Back To Square One (Kinda)

Well, the post-graduation euphoria was fun for about the 5 days that it lasted. I applied and got accepted to my graduate program before I was done with undergrad, so my progress bar that read 100% that filled me with the predictable pride and joy was quickly replaced by the gravity that it absolutely doesn’t matter anymore. I don’t get credit for that in this new program; I’m just another person with 0% on his progress bar. Again. I’m not nearly as intimidated now as I was when taking my undergrad seriously, but it was still jarring to see that 0% staring at me, daring me to do something about it. I just got done with the first week of my initial class, and it’s as hard as advertised and I have to write a bunch and blah, blah, blah who cares, really.

I got to go home and see Rachel for New Years, and that’s way more fun to write about. It felt so good to just hang out with my wife and do nothing in particular again. She took our dog into the airport with his service vest (Fun California Fact: People aren’t legally allowed to question why you need a service pet, nor are they allowed to ask for verification, so just buy him/her a fake vest from Amazon and take him everywhere. Not saying that we do that…but it definitely can be done.), and he had the nerve to give me the cold shoulder when he saw me! It lasted for a solid 12 seconds, but still! Gut-wrenching 12 seconds.

It felt amazing to feel our son kick the hell out of Rachel and go to her doctor appointments and feel like I’m actively participating in this whole process. We watched a Kings game on the laptop one night and our son literally kicked the laptop off Rachel’s stomach. He isn’t even born yet and already knows that the Kings aren’t worth watching. Smart kid. The only lame part of the trip was that my main circle of friends have all moved away, and I couldn’t catch any of them in town. It really drove home how much everything has changed in a year. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, but it’s still strange to process sometimes.

Shawn and Rachel
Rachel, Diego (in her belly), and I. 

Oh yeah, we went to French Laundry! French Laundry. French. Fucking. Laundry. It was the first and likely only time that I thought taking food pictures in dim lighting would just be an insult to the food. The experience would have been incredible on its own, but we also got to take a tour of the kitchen and got a menu that was autographed by the head chef that I’m really tempted to frame and place on a wall. My tastebuds will never be the same, and it’s something that I would recommend for everyone, even if it’s just once. Rachel paid the tab since it was her graduation present for me, but it also doubled as a booby trap for me to pick up tabs for the obscenely expensive restaurants in Europe. She thinks she’s slick.

Of course, I had to leave again and I had to see Rachel cry because of me again and my dog is mad at me again and the whole thing sucked again and I’m counting down to see her from zero again. But it’s ok. We’re going to have our baby 8 weeks (?!?!?!??!?) from today, and that’s basically all that matters at this point.

 

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OMG, A REAL LIFE ULTRASOUND!

What do I do now? My wife has another human being growing inside her. I obviously know that she’s been pregnant for some time (nine weeks to be exact), but it didn’t quite real until today. It’s one thing to hear that you have a child on the way, but it’s totally something else to be shown this little thing the size of an olive that’s supposed to grow into an entire human that I’ll be responsible for.

Have you guys ever thought about how wild pregnancy is? Like, the whole process of a woman creating another human being from nothing? It’s really insane. The baby already has little arms and legs and I don’t know what to make of any of this, to be honest. I can’t even articulate how I feel. It’s some combination of bliss, fear, paranoia and disbelief. The whole process is just overwhelming. I wonder if it ever goes away and I’ll turn into a normal human again.

Rachel wanted to Skype the appointment with me, but I was stuck at work. I was better off not seeing everything live though. I would’ve been a mess. I’m still a mess 11 hours later, but at least I can peacefully write about it here instead of cursing at doctors and/or crying in front of the people I work with. That’d be lame.

The appointment itself was uneventful, fortunately. There weren’t any complications and the baby is growing faster than normal and we can hear the heartbeat and oh my God I’m gonna be a real life father, you guys. I have a feeling that we’re having a daughter, so I’ve hired a really good architect to design a high quality dungeon for her the moment she reaches puberty. It’ll have wi-fi and and windows so she can actually see sunlight and everything. She’ll love it. Lord help me. Is it corny to have a picture of the ultrasound framed? Probably. I don’t give a shit.

Is This Really Happening?

None of this seems real yet. According to my handy dandy pregnancy app, our child is the size of a raspberry and is starting to transform from a reptile to an actual little human with lips and a nose and legs and stuff. All pretty terrifying, to be honest. Fortunately, we’re too busy with school, work and playing around with Periscope (every time I think I’m out, they pull me right back in) to really notice at the moment.

I think that I wanna kill a baby (not ours, silly!) for the first time. Rachel was at lunch with her coworker and three (Lord bless her) children, and one of them, at the tender age of 3, thought it was a bright idea to hit on my wife and mother of my child. He told her, and I quote, “Your boobies stand really tall like April from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” TUH! The nerve! I better not see him in the streets (or carseat or whatever) when I come back to the states.

What the hell are they even doing on these cartoons anymore?!
What the hell are they even doing on these cartoons anymore?!

Our child isn’t even 20% created yet, and I’ve already given up on keeping him/her insulated from bad language and images. Like, how the hell is it even possible? Even if we don’t watch the least bit of TV (which I don’t, outside of sports and occasional documentaries), I listen to rap. And I think I’m gonna continue to listen to rap. We’re just going to accidentally damage our children mentally and/or emotionally and hope that we do the bulk of the damage before they form long term memories. I think that’s just how it goes.

Even with the little runt that hit on Rachel, his dad made a random comment about how April’s boobs, pictured above, were bigger than usual while watching the show. And they were. Look at those damn things. Innocent enough, until you realize that the small comment sent that child on a rampage, accosting and sexually harassing large breasted women. And unless a child is the spawn of Jesus and Mother Teresa, embarrassing moments like that are basically unavoidable. I’m going to be playing my music one day thinking my child is asleep, and one day he’ll blurt out that he “serves cocaine in some Reeboks” in the most public area possible and the strangers around us will naturally assume that we’re the worst parents on earth. What can you do?

Speaking of people saying gross things to my wife, every scummy male “friend” of Rachel’s who has been invisible since we got married magically came out of the woodwork when I leave to offer condolences and, more importantly, company. What a coincidence. Fortunately, she sees through this scheme as clearly as I do, so I’m not worried about anything, but I wish that they were at least better at being scumbags and potential homewreckers. They aren’t even good at their craft. She noticed that 97% of her homies stopped liking her Instragram pics after I started popping up in them. You know what they say: it’s real love when a woman sacrifices their Instagram likes for you. Rachel finally reached 100 likes on a picture, started dating me seriously, and saw her Instagram stock plummet like Enron. I hope I make that sacrifice worth it for her.