Some company, probably a subsidiary of Proctor & Gamble, has a television ad campaign that ends with the tag, "Having a baby changes everything." This series of commercials coincided fairly well with Jenny and I attempting to join the ranks of parenthood. I've heard this sentiment echoed by many war-torn parents with bloodshot eyes, and also from parents with teenage or adult children who remember the infant years fondly.
Our baby is not here yet and she has already changed everything.
My wife's body is undergoing a radical transformation that has no parallel in the male experience. After a day of teaching, her feet are more akin to dolphin's fins than bipedal primate appendages. She's not had the severe mood swings foretold to me by my expansive collection of pregnancy books, but she is certainly more apt to great shifts in emotion than is usual for her.
The baby is changing our home as well. Boots, the cat, is in a constant state of shock from all the changes in room arrangements. Our living room looks like the shipping/receiving section of a small, independent baby specialty retailer. There are boxes and items that clash with our tres chic adult decor.
Tomorrow, my buddy Nick and I are painting the nursery a shade of yellow I would have never allowed pre-parent-to-be. This room happens to have been our catch-all, so the entire house is in disarray as the contents have shifted everywhere else. I'd read about the nesting phenomenon, but I was unaware that its span could be measured in months!
Jenny's feet ache constantly from the swelling and the increased load on her ankles caused by a human growing inside her. Tonight, my feet ache as well. We've just returned from a one and a half hour registering spree at Target. This is in addition to our previous three hour jaunt to Baby's R Us in Jacksonville with both grandmothers.
The logistics of baby preparation stagger the mind. I don't think there is a white board big enough to hold it all and any SQL server in the world would be bought to its knees by this data set. In fact, its so complicated that buying us presents is a process that requires some thought. Our friends can go to any Target store, Toy's R Us store, or Babies R US store and print our registry and shop in store. They can also visit Target.com or babiesrus.com and ship items to us. All that choice is great right? Well, not exactly.
Babies R Us is the coolest baby store in the world. Unfortunately, Tallahassee is not large enough to have one. There are many items we'd like that simple can not be bought at a store in Tallahassee, so we've registered in Jacksonville with the hope that some people will shop online. Babies R Us is owned by Toy's R Us and we do have one of those, but Toys R Us carries much less than Babies R Us. This lead us to supplement our registry with a Target registry for greater accessibility.
Actually, raising a child can't be this hard, can it? Don't answer that.