* CORRECTION TO ELIMINATE THE WORD "CATACLYSMIC" AS PER THE REQUEST OF MY LOVELY WIFE *
My esteemed colleague over at colonelt.com in his last entry quantified his feelings four weeks from parenthood. To paraphrase him:
"....95% excited and 5% terror beyond imagination."
I can certainly understand his mindset being somewhat torn between two emotions that are diametrically opposed to one another. Its only natural. While most couples who are expecting one child naturally fear the unknown territory of being a parent, he and his wife are expecting not just one baby but twins--yes, TWINS!
Like the laws of physics when you work back to the start of the universe, my parental knowledge and experience at this point breaks down and is no longer valid. Why? Simple, I have just one child.
When my child was about a month out, I told my wife that our son would graduate from high school in 2024! Talk about putting things into perspective. Here we were sorting out baby clothes and I was already stressing about how to pay for the kid's college education. I would guess that the emotions "The Colonel" is going through are magnified since multiple babies are expected.
Without a multiple baby experience to draw from, maybe some statistics might paint a clearer picture of what the Colonel is going through. According to the United States Census conduction in 2000, only three percent of birth were twins. The chances go up to a robust four percent over the age of 30. That's 118,916 births.
Ahhh. Clarity through numbers.
In other words, the colonel---oops, my bad, "The Colonel" and his lovely wife are in very special company.
As a longtime friend going back to the late 70s, I feel some great need to coach him over the next four weeks until the big day. But alas, I need to take a step back. The Colonel is a smart man and he will sort out his amalgam of emotions in due time. He's probably painted the baby's room, assembled the crib and installed a plasma screen near the diaper changing station for Baby Einstein viewing. For all the preparation involved, nothing will really "prepare" him for what lies ahead. Still, I can't resist at pointing out a few changes that WILL occur after birth:
1. Neurotic behavior by both father and mother will become increasingly conspicuous to neighbors and family members. As much as they tell you everything will be fine, you shun their words and continue to act as if every movement or action will do irreparable harm if not done with utmost precision .
2. Forget about rest, you will not sleep for 5 months
3. Video game entertainment will also cease for at least 5 months...maybe longer depending on whether or not the baby(s) like to watch while you play
4. Current events will seem the furthest thing from your mind. As long as the power doesn't go out, you won't care about staying informed
5. Finally, time will stand still. See my entry on the speed of time
Anyway, the best of luck to you and your wife, Colonel. That 5% terror you spoke of will slowly go down but not until 2016.