Can you believe it? We are just days away from Aya’s due date and not only did I get sick, but so did Ellie. Aw man! This was not part of my PHABing strategy! What about my list!? I still need to clean the oven, dust the picture frames, and buy a diaper champ! Will I get to complete my frenzied disinfectant style cleaning? Will I convince Aya to throw away her collection of Vogue magazines from 10 years ago? Will I have the house perfect for the arrival of our baby?
I know the rest of my to-do list is frivolous insignificant things, but I’ve been fixated on them. I’ve been determined to do my part and contribute. But I also find that I keep adding items to the list because I’m not sure I’m ready for it to be done. Once the list is done, that means it’ll be time for the baby. And just maybe I’m not quite ready yet. I’ll let you know after I clean out the vegetable crisper and alphabetize my canned goods.
But with the two of us getting sick, it’s been a reminder that you can only control so much. And that I have to start letting go and accepting things as they are, and let things happen on their own. But getting sick!? Both of us?!
I didn’t picture Ellie’s last days as an only child like this until it dawned on me how oddly appropriate it was. There I was, holding her on the couch in my arms, comforting her while she nuzzled into my neck. Just the same as the day we brought her home. How fitting, I thought. She was all stuffy, miserable and whiny and it wasn’t what I had pictured, but cuddling on the couch watching Wallace and Gromit wasn’t so bad after all. We even made it up to bed at some point where we were all sleeping quietly together in the same bed.
That was, until I woke up to Aya yelping “OW OW OW! Help me up! Help me up!!!”
I jolted awake confused but instinctively reached out to touch and feel her belly. And as she yapped in pain, it felt like she was having a big contraction.
At that moment my brain split into two. Part of me was thinking, “Alright, this is great! I’m ready. It’s GO time!”
But the other half noticed Ellie and remembered I had been up with a whimpering whiny kid until at least 3:30am and thought, “NOOOOooo!!! This is not happening now! I’m sooo tired. We just fell asleep!”
In the middle of my split thoughts and Aya’s squirming and yelping, Ellie just sprawled herself out in the middle of the bed and let out a big yawn as if we just disturbed her blissful slumber. This was not happening now.
Luckily, it turned out that Aya just had to pee and was uncomfortable trying to pull herself up and out of bed. So nothing happened at all. Phew! We had more time.
But after our most recent appointment at the birth center, it was suggested that all the signs were showing that Aya would go into labor sooner than later. It really could start at any time. There’s that reminder again. Control? What’s that?
So I surrender. I give up my neurotic to-do list and vow to be open to anything that comes our way, and when. Why spend these last days, or hours, running around the house organizing junk drawers and dusting underneath books? You know when you’re cramming the night before a test and you reach a point where you finally realize you’ve done all you can do, and it’s best to just go to bed hoping for the best? Well, I think that’s where we are. It’s time to just pause, relax, rest, and wait.
Well, maybe after I vacuum one more time.
To read more stories from this stay-at-home dad, visit www.thegoodthedadandthebaby.com