My irrational fears about imminent parenthood

I haven’t written in a while because I am consumed with irrational fears about parenthood.  For instance, every day for the last 18 days, I have started the day by asking Anne if she’s in labor.  She never is.

Anne promises that she’ll tell me as soon as she knows, but I’m worried that she’ll keep it to herself for a few minutes because she’s not sure if it’s really happening.  Then, during those minutes, the baby will come out, and grow up, learn the violin, go off to college, get an amazing job, win the masters, become disgustingly rich, and not give me any of the money because I missed it all.  If Anne just had the decency to tell me that she was in labor, then I’d be driving a Benz right now.

See what I mean?  Totally irrational (but kind of legitimate, right?).  Also, as I played out that scenario in my head, I totally pictured the kid as a girl.  Does that mean it’s a girl?  That’s not a super scientific way of figuring out gender, but is it accurate?  60% of the baby pool responses say no.

chart (1)

While I’m at it, here’s a summary of the responses:

Birthdate:  Responses ranged from 8/3/13 (gasp!) to 9/1/13 (Insert Anne gasp here).  The most popular response was 8/20/13, two days late.

Baby weight:  Responses ranged from 6 lbs 7 oz to 9 lbs 8oz., submitted by Kerry.  Kerry, you obviously studied my baby pictures, but Anne thinks you’re a god damn motherfucking bitch right now.  Ryan’s response of >19 lbs is disqualified for public health and safety reasons.

Will Rob pass out?  More than 50% of responses say “no.”  Love you guys.

You all think that I will maintain a healthy weight at the time of birth.  Except for a few readers, who shall remain nameless.  Like Robert Harms, the prick who said I would weight 201.4 lbs at birth and that dickhead, Ryan, who thinks I’ll balloon up to 265.

To no one’s surprise, way more of you like Anne better than you like me.  Why don’t you follow her blog then?  Exactly.  Because she doesn’t have one.  If she did, I’d like it more than this one too.  Anne’s the best.

chart

And finally, here are some of the best responses to the “Please use this space to provide any well wishes or parenting advice.”

“I hope your kid has massive balls, but only if it’s a boy.”  – Guess who.

“You’ll be a great, overbearing and lovably obsessive father. Your child will grow up with numerous complexes created by you.”

“Don’t read a newspaper or write your blog whilst Anne is actually in labour.”  I’m just including this one because of whilst.  What a stupid word.

“Rob: Reminders: Good tempo, slow take away, head down, stay on plane and finish your swing. Wait, what was this about again? Good luck Anne!”  – Someone who gets me.

“I don’t have kids, but my cat is ‘kind of’ a kid. I guess my advice is, keep it off the back of the sofa and teach it where to poop as early as possible.”  – Weird cat lady.

“Your humor makes the work day bearable.” – Probably my “test” submission.

“Rob – Don’t be a jackass! Anne – You are awesome! ” – Anne’s dad.

“And just so you know, I like Anne better because something tells me she is tougher about this whole situation than you.”  – Typical reader of my blog.

” Rob, don’t be a douche.”

“This poor, poor (Lucky!) child.”

“if you do the exact opposite of my parents, I may be able to guar.an.tee your kid will be at least 14 before smoking pot”

Those were actually real responses, not like the edited responses I gave in all of the interview with a parent blogs.  It’s nothing compared to your pictures of how you think the baby will look:

Babe1

 

Little_Pollak

fatrob001

Anyway, here are the things that are really freaking me out right now:

1 – I haven’t figured out how to install the car seat, nor do I believe that it’s something that’s possible to figure out.
2 – I haven’t assembled the crib or any other furniture in the nursery.
3 – I don’t know how to change a diaper.
4 – I am a little behind on sleep and keep thinking I’ll catch up on the weekend, but then I remember 100 things I forgot to do last weekend.
5 – I want to play a few more rounds of golf, which I do every weekend when I”m supposed to be doing all that other stuff.
6 – I’m scared of the animalistic sounds anne might make in the hospital.  Special thanks to the reader that shared this terrifying video of what it’s going to be like:
7 – I’m scared of hospitals
8 – I dislike spit up tremendously
9 – I think the kid might look like me
10 – I think the kid might not look like me
11 – I think I might fuck up the spelling of the name, like the parents of baseball player jhonny peralta
12 – Anne and I moved into a new home and now I am obsessed with HGTV and I’m worried that Pinterest will be next.  What do you think of these drapes, by the way?
Modern interior. 3D render. Living-room. Exclusive design.

