Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Big Brother

The baby waddled into the kitchen, his “I’m too fast for my legs” walk sending him bouncing off a couple of walls like an oddly shot pool ball. He giggled.

“Hi, Sam,” I said to the baby, my wife and I making a solid effort to start using his name instead of what we usually called him, like Monkey, Moo, Goober and Booger. We’re worried what a stupid name might do to his psyche in kindergarten.

“Anna, Clark, Britain, David and Booger, you can color now,” his kindergarten teacher would say. “And Booger, get that finger out of your nose.”

Heck, that’d stick with him till graduation.

Somewhere between the refrigerator and the kitchen table a light bounced off a shiny patch on his shirt. Unless he just spit up, that shiny patch shouldn’t be there.

“Come here,” I said, these words, of course, meaning to Sam that he should grab a dirty fork off the kitchen counter, squeal and run away.

I grabbed him and slipped the fork out of his hand. The shiny bit was tape holding down a piece of paper that read “Congratulate me.”


“Honey,” I called into the living room. “Why am I congratulating the baby? Did he finally get a job?”

“Turn him around,” my wife said.

OK. I flipped him over and looked at his butt. Cute, but not any less confusing.

“What am I looking for?” I asked. “Does he need a new diaper?”

Sam started giggling.

“His back,” she said. “Look at his back.”

I turned him right-side-up and looked at the back of his shirt. Another sign was taped there. “I’m going to be a big brother.”

A big brother? Eh, good for him, volunteering to take a young, unfortunate lad under his wing …


“Did you read it?” she asked from the living room.

The baby was wiggling, so I set him down on the linoleum, his ever-moving legs bopping him out of the room.

“Yeah, Sam’s going to be a …”

Big brother.

Not the volunteer kind. Not the George Orwell kind. But the “mom’s boobs are off limits for two more years” kind.

“You’re pregnant?” I asked.

My wife walked into the kitchen smiling and I knew I was going to be a dad again. I didn’t really care how she told me. Any way would have been special. Even the “what the #&^@! is this” I heard when we found out she was pregnant with Sam.

I tried to give my wife a hug to show her how happy I was, but she told me everything smelled bad and made her want to throw up, so I backed off.

Later, I went to the store.

"Pick me up some things while you’re out,” she said. “Folic acid, prenatal vitamins, Whoppers and a pepperoni pizza.”

Yeah, I guess she’s not kidding.