Look. You’ve got to understand. Dani does NOT want a baby. She’s told me a million times. She’s told me in the car. She’s told me in the kitchen. She’s told me in bed while the candles are lit. She’s even told me while using that weird hot thing to straighten her hair.
She always says the same thing. She says, “Matt, I love our life. We can do anything we want. I don’t ever want to change that. Is that OK? Is it OK if we never have kids? Can you imagine how hard kids would be?”
Nobody believes me when I tell them that. NOBODY BELIEVES ME!
They’re all like, “Yeah, yeah, sure Matt, but she really wants a baby.” Or they look at me like they know, and they say, “Ah, it’s a security thing. How much money did you say you make?” That one always stings a little. Or they say something like, “That’s impossible. Women want babies. What did you do to her?”
After a while you start to wonder about your wife. And women in general. Like, can they ever be understood? They seem to have a crypto-security-program running in their heads that keeps you from figuring out basic stuff like why they randomly stopped drinking coffee right after you bought them a new coffee maker, or why they threw out your leftovers from Outback after only four days in the fridge, or why they stopped wanting to have sex with you right in the middle of having sex with you.
Operating with slightly outdated information all the time tends to make a guy feel a little dumber every day. Especially with how the women explain the new information to you. It sort of feels like it was always out there in the Universe to be had, but somehow you lacked the mental acuity to snatch it up.
Anyway, the point is, that’s why it rattled me when Dani said she wanted a baby.
I remember it. It was in the morning. She was looking out a window. She turned to me, easy as pancakes, and she said, “I think I want a baby.”
Now, usually, I need to dig into statements like that. I like to know where they’re coming from. But I got overwhelmed by the coolness of the news. I started envisioning a fat white mini-me who wanted me to teach him how to eat his eggs and how to shovel snow and how to be a man.
And then I started feeling proud of myself for hanging tough through the indecipherability. Like I deserved some credit for Dani’s change of heart. I had wanted a baby for a year and never once been pushy. I stayed sweet and gentle and kind, you know, like how I am, and I kept hoping that the sweetness strategy would change her mind before her uterus petered out. So when she finally said it, I jumped up, ran over to the window that she was looking out of, and I hugged her tight. All I said was, “Really? You really want a baby?”
And she said yes. And she had tears in her eyes. She said she was even more happy now than before, and that life was finally feeling normal, and that she was very proud of my writing, and that it was time.
And she’s kept saying that for the past few weeks. She even started looking for houses to buy. She bought those prenatal vitamins and everything. And on Easter she set those vitamins real prominently in the bathroom so one of our moms would find them when they came over. Sure enough, my mom found the vitamins and came out of the bathroom holding them behind her back.
There was an eruption of delight and both of our families were kind of staring back and forth at each other with a mixture of joy and relief. A few people were muttering things like “finally” and “I thought it’d never happen” and “no way.”
After everyone left I started to get a weird feeling in my gut. It sort of hit me like it hit me when the leftovers went missing. Like, “Hey… I wanted those leftovers.” But it was different. It was like,”Hey… how come when YOU want a baby all at once we’re storming the baby-making castle.”
And I told her that. And she said it was kind of a dumb way to think about it. But then we had sex for practice, so everything was OK in the end.