 

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The Official Rob (and Anne) Complains About Things Baby Pool

Welcome to the first annual Rob (and Anne) Complains About Things (other than their baby) Baby Pool.

A drawing launching a baby pool for my blog

CLICK HERE to submit your entry to the baby pool.  It only takes a minute to enter, but by doing so, you will receive 15 seconds of entertainment.

If you like to read the “fine print” then the rest of this post is just for you!

The Rules are as follows:

  1. One entry per person (no purchase necessary).
  2. The winner will be the person who submits the best entry form.  Because the answers to some of the questions will not be finalized for many many years, this will be a somewhat arbitrary process.  In other words, the person who does the best on picking the gender/DOB/weight/height/Apgar score/Rob Pass out/name will win.  In the event of a tie, all prize money will be donated to charity (Baby’s college fund).
  3. People who have provided interviews to this blog about parenting are all already winners in my mind!  But if they do win the contest, their prizes will be as follows:
    1. If Andy wins, the prize will be one pair of Hank and Jojo socks.
    2. If Ryan wins, the prize will be a weekly guest spot on my blog.
    3. If Suburban Mom wins, the prize will be extra blog traffic for my blog.  She wins!
  4. Anne is not allowed to enter.  Not for any specific reason, but it would really crush my spirits if she did better than I did in this pool.
  5. These rules don’t matter because, as you’re about to see, the prizes are all really shitty.  If you still want to enter, here’s what you could win:  

First Prize:

  • Have the baby named after you (redeemable only if the winning entry has the same name as we were going to pick for the kid anyway).
  • A custom stick figure drawing.
  • An autographed photo of me passed out in the delivery room.  If I don’t pass out, an autographed photo of placenta.
  • A blog post all about you.
  • Three unused Rob Complains About Things Stamps (cash value $1.38)

Second Prize:

  • A slightly shittier custom stick figure drawing.
  • An autographed photo of me doing yoga.
  • A blog post all about someone else but mentioning you.
  • Two unused Rob Complains About Things Stamps (cash value $0.92)

Third Prize:

  • Yeah, right.  Like I’m going to give a prize to someone who couldn’t even make the top two.  You suck!
  • $3 cash
  • One unused Rob Complains About Things Stamp

Last Place:

  • You will be mocked relentlessly by me.  Unless I finish last, in which case the scores will be manipulated in such a way as to make it seem like someone else finished last.

Good luck to all participants.  I am ineligible for any prizes (except first or second prize), but I will submit an entry to crush you all with my inside information.

Thanks for participating.  Here’s the link again in case I f*cked up the one I posted at the beginning:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1d_cPSTVFTNRR4CijYDsD3nNlojriX6UL1oX-zXviuXU/viewform

An interview with random people from the internet about parenting.

My interview with a dad series came to a screeching halt after I completed my interviews of Ryan and Andy.  Apparently I have fewer real life friends than I thought, and those that do exist refused to participate in an interview.  They claim that the photos I chose for other participants amounted to public shaming and that I was being unfair by making up quotes that made the parents seem neglectful.  I thought it was all in good fun, but I guess no one cares what I think.

Thankfully, the internet is loaded with insane, self-aggrandizing narcissists who will agree to just about anything.  Like Jennifer, a popular mommy blogger at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom.

Please note that Suburban Mom is not the same thing as Teen Mom, who has recently hit the news for appearing in a million dollar porno (NSFW but from HuffPo so also KindaSFW).

Jennifer and her husband, “B” kindly agreed to let me interview them.  They seemed like a perfect choice for this series because the Suburban Mom once linked to my blog and an army of humor-deprived moms gleefully clicked the link and laughed and laughed and laughed.  I’d like that to happen again, and I imagine she’s now obligated to share this link with her devout followers.  ‘Sup ladies.

