And she currently holds the ultimate trump card, one she can play as often as she wants. Other people can even play it for her. Only an unmitigated putz would try to overrule it with a softball game.
"Am I allowed to read the paper?" "No." "Why not?" "Well, you can, but nothing in there will be as interesting as your baby." We walked on in silence, my mind trying to get itself around this information.
Wow. My brain had already assigned a gender to this mass of cells without bothering to alert my mouth. That didn't necessarily make it true, but it certainly meant something, didn't it?
There are all kinds of "tests" you can do predict the gender: dangling a pin over the pregnant woman's wrist, a wedding ring over her belly, a herring over her pancreas, et cetera. Every one of them is equally ridiculous.
Now she's been thrust into a bizarre world in which neither matters so much. In fact, if she's not gaining weight and breaking out, then something's wrong. That's a hard thing for women to get used to.
Fear: I'm not ready to be a dad. Reality: This one hits close to home. I'm still just a kid: young, dumb, and impatient. But when I look at all the other fathers out there who are younger, dumber, and more impatient...
Then I remembered a crucial fact: I am man. These quizzes aren't directed at me; they're for pregnant women, and not just any pregnant women: educated women. Obsessed women.
Fifteen minutes later, she came into the bedroom to help me fold laundry, as chipper as could be. No tears, no anger, no nothing. The popcorn was a distant memory; it was like the whole thing had never happened.
Sarah has been trying to get me to babysit our infant niece. A four-hour dry run for the terrors of fatherhood isn't the worst idea in the world, I suppose, but I am far too spineless to do it alone.
The lesson was clear: a pregnant woman isn't remotely interested in another pregnant woman's unpleasant weekend. She's got problems of her own.