March 18, 2005

Parental Roles

Some things have yet to be determined in our little family-to-be: Who will stay home with Baby? Who will be the primary wage-earner the first year? Who will teach our children to cook (since my husband's really better at this than I)?

One thing has become clear over the last several days, though: I'll be the one instructing our offspring about the finer points of sports, tournaments and playoffs. There are reasons my husband isn't a basketball fan - many years and a number of hours spent concentrating on swimming, no pressure from parents to participate and be highly competitive in contact sports, not a whole lot of interest, etc. Whatever the primary reason, I was the one using polls and statistics from sports articles to complete my NCAA tournament brackets. He sometimes used the criteria of "which team is closer to the state I consider my home state" to complete his.

We went out for dinner last night (pregnancy has only increased my desire for meat, and lots of it; medium-rare to medium hamburgers sounded really, REALLY good). On the way home from the restaurant, he demonstrated his love for me by telling me I could turn on the TV to watch basketball when we got home, and that he would actually watch them with me.

Greater love hath no husband.

I can see it now: I'll be the one in front of the TV on a Saturday hollering at refs (I'm a college sports fan, be it basketball, football or wrestling); rather than asking what Daddy is yelling about, our kids will be tugging on my husband's pant leg asking what Mommy is so upset about. At least I never cultivated the taste for beer; shouting, "Honey, would you bring a cold one? I don't want to miss what's happening with the game!" across the house is a mental image of role-reversal that makes me shudder.

I do have my limits. I have never (even during college student days) painted my face for a game. -I'm not saying I wouldn't ever, but it hasn't happened yet, so there's hope...

I have seen a frightening glimpse of my 'soccer mom' potential, though. I was reading in a book for expectant parents about the Apgar test that's given to newborns shortly after birth. While reading the breakdown of the scores (responsiveness, degree of oxygenation, etc.) I felt a primal urge that our child would get a 10 out of 10. Fortunately, the rational side of my brain kicked in shortly thereafter and scolded my competitive side. I mentioned this to my doctor during my next check-up, and he started making cracks about, "What do you mean, 'blue?' Nah... that's the light in the room, Doc; you can just mark a '2' down for that oxygenation score."

I foresee years ahead of me of restraining my competitive impulses so my children can have peace. What are my chances that this is just pregnancy hormones?

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