Before we get started, a bit more context about Suburban Mom:

1) A portion of her website is devoted to Tupperware.  Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

2)  Another portion of her website reviews boxes.   I don’t understand the concept, so you’ll have to check it out yourself.  Just trust me that it’s worth a click.  I wasn’t convinced until I saw her review of the Boink Box.  The review wasn’t particularly interesting, but I laughed every time I said Boink Box out loud.  Twelve times.  I said it twelve times.  Boink Box.

3)  Suburban Mom and I are not facebook friends, so the photo-roast portion of the interview will be brief.  I scoured her blog for good pictures, but there were disproportionately more pictures of those stupid boxes than of her kids.

Here’s a picture of two kids that I am 80% certain belong to her.

And here’s a picture that was published under the guise of being a cute picture of her kid when it’s really a thinly veiled attempt by the dad to show off his abs in the sunglass reflection.  Nice try, B.  (more on this later).

Let’s get to the questions:

Rob Complains:  Thanks for joining me today.  You do realize that many of your answers will appear in highly edited form, correct?

Suburban Mom:  Of course.  But I’d do anything for a handsome, charming, physically fit specimen of a man like you, Rob.

Rob Complains:  You’re too sweet.

Rob Complains:  I’ve noticed that you write about 85 blog posts per week.  How do you find time to write, and do you think it’s acceptable to sedate your child for a few hours if you have a good idea for a blog post?

Suburban Mom:  Ha!!!  I stay up late, very late. Sometimes past Jimmy Kimmel late.  That’s why my grammar is so bad in my posts.  It’s way to hard to trie and right a blog post and entertain two kids at the same time.  Not happening.  Although; if I REALLY need to write a blog post, their our always snacks.  And TV.  I gotta tell you, Sponge Bob can entertain a kid like you wou’ldnt belief.

Rob Complains:  You ain’t lyin’ ’bout that grammar, girl.  Weird.  I’m not sure why this just turned into an episode of In Living Color.

Speaking of blogs, it’s normal for a spouse to demand editorial control over blog content, right?  Right?

Suburban Mom:  My husband might be the most laid back person on earth.  I think it’s the only way he can tolerate being married to me.  We are total opposites in that way.  He does not care what I write.  At all.  He’s a cool guy.

Rob Complains:  He does sound like a great guy.  Hmmmm.  Maybe a little too great.  How does he feel about having shirtless photos of himself posted all over the internet.  Do you give him advance notice, or does he just have a Google Alert set up for “sweet pecs” so he receives immediate notice when you post one of these:  

Suburban Mom:  B just laughed when I asked him this question.  He knows there are shirtless pictures but doesn’t mind.  He looks good.  I wouldn’t care either if I were him.

Rob Complains:  I wonder whether Anne would say such flattering things about me on her blog.  If Anne reviewed boxes, all of the reviews would be like, “I received an amazing box of flavored popcorn, candy, and ice cream.  Rob ate it all before I got home.  He said it was very good.  

And about those boxes:  When you review things on your website, do you get them for free, or do you spend a shitload of money on boxes of essentially worthless crap?

Suburban Mom:  I get this question a lot.

Rob Complains:  Oh really?

when you review things on your website  do you get them for free  or do you spend a shitload of money on boxes of essentially worthless crap     Google Search

Suburban Mom:  Anyway, I get a lot, okay most, of the boxes free.  The box companies will ask me to do a review and will send me a box free of charge.  Lots of the boxes have referral programs too, so like if 5 people sign up using my links, I get a free box that month.  It’s a pretty sweet deal.  It combines two of my loves.  Getting things in the mail.  And free stuff!

Rob Complains:  You hear that ladies – she’s using you.  Here at Rob Complains About Things, we’re in it only for the glory.  I would never sell your personal information.  Even for a Boink Box.  

By reading this post, you agree to allow me to sell any and all of your personal information 

Of all the things you’ve reviewed over the years, what are the must have items for a new parent?

