Belated happy Father's Day!
By Gordon Robinson
Another thing burns my rear end (you can't write 'ass' in a newspaper).
No, not a flame about three feet high. It's another product of modern feminism. You know the one I mean. It's the new rule that sends prospective fathers to Lamaze classes with expectant mothers; joining them in the labour ward; and, the final horror, witnessing the birth up close and personal. Well-Intentioned Male Parents (WIMPs, for short) may go so far as filming the birth for future presentation at home movies.
If I lie, I die!
It begins with an innocent enough request that you join her Lamaze class. Lamaze class (that it's often called 'Le Mans' is the most cruel joke perpetrated on manhood since the leaky condom) is a yoga-style group-therapy session reminiscent of her gym or hairdressing parlour where women learn to breathe while giving birth. I swear to God. Who can make these things up? It's intended to promote natural childbirth by teaching expectant mothers how to facilitate medication-free labour and delivery.
I've no problem if gullible women want to spend time and cash on this escapist frolic. What beats me is why future fathers must attend. I understand it's particularly popular in the USA where husbands undergo automatic sex-change operations at the marriage ceremony and, thereafter, their vocabularies contain only two words, 'yes' and 'dear'. But I fail to see the relevance to the Third World where women regularly experience 'natural childbirth' (a tautology) before returning to kitchen duties the following day with the infant as sous chef.
So, here we have a room full of women on mats perfecting synchronised impressions of The Big Bad Wolf while their partners sit nearby with glazed looks silently contracting among themselves never to speak of this again. Check out these same women a few months later in the labour ward shrieking, "Me nah fahnicate (or something similar) again!" closely followed by "Me want epidural NOW!"
Christians looking for "wrath of God" examples to deter church sisters from sin, look no further. Meanwhile women, rather than accepting responsibility for their predicament, want men to suffer too. Misery loves company.
I COULD HAVE BEEN PREGGERS
But, it's not Man's fault. It's Eve's fault. If she'd been more patient, maybe Adam would've eaten the apple first. Then, I'd be the one with the big belly vowing not to sin again, and I'll bet dollars to donuts The Old Ball and Chain would be out shopping.
Trust me, guys, you're unnecessary cogs in the delivery-room wheel. You're in the way. But, if you must attend for fear of future reprisal, for God's sake, leave the expensive camera at home. It'll only be damaged when you faint dead away trying for a close-up of the grand re-entry.
I've been there three times. For the birth of our first, The Computer Whiz, I ran the full gauntlet, including attending the delivery room. As the action unfolded, I found myself edging further and further away until, at the wondrous moment, I was up against the door heading outside. I paused for the alleged miracle, only to become apoplectic and accuse the doctor of malpractice when I realised that Old BC had given birth to a mongoose. Once again, Darwin's theory confirmed. 'Intelligent design', my left foot!
AMPERSAND AND THE TERRORIST
The second time around, for The Ampersand's arrival, I dropped Old BC (with suitcase) at the hospital gate and proceeded to the nearest betting shop to await announcement of results and dividends and whether or not there was a stewards' enquiry. Seven years later, when she found herself the victim of a third called strike (SputNick, The Terrorist), I held the bus for her.
At first, you'll be brainwashed to become all goo-goo-eyed over the birth of this marinated midget you hope you created. Like certain (unidentified) editors, in order to witness the thrilling moment, you'll desert the job, forsaking clueless columnists' contributions to the attentions of any number of nameless nincompoops wandering into the press room looking for coffee to percolate and copy to 'fercolate'.
"Isn't she lovely?
Isn't she wonderful?
Isn't she precious
(less than one minute old)?
I never thought through love we'd be
making one as lovely as she.
But isn't she lovely made from love."
A reminder: The author of those lyrics was born blind and obviously suffers from a males-only reflex: premature adjudication. Check her out 16 years later through the hypertensive lens of teenage daughter-induced nervous breakdown as she communicates only when needing money.
Peace and love.
Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.