The waiting game
As I write this, I’m whipping up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I’ve picked up the entire house, Kerrie’s started the laundry, and we’ve both finished the newest Harry Potter book. We’re frantically searching for things to do – ways to keep our minds off of the reality of our situation.
Our child is three days overdue. It’s not bad. But we thought by this point we’d be playing with a baby. Instead, at this point, the only thing we can do is wait.
Not that it’s a horrific thing or anything – I mean, children are born before and after their due dates all the time. It’s an estimate, really – a non-scientific way of saying “your baby should be born on this day,” an advanced warning on which horoscope signs to start paying attention to and a gauge for other people to see if they’ll soon be sharing a birthday with a much cuter, much more exciting human being.
Keep that to yourself right now, thanks. While we might not be beside ourselves or anything, we’re certainly at the peak of anxiousness – a couple of first-time parents-to-be wondering what the hell we’re getting ourselves into, staring around and anticipating anything, but realizing we can’t even begin to start parenting until the damn thing comes out, breathes a few screaming lung-fuls of air and frantically starts to get its bearings in an increasingly complex world.
It’s like the butterflies you get before an important job interview, or the night before Christmas when you were younger. Except those things had definitive dates – the times were set, the action easy to anticipate. And when people call to ask you how it went – did you get the job, or did you get everything you wanted – you have something to answer, because it really happened.
This waiting? It just makes us crabby, really. It makes us answerless, hopelessly unsatisfied and crabby.
So we find ways to bide our time. Extreme Home Makeover never seemed so interesting, and long walks have become necessary, not leisurely. I keep attempting to wrap things up, to have our lives prepared for a new baby, only to realize there’s no new baby yet. I try to be aloof, content, patient, but I’m not.
Kerrie doesn’t even try to be patient. She doesn’t need to be anymore. Patience has never made a baby come out faster.
Eventually, in a few days, we’ll be finished. Our child will have popped out, and we’ll wonder what all of the fuss was about, realizing that it was all worth the wait. The countless You’re Still Here questions at work and Is There A Baby text messages will be answered truthfully, with a confirmation, a baby, with new parents, with new namesakes and grandparents and happy hospital staff and a sigh of relief from our friends who know that this phase of “everyone having babies” is over, ready for a new cycle to begin in a year or so.
Until then, we wait. And bake cookies.