Suburban Mom:  The baby crack machine and a sense of humor.  The baby crack machine is just a sound machine with a projector feature.  It’s like $20 and buy it for everyone having a baby.  It’s amazing and I swear, your kid will sleep better with it.  We used it with my older until he was maybe 3 and I swear, that kid sleeps like a ROCK.

And the sense of humor, well, you need one as a new parent.  It’s possible that, without a sense of humor, you could lose your mind.  I mean it’s not like anyone will be sleeping.

Rob Complains: Not Tupperware?  I know you’re into that shit.  What is this, 1977?  

Suburban Mom:  LOL!!!  But Tupperware is cool!  I swear.  They have so many cool gadgets and stuff. It’s not just bowls.  My husband even uses (and loves) all my Tupperware stuff.

Rob Complains:  Wow.  You really sold me with that.  Not just bowls but other things.  Like lids?  They have lids now?  WHERE DO I SIGN UP?!?!?!

Next question:  Do you notice anything missing from this list of blogs you love?  Anything?  Anything at all? 

Links I Love   Ramblings of a Suburban Mom (1)

Suburban Mom:  I suck right?  

Rob Complains:  Yes, that’s certainly what I was implying.

Suburban Mom:  In all fairness, I haven’t updated that list in ages.  When I get around to it, I will put you up at the top for sure!!!

Rob Complains:  Well, gee.  Thanks so much.  That means so much to me that when you get around to it at some yet to be determined time, you will move me to the top of the list.  

Question For your husband:  How much sympathy weight did you gain?  How much should I gain?  Did you try to keep up with your wife on the lb a week thing?  Because that’s a lot of ice cream, right?

Suburban Mom:  My husband is a jerk and didn’t gain any weight.  He can eat whatever he wants and never gains a pound.  Or if he does, he loses it all in like a week.  I kinda hate him because of it.  But wait, I didn’t know your wife was pregnant????  Where on earth have I been?  When is she due?  What is she having?  And again, where have I been?  I need all the details on this!  Can I send you guys a baby subscription box??

Rob Complains:  Well, I guess that’s why I’m not on the list of blogs you love.  Because you don’t read it.  I hate you and this stupid interview.  Which brings me to my next question:  Adult Boxes!  Heyo?

Suburban Mom:  This just proves there is a box out there for everyone!  They are also my husband’s favorite box category.

Rob Complains:  Really?  I would have thought he’d be more of a Tupperware guy.

Suburban Mom:  I think he likes when I text him pictures of these box contents when he’s at work.

Rob Complains:  Is it just me, or is anyone else getting uncomfortable?

Suburban Mom:  Ohh, and I gotta tell you, the “Adult” boxes are the ones that get the most clicks on my blog.  Seriously.  Maybe all the wives are buying them so that their husband’s don’t notice or don’t care when 10 other subscription boxes arrive at their house every month?  I can totally see that working.

Rob Complains:  That’s fraud.  What’s gonna happen when your kids find this interview and your blog in like 7 years?

Suburban Mom:  If my blog (and yours) are the worst things they find on the internet, I think we’ll be okay!. Heck, I hope I still even have a blog in 7 years.

Rob Complains:  Why’d you have to lump me into the worst things on the Internet.  This is not going well.

Suburban Mom:  I can say whatever I want now because no one’s reading this far down anyway.

Rob Complains:  That’s true.  Let me get to the boring questions that make it seem like you do actual parenting: 

How often can I justify eating ice cream by using it as a bribe to get my kid to do something?  And how early can I Start doing that?  On that note, can I ban my kid from eating sugar but just basically mainstream it into my system with no regard for how hypocritical I am being?  When do kids learn the word hypocritical?

Suburban Mom:  You can start bribing them AS SOON as they are born.  For example, when my oldest was a baby and I was a new mom up every few hours for weeks on end because my husband was out of town.

Rob Complains:  See!  I knew he was a dick.  He was probably at an Ab conference.

Suburban Mom:  I told the kid I would buy him a car when he turned 16 if he would just sleep through the night.

