Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Pop" Quiz

I've had this recurring dream: I'm back in high school or college, and I suddenly hear I have a major exam coming up within a few hours.  The exam is based on a large book that I have not read, and I realize there's simply not enough time to read it.  I am not ready at all for this exam, and flunking it could get me kicked out of school.  I panic.  Then I wake up.  I'm a bit rattled, and it takes me a few moments to remember that I've been done with school for more than a decade now.  The dream has been one of the more vivid and bothersome dreams I've had in a while.  It's almost as bad as that one where I go to a U2 concert and Justin Bieber takes the stage.

I don't analyze dreams for a living, but it's not difficult to figure out the meaning behind this one.  Sure, I could blame it on something I ate (which may explain why I'm usually in the classroom naked and carrying a ukulele), but I don't think it's a conicidence that I've had these dreams while I've been preparing for my second child.  The due date is approaching very quickly, and I can't help but think to myself: am I ready?

(Above: "Ready or not, here I come!")
You bet I am.  I'm not nervous because I've done this before.  Been there, done that, ready to do it again.  Yet, I'm slightly unnerved by the fact that I'm not nervous.  Maybe there's something I prepared for last time that I didn't this time, and it'll spring upon me last-minute (like that exam).  Each child is different, so how will this child surprise us?  Will he sleep well?  Will he have colic?  Will he be into country music?  I don't believe I'm ready for that.  I think this might be the kind of stuff that haunts me in my sleep. 

Or maybe I haven't fully prepared for all the familiar things.  Things I remember not liking the first time around and was so glad to be done with.  Middle-of-the night feedings.  Spit-up.  Changing-time explosions.  Enfamil.  Soon I will have to deal with all those things again.  And then there's the waiting.  I had forgotten about the waiting.  Our little guy is full-term now, so he could pop at any time.  He will be out within a week regardless.  But will he come early?  It happens often with the second child.  Jennifer was two weeks earlier than her due date, and we've already crossed that line.  So now we're in the stretch where we are on edge, awaiting any sign that the little guy might be ready to come out.  According to the pregnancy books, I'm supposed to be a calming force during this time, but I still find myself jumping up, grabbing the bags and preparing to call our backup babysitter whenever Jennifer signals any discomfort, even if it's from indigestion.  Yeah, I hate the waiting part.  But even that doesn't make me nervous; I just want to get out fast enough so we don't get stuck delivering on a crowded FDR Drive.

As for having two kids, I'm really not sure what life will be like once that happens.  I think more of our stuff will be broken.  We might also need a better diaper pail and some earplugs.  Again, for some odd reason I'm not worried about it.  I feel prepared for two kids.  We have Band-Aids, Neosporin and a fire extinguisher.  We'll be fine.

Of course, this is what I say when I'm awake.  I think my dreamland self is still terrified.  Fortunately, my dreamland self won't be making an appearance in the first week after the birth, and after that he'll be here in just short spurts.  By the time I get a full night's sleep again, I'll be too tired to even worry about anything.

So, it looks like the next time I post on this blog I will be a father of two.  Honestly, I am very much looking forward to it.  I think, in the long run, it will be lots of fun.  If anything, I won't be starving for new things to write about.  I just hope that, if we're surprised by anything in the coming week, I pass the test. 

Stay tuned.

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