The great social experiment has finally ended.
A few posts back, I mentioned my desire to try and wait as long as possible before officially announcing our pregnancy to people like co-workers and fringe friends who you don't see very often. It was a test of the unspoken rule that you never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, ask a girl if she is pregnant, even if it's totally obvious. I was hoping to really put this theory to
the test by waiting until Kate was like 7 or 8 months pregnant, but since we're pretty social - and see people all the time - this proved a little impractical.
Instead, we found ourselves at a work picnic a few weeks back. Kate, a mere four months pregnant, showed up wearing a horizontal, tight-fitting, striped shirt. We went around our business as usual, talking with everyone, snacking on food... and making absolutely no mention of her very obvious pregnancy. The table was set.
Hilariously, an hour passed without anyone making any mention of it. The experiment was proving to be true! I would later find out that people were whispering about it behind our backs, in secretive dark corners of the park, confirming their suspicions that Kate was pregnant... but no one was brave enough to actually ask or comment about it.
There was one person there who actually knew Kate was pregnant, but she was under strict orders to not mention it to anyone and play dumb if anyone asked her about it. After an hour, she finally broke. Someone asked her if Kate was pregnant and she confirmed - giving them the confidence to actually walk over to us and say "Kate, are you pregnant?"
Experiment PROVED. Had a third party not confirmed it, I am quite confident that we could have made it the entire afternoon without anyone breaching the subject - and given how good I became about lying about it in the early days, we might have been able to hold out until the Christmas Party before anyone confirmed their suspicions. But with the cat out of the bag, we spent the rest of the afternoon discussing the baby and explaining my social experiment.
With that behind us, it was time to do one final thing to make the baby official to the world - announce it on the Facebook.
There's an expression the kids use these days - "making it Facebook official". It's when you post something on Facebook to proudly announce it to the world. The time when those really far removed friends from high school that you haven't talked to in ten years, but are secretly stalking you on Facebook, can find out what is going on with your life and live vicariously through your posts and pictures. It's all the rage.
Another thing that's popular with pregnant kids these days? Taking pictures of their ever-expanding stomachs and posting pictures of that on Facebook on a daily or weekly basis. It sounds harmless enough, but as more and more of your friends become pregnant, it starts to get pretty annoying to scroll through picture after picture of big-bellied girls on Facebook with the same token comments each week of "you look great!" and "can't wait to meet the baby!"
Determined to take this rite of passage and spin it on its head in typical Brian jackass fashion, I decided there was only one logical thing to do. I took off my shirt, had Kate take a picture of me holding my stomach and posted it on Facebook. Did this ruin any future I have of running for public office? Maybe. Is a good joke worth it? Absolutely (plus, I was never planning on doing something crazy like running for public office, so no big deal).
The comments were pretty hilarious, ranging from "Naked Brian is NOT the first thing I want to see when I wake up in the morning" (which I assume is a lie or joke) to "Eat something!" (which I take as a compliment that I'm not a fatty) to "Sleep now!"
That's the other funny thing about making it official. Most of the comments you get from people fall into one of four categories:
- Congrats! It's the standard message - the token response that you are somewhat morally obligated to give or else you're a horrible person.
- Sleep now! Apparently once you have a baby, you stop sleeping. I'm not really worried about this since I rarely sleep now - but people keep telling me that it's somehow different to wake up at 2:00 am and take care of a baby vs. waking up at 2:00 am and reading the Internet, like I do now. We'll see...
- You guys are going to be such great parents! I'm not sure what people base this comment on, but obviously they are unaware of our success rate of keeping plants alive at our house. It's a good thing most greenhouses have awesome return policies when plants die, or we would need to take out a second mortgage on our house to keep flowers in our flowerbeds. Or do Blogging / Flip Cup / TV Watching / Googling skills somehow directly relate to being able to care for a child? Because I'm pretty good at doing all of those...
- Your life is over. This is the most interesting comment, because it only comes from people who have kids. It's not like the comments you get from single guys when you get married about your life being over, where they are just trying to be funny or covering up their own fears about dying alone. What do they know that I don't? I decided to ask for the truth from one person who made this comment, knowing that she would give me an honest answer. Here's the exchange:
SKD: Congrats on your wife expecting. Your life is over. Welcome to the club.
Me: Thanks. I am going to copy and paste this into my next blog post.
SKD: Umm, yeah. That was kinda harsh. What I should’ve said is….”Life as you know it is over.”
Me: Don’t sugar coat it, give it to me straight SKD!
SKD: You want real? How about you come to Chi-town and babysit this weekend? It’d be something like this:
Anna: I want a snack.
Brian: Ok, what do you want?
Anna: ice cream?
Brian: At 10am?
Ella: Hey, somebody needs to come get the baby. He’s on the top bunk drinking contact solution. Again.
Brian: What is it, Anna?
Anna: I need you to wipe my bottom.
Max: Crying. Don’t like. Don’t like. Gibberish. Crying. Don’t like. Don’t like. More Gibberish.
Brian: Ella, what’s wrong with him?
Ella: Anna took his trains. You need to punish her. Make her stand in the corner for 3 minutes.
Brian: Ummm, OK. How do I “make her”.
Ella: Beats me.
Max: Up. Up. Up. Up. Daddy. Up. Daddy. Up. Max want UP! Crying.
Anna: I want a snack.
Ella: The baby is poopy. We’re out of wipes, so good luck with that.
Max: Crying. Gibberish.
Anna: I want a snack.
Ella: I’m bored. Can you take us somewhere? Somewhere FUN.
Brian: Ok, where?
Ella: Disney World.
Max: CRASH. BOOM. SCREAMING.
Anna: I want a snaaaaccckkkkkk…
Ella: Can I watch a show? Mom recorded Terra Nova?
Anna: HEEEEELLLLLPPP…somebody needs to wipe my bottom.
Max: Crying. Gibberish. Agua. Max want agua.
Anna: I want a snack! Just a little one. Plleeeeasssse???
Ella: I am never having kids.
Me: Yep – time to start developing a drinking problem.
SKD: The sad part is all of this is real. I didn’t need to get creative at all…this is a normal 10 minutes around here. But hey, they are awfully cute! And when they are little they smell like heaven. You’ll see. ; )
Me: Hmmm – I trusted that you wouldn’t have had kids unless it was worthwhile. You better not have mislead me!
SKD: What if it’s just all a big conspiracy? People that screw up and have a kid are bitter and just want others to join them in their personal hell. Misery loves company, you know.
Me: That’s my greatest fear. Well, that and clowns. Hopefully you aren’t tricking me. If you are, I’m exposing this for the rest of society!
Don't worry society - I'll give it to you straight in a few months.