Monday, April 22, 2013

Dropping the Mike: Pending Fatherhood

Amid the fallout from the terribleness at the Boston Marathon last week, there's a better than average chance most of you missed my "dropping the mike" reference at the end of last Monday's pre-bombing post regarding the pending parenthood at Chez Viper.

I had this smart-alecky idea of sliding in our pregnancy news at the end of that post and then doing a bigger reveal the next day. Well, best laid plans, and all that about going astray.

Mrs. Viper and I are extremely excited. She's due in early October, which gives me six more months to totally freak out about having a baby. Everything changes, everybody always says. ZOMG!!1! What does that mean?!?

The prospect of having a child is both invigorating and enervating, but in the aftermath of last week's events I find fearing the kind of world we're bringing him or her (we're not finding out) into and thinking hard on the type of father I want to be and the lessons I want to teach my child.

This is all very normal, I assume.

All these thoughts jump into my head: What if we screw him up? What if she grows up to hate us? What if we can't give him a good life? What if we spoil her too much? What if he becomes a douche bag? What if she turns out to be a True Belieber? What if he turns out to be a terrorist like those kids in Boston? What if she's caught in a terrible tragedy like that?

And then there are the more selfish concerns: How are we going to afford all this? What's going to happen to our marriage? Will Mrs. Viper and I ever go on a date again? What about our sex life? Will having a kid make us want to strangle each other? Will I ever have time to play the banjo or fiddle? I'm never going to run again, am I? I'm going to get really fat, right?

I'm already calling my weight gain "sympathy weight," regardless of the fact that I've been hovering around this heft since before the New Year. Despite running more regularly and trying to eat better, my scale keeps telling me I'm a mere couple pounds from my heaviest.

This is all stupid, I try to tell myself in more rational moments. But, cripes! This going to change everything! To help me cope with this life-changing event, I'm turning to you, dear teammates. In the months ahead, I will post parenting questions for your consideration. Because this is a running blog, the first one will deal with what I can expect on that front.

PENDING FATHERHOOD QUESTION NO. 1: With six months until D-Day and a pregnant wife at home, how much running should I attempt? One last shot at a big race vs. just enough to keep fit or somewhere in between?


Anonymous said...

Run becuase you want to, not because you have to - before and after the Young Viper enters the world.

Unknown said...

First, Congratulations.

Next, Run. Run like the wind. Run in the wind. Run in to the wind. Run and break wind.

Finally, do you have one of those never ending lists of personal "to do" things? Get them done now. Not because you will not have a chance once the child arrives, do those things now so that when s/he is here, you can spend your time being Dad and helping Mrs Viper without feeling any guilt about the To Do list you're going to ignore because you are so exhausted all you want to do is sleep. :)

Jen Feeny said...

I adore Jim's comment. Listen to him. :)

Also, CONGRATS on the impending Viper!!! So exciting, and yes, I totally missed it on the last post because I didn't do much blog reading last week. (For obvious reasons)

Carolina John said...

Little V's going to be a winner, have some confidence in that. Run as much as you want to before the birth. Sleep as much as you can after the birth.

I always find it hilarious that everyone now says "this changes everything", then after the baby comes and you find out what that really means the first reaction we (and every other new parent ever) has is "why didn't anyone tell me it would be like this?"

You want practice? get a rocking chair. We went with a glider with footstool from babies r us. Every night exactly at 8 pm sit down and rock the baby to sleep on your shoulder. Every single night for the next 14 months or so. The part I can't explain to you is why that will be the highlight of your day. For now raise a cold beer at 8 pm to the fact that you can still be outside of your living room at 8 pm. that won't happen after the baby comes either.

misszippy said...

Congrats! Yep, it changes everything. But in a good way. It's not the easiest path, but all worth it.

Yep, shoot for a race in the next six months. Your world will be turned quite upside down for a while and training will likely take a big back seat--and I can tell you, Mrs. Viper will be quite happy to have your help in those first few months rather than giving you up to roads/trails.

Spike said...

Congrats, Red and I are very excited for you both. Also, because we have no kids I am free to offer you advice. Ultra. Yep, that should work well over the next 6 months. Train for an ultra.

B. Jarosz said...

Congratulations!!! That makes two of us who are going through the panic: "Oh my god. How is my life going to change with a baby?!?"

We're expecting at the beginning of November.

As for running... Since I'm the one running for 2, my plan is to run for fitness/fun/stress-relief. I've cleared my race calendar for the rest of this year. But since you're not lugging around 20 extra pounds of baby... I say race if you WANT to, but keep running for fun either way.

Jess said...

Congrats and Welcome to the club! It's the most terrifying and enjoyable experience ever.

I recommend hoarding sleep more than anything!

KW said...

Congrats to you and Mrs. Viper.

As for running, keep running as much as you want. Maybe not drink so much in front of Mrs. Viper. And my friend used to run with us and her baby in one of those running strollers. So, there you go...a run and an arm exercise workout.

I would probably do a big running event before the baby though.

derscott said...

First, congratulations! Having kids is the absolute biggest adventure you can have. Soak it up, even the really bad parts. There will be time for running and all that stuff later, trust me (father of two here). Nothing you can do now will prepare you for fatherhood. Just cruise until it happens, and then enjoy the crazy ride.

Nitmos said...

This world makes no sense anymore.


Robin said...

Congratulations! Run when you want to, but enjoy those third trimester walks with mrs. Viper.

Get a jogging stroller and be that guy who enters 5ks with the stroller. Takes the pressure off of needing to PR and gives Mrs. Viper an hour to herself on a Saturday morning.

Best advice: don't over analyze. Have fun, relax and everything will fall into place.

Al's CL Reviews said...


I hope Mrs. Viper lets you drink beer. I always told D if I had to be sober, so did he. He decided we shouldn't have kids. (I kid).