Rob Complains:  You know that he didn’t understand that, right?  

Suburban Mom:  And what do you know, he started sleeping through the night at 5 weeks.

Rob Complains:  I’m just going to promise our kid all the Tupperware in the world.  

What do you wish you had known before you had a human being to take care of?

Suburban Mom:  That kids don’t have to end your grown-up fun.

Rob Complains:  Yeah, we get it.  You and your husband get adult boxes.  Enough already.

Suburban Mom:  When people say things like, wait till you have kids, you’ll never go on vacation / eat out alone / sleep again, it’s not true.  At all. You can do everything you did before kids after you have kids.  And it’ll be more fun!  Except super duper long plane rides.  Kids aren’t too into that.  Taking care of another human is better than you think it will be.  People mention the long nights and the crying and they love to share their horrible labor stories with you.  But they forget to mention all of the good parts, like newborn snuggles and that newborn smell.

Rob Complains:  You mean, meconium?

Suburban Mom:  Mmmmmm yes!  It makes me want another baby right now!  Ohhh, and I also wish I would have known that everyone and their brother has an opinion on how you should raise your kid.  It’s quite annoying when some stranger at Target tells you your baby should be wearing a hat even though it’s 90 degrees out.

Rob Complains:  Yeah, good point.  Remind me not to take advice from any random strangers I meet over the Internet.  

Last question: What’s one thing that you did to your kid that you’ll never admit in public?

Suburban Mom:  I’m laughing just thinking about answers to that.

Rob Complains:  You should know that I exercised an amazing amount of self restraint by not writing an answer to that question for you.  Every one I tried made you seem like a bad person.

Anyhow.  Thanks for joining me.  I hope you send lots of your loyal readers to my blog and then they click here to follow my facebook page.

My body remains still and limp: My first experience with Hypnobirthing

If you’re not familiar with hypnobabies, then look into my eyes.  Are you getting sleepy?  Yes.  You’re getting sleepy.  Very sleepy.  You’re entering the deepest sleep you’ve ever felt.

A drawing by Rob Pollak hypnobirthing and hypnobabies

When I snap my fingers, you will have an uncontrollable urge to share the link to my blog with everyone you know.

In the meantime, while you sit in a blissful state of heightened relaxation, let me tell you about hypnobabies.  To my surprise, hypnobabies has nothing to do with this Pokemon:

Nor does it have anything to do with a bunch of boozy babies slugging back this:

As I now understand it, Hypnobirthing is a French cult that brainwashes pregnant women with hippie-ish tendencies into believing that they will have a carefree and pain-free childbirth.  In other words, it’s the epidural without the shot or pain relief.  It achieves this by stealing your Friday nights during the height of Spring and placing you in a windowless corporate room with other terrified parents-to-be.

For the first hour of class, our Birth Professor read from the Hypno-manual and told stories that were meant to calm the nerves.  She told us that we don’t have to listen to friends who share the horror stories from their 91 hour labor.   “Thank god,” I thought as I listened to her proceed to tell us all the bad things that can happen if we don’t follow her instructions.

Or even if we do follow the instructions, how sometimes hypnobirthing can be so relaxed that the baby might slip out and become injured.  Like the time a Pilates instructor hypnobirthed and became so vaginally pliable that, while in labor, she went into a squat so deep that her baby cartwheeled out of the birth canal and hit his head on the ground.  Thankfully, the child was fine and he immediately found himself in happy baby pose while the doula checked his vitals.

Here’s how Hypnobirthing actually works.  You’re supposed to repeat certain affirmations in order to train your brain that the experience of labor is not a war between the body and the baby.  We practiced in class and discussed the way the affirmations can truly change your mindset.  It really did seem relaxing.

Here, try it with me:

My body remains still and limp

My body remains still and limp

My body remains still and limp?

Well, gee.  Wasn’t that empowering emasculating.

Here, let’s try another one together:

My cervix opens outward and allows my baby to ease down. 

My cervix opens outward and allows my baby to ease down. 

My cervix opens outward and allows my baby to ease down. 

