This past weekend we spent some time with my parents. I needed some down time with my back and there’s nothing like having your mom around when you’re not feeling good. While Mom, Bean, and I sat on the couch and shopped at Target in short stints, Chris and my dad played golf. That afternoon we all met up again for a bite to eat before we headed back to our house.
Chris is at that point in my pregnancy where he is starting to get excited about Gracie’s arrival. But unless you knew him, you’d probably not be able to tell. Chris loves Bean and he’s a great father, but he’s not the kind to gush about babies and children. It’s just not his way. Actually, for most of my pregnancy he has been standoffish, just like he was with Bean. For Chris, he needs to go through all the practical thoughts and plans before he can get excited. It was like that with Bean, too. It was kind of annoying at times, actually. Like, when I’d bring some cute little pink thing home and he’d just roll his eyes and say something utterly un-sweet like, “Well, how much did that cost?” or “We don’t need that, do we?” When I was pregnant with Bean, it drove me crazy! I felt like he was taking all the fun out of the pregnancy for me. But what I learned with Bean and what I’m seeing again with Gracie is that it’s not that Chris isn’t excited. He just needs to ask himself all those practical, totally un-fun, un-sweet questions before he can truly let go and be excited.
In the past two weeks though, I can tell that he has finally worked through all his nervousness and anxiety. I know this because he has suddenly become extremely close. He comes home early from work (a serious break in his routine) just because he missed me and Bean that day. He sits next to me on the couch and rubs Gracie while he watches TV. I’ve even caught him snooping around the pretty pink nursery recently. With Chris, it’s the little changes in his behavior that tell me that he’s made a huge change in how he feels and that makes me excited because he is excited.
So, this past weekend after a long day of being away from me, Bean, and Gracie, Chris pulled me into his lap as we sat around my parent’s house. And, as you can see from the picture, it takes some dedication to pull a pregnant woman into your lap. Then Bean got in on the game and before we knew it, we had dog piled on top of Chris – and he loved every minute of it.
Until I started laughing. I was sitting on Chris’s lap and my mom showed me the picture of us on her camera and we were dying laughing about how big I looked and how small my head looked in comparison with my belly. And if you’ve ever been pregnant, you know that any kind of sudden onset of laughter leads to one thing.
The gas started pouring out of me like some kind of underground pipe leak. I had no control. And the more I farted, the harder I laughed, which only made the situation worse. At this point, Chris starts screaming for me to stop and he started trying to push me off of his lap. But I weigh 900 pounds. And I’m round. I’m not that easy to push right now. So the harder he pushed, the more I laughed. And the more I laughed, the more I farted. And the more I farted, the more he pushed. It was a vicious cycle.
By nature, Chris and I keep our bodily functions to ourselves. We’re not that couple that sits on the couch and burps in front of each other. We keep the door closed when we go to the bathroom. We walk around with our clothes on. So, this was a serious breech in marital etiquette for us. And as I tried to pick myself up off my husband’s lap, farting and laughing and farting some more, I couldn’t help but think how being parents has changed my relationship with him. In all good ways. In ways that bring us closer together. In ways that have made us better partners. In ways that have made us better communicators. And even in ways that make us laugh.
Pregnancy and parenting turn us into very different people. And I love that about us.
Today I am grateful that Chris and I both love our jobs.