweat, and tears, but mostly tears. And stains, lots and lots of stains of every variety. I'm pretty sure I will never go to work clean ever again.
My mom told me that I was great at projectile vomiting when I was a baby. I expect the same of my son. I expect every wall in our house to be painted over with whatever baby food we eventually feed him. We'll start buying furniture and pictures to match the stains. We'll only feed him certain foods because we know his vomit will match the decor.
I will lose what little weight I still have, yet surprisingly my gut will continue to get larger. The bags under my eyes will have bags under them. They grey in my beard will spread to my head and I'll notice a bald spot that I'll swear wasn't there a few weeks ago.
Nicole and I will lose the ability to communicate with other human beings. We will only respond with a series
I figure at some point we'll both start hallucinating. I also figure that we'll hallucinate about what our lives used to be like.
But here's the thing: It won't be like that. I've been told by actual people with actual children that it won't be like that. They've told me that we will adapt, that we will be fine.
I'm not listening, though. Because I need to prepare for the worst. That's how I operate. I need to prepare for the worst in case they're all wrong. And I need to prepared for the worst in hopes that they're right, and I'll be relieved.
I'm not convinced.