Ahhhhhh!  Pure bliss.  I’m feeling better already.  You?

For me, the highlight of class was the first snack break.  Professor Placenta distributed these amazing French cookies.  The pregnant moms looked on in horror when I took two from the box, especially the mom at the end of the circle who may have gotten no cookies because of me.

It may have seemed like a dick move at the time, but as you’re about to see, proper nourishment can be very important for hypno dads.

After the break, the teacher explained that we would be moving to the video portion of the evening.  She wheeled in a sweet flat screen and popped in a DVD from 1974.

We watched two videos.  The first was an amazing five-minute birth, edited to make it seem as if labor involved no blood, no screaming, no pain, or no crying.  It’s exactly how I imagined labor to be when I imagined it involving a stork.  I felt better about the process and even started to wonder if I could stray from the North end zone in a few months when we’re in the delivery room.

That feeling of wonder was quickly shot down.

Video two:  A very relaxed mom and her husband wait for the big moment in the delivery room.  They laugh and joke as if they didn’t have a care in the world.  They probably didn’t, but the second film was directed by the Stanley Kubrick of Hypnobirthing videos.  A quick cut sent us from the laughter and joking to the inside of what’s medically known as “up in the business.”  There, a brand new child with a head the size of rottweiler began corkscrewing its way through an opening the size of nostril.

As the child moved down the birth path, the temperature of the classroom suddenly increased by 12,400 degrees.  I looked up to my left to see how Anne was taking it.  All three of her seemed to be taking it quite well.  Those buttery French cookies that earlier had been so delicious now felt as if they had lodged in the portion of my esophagus just north of digestion and south of regurgitation.

On the brink of collapse, I put into practice all the tricks I had learned during the first hour of class.  I bobbed my head in rhythm and recited every affirmation I knew:  Mycervixopensoutward Mycervixopensoutward Mybodyislimp Mybodyislimp.

I felt much much better until a second later when a pool of blood gushed out of the birther’s upinyourbusiness and then the other things that come out came out.  I don’t know what these were, but one looked like an alien with an eel connected to it, one looked like a sac of breast implant, and another looked like this turkey chili Anne once cooked for me.

Pass out

Frenchie walks over and turns off the video and says, “so, Vhat did zoo theeenk?”  At least that’s what I think she said.  It was hard for me to hear her voice, which was being drowned out by the birds circling my head and chirping.  I stared up at her and tried to respond, but I could barely see through the bright light that I was slowly gliding towards.

At that moment, I leaned forward in my chair and took hold of my head.  Anne emerged from her state of hypno-meditative bliss and finally caught a glimpse of me.  “Why do you look like the guy from Powder?”  She asked.  “Are you okay?”  She reached over and gently rubbed the top of my head, a move she instantly regretted when she felt my sopping brow.

Amazingly, I didn’t faint, but I was brought back to full consciousness by Anne’s audible laughter at my expense.  I shared with the class that I had just almost passed out, and everyone had a good laugh at my expense.  Although I was embarrassed, I like to consider my light-headedness as an act of macho bravery.  You see, after mocking me for a few minutes, each of the moms went into reassurance mode and explained to me how I had nothing to be afraid of and how the whole thing’s not so bad or scary.  In other words, by nearly passing out, I effectively allayed all of the fears that these women had expressed in the pre-cookie portion of class.  You’re welcome ladies.

Before we were dismissed, I asked the teacher if anyone had ever fainted when they saw those videos.  She responded with a curt “non.”  That’s French for “no, you pussy.”

Technically speaking, the answer to my question remains the same.

Suck it, Hypnobirthing.

Interview with a Dad: Sock-er Mom edition

Last week, I began a new interview series where I learn everything there is to know about being a dad.  Ryan was a real sport during that interview, but unfortunately he answered all my questions.  So even though this is only week two, I’m mixing it up a bit and interviewing a real mom.  Don’t worry though, she kind of has a boy’s name.

Without further ado, let’s get to my interview with Andriana Caradimitropoulo Spence, better known as Andy.  See a boy’s name.

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