An Expectant Father

For a country that is mostly conservative, elderly family members are sure able to suspend any and all manner of delicateness when it comes to the serious matter of issues, or as The Hindu matrimonial ads would have it, encumbrances. Short of bluntly saying “Put sattney, produce baby”, there are several unsubtle tricks employed. An example –Β  “The caterer for my grandson’s Ayush homam makes an utterly delightful sambaar. You should seriously consider him, I mean, after you produce a baby of course”. There was also a “haha” at the end of that.

So after five years of what felt like the Battle of Helm’s Deep, waves of orcs throwing themselves at the battlements of our “free wille and righte to make babies at a tyme of our choosinge”, the wife announced one day that we were successfully enrolled in the dastardly plan to make economy class airflight more uncomfortable for fellow passengers. I said “Oh!” and went back to drawing rage toons. A few months later she told me we had to go for some sort of scan, where doctors take that most beautifully romantic idea of a baby inside a woman’s womb and turn it into a cryptic medical report written seemingly by crows who had dipped their feet into a bottle of Bril ink and walked all over the paper. Pregnancy sort of whizzed past without much ado, aided in no small measure by the fact that it was the wife who was doing all of the work while I pondered long and hard about what it would eventually mean to become a father.

I kept pondering as the wife increasingly complained about the baby’s tendency to kick a tad more than Wayne Rooney on coke. I offered to play a soothing prelude by Bach to see if the baby would kick less. It didn’t help.

The wife then seemed visibly discomfited by the Chennai heat and TNEB’s tendency to shed more load than snakes shed skin during this time. Since I didn’t have any influence in the matter of regulating the the earth’s movements relative to the sun, I really couldn’t help. In fact, she helped herself by going to work pretty much the entire 9 months because office had reliable air conditioning.

As we got closer to the due date, I thought perhaps now is the time for some serious discharging of fatherhood duties and prepared myself by installing several baby related apps on my iPhone and doing a whole lot of reading online. That didn’t help much. You see, the internet has this habit of telling you about Brain cancer when you google for headache. I asked her if she wanted any of those apps. She politely declined and asked me to install board games like this instead.

Eventually, at 3 am on the 11th of May, she woke me up and asked me to get ready. At that moment, I didn’t feel much like a to-be-father. I felt like Kamal Hassan in Tenali about to do a solo sky dive. I was as shaken up as my wife was chilled out. I attempted clumsily to take control of the situation and asked her if she was experiencing labour pain. She gave me an expression that suggested that Messrs Holmes had some serious blockages in his digestive system. We had to climb down a flight of stairs and I was worried if she could manage it. She then told me to relax, climbed down with the grace of a ballet dancer and got into the car and I drove. She even navigated as I didn’t know the route and once we reached the nursing home, an assortment of nurses descended on her, took her inside, and asked me to wait outside.

After hours of nervous pacing, the doctor came out with what appeared to be a mildly peeved small sized male human being who seemed more bothered about the harshness of the corridor’s tubelight than gazing upon the mien of his creator. He further reiterated his distinct disinterest in his dad by starting to cry.

After a few days, I offered to pacify the babe to give my wife a break from the routine. I somehow managed to reach some kind of resonance frequency with my patting and he seemed reasonably peaceful. I then put him down with the gentleness of a bomb disposal expert and gazed into his face as he still seemed to be looking around, eyes wide open. Now Wikipedia had told me that newborns are short sighted so one needs to get real close for them to see you. I had this feeling that we were having our first dad-son moment. What Wikipedia didn’t tell me was that newborns will mistake your nose for being a nipple, expect nourishment, get disappointed and start bawling.

When he was a week old, the wife asked me to cut his nails because he was scratching his own face with them. He was born with longish nails and my wife did not have fond memories of them as he had quite often attempted to draw scratch graffiti on the inner walls of the womb when he was inside. She handed me a “baby nailcutter” and I asked her where the rest of the equipment, namely a powerful magnifying glass, was. I wasn’t going to risk hurting his tiny fingers. She gave me a vote of confidence and I went through 3 nails successfully before the nailcutter pinched something other than nail and his cry pretty much came with the subtitles “Who hired this incompetent baby-attendant?”. A while later, I was changing his nappy and my inexperienced hands took way too much time as he ended up peeing in a projective path that was aimed at his own face before I finished. Womanly intervention was required again to pacify him.

What does fatherhood really mean? There are cliches about being a friend, philosopher, guide (and add-on credit card provider) but those come much later. What’s a father to a newborn mean? For several months I have no role to play in the arrangement of his full meals and tiffens. And the women in the house have mostly kept me away from nappies and once in a while they amuse themselves by watching me try to burp him while he attempts to extract milk from my ear lobe. Any attempt at googling for information and passing it off as advice is generally met with a “Do you have a womb? No? Then let us handle this” response.

I wonder if there is an expression for that feeling of being over prepared for what everyone around tells you is going to be a whole new difficult experience in life and then realizing that one’s help is not really required for quite a while. I suppose every man goes through this. 9 months of just twiddling ones thumbs as the baby chills out in the womb and a few more months of watching the women nurse it to some semblance of mobility before you have any kind of role to play. It’s like nature is trying to remind us men what insignificant role we really play in the production of the next generation. Visitors keep telling me I must feel like a proud father. I keep telling them that I feel like a manager who takes credit for someone else’ work.

Of course, I know he will grow up to become someone I can play with, buy Darth Vader suits for and introduce to T Rajendar, but till then, I suppose I am still an expectant father, and I just can’t wait.


136 thoughts on “An Expectant Father

    1. James’ magic is omnipresent. O Great James, gimme a magic potion like the ones the Gauls had. or better still , one that will make me a Sea-eee-oh, or win 3-crores in a lottery.

  1. Congratulations! And your wife is a better woman that me: I insisted on dad sharing the pain of sleepless nights πŸ™‚

  2. Krish, this is one of the best posts made by you…Ever! πŸ™‚ I am going to share this with my colleague who is going to be a fother next month…and probably add to his anxiety! πŸ˜€

    And good luck with the Darth Vader suits! πŸ˜€

  3. Superb! Brought a smile to my lips – part appreciative, part evil because now you’re going to be nightwatchman for the next few months. Muhahahahaha!

    Jokes apart, congratulations and hope the little one’s doing well.

  4. You can use one of Darth’s most memorable lines: “I am your father?” if you named the kid Luke it would be even better!

  5. Too much of thinking will never do any good sir! πŸ˜›

    A father undoubtedly is the sole person from whom the child derives unconditional security and comfort right from the very beginning without the knowledge of the child itself !!

    When your away from your child for more than a few days, I’m very sure you’ll long to cuddle around and ‘konjify’ your kid and above all realize how significant you are to your child. Good luck sir!! πŸ™‚

  6. Congratulations!!

    Your dominant concern expressed in this post alarms me, however. My serious, heartfelt, though unasked-for advice: get in there, jostling as many elbows as necessary, and claim your share of work/fun in the care of your son. The elders, especially elder women, may not like you very much for it, but balls to them, right? Don’t let them pressure you to stay in your “man box”. Break out of it. Your son needs you.

    Plus I guarantee that your wife will appreciate it, if not now (she might be too exhausted now to notice) then surely in the very first hour of the helping relatives’ departure when it dawns on her that you are not a complete n00b at babycare and can be trusted to give her a few hours off every day.

  7. Heartiest congratulations from one whose son was born approximately two months before yours. Newborns are pretty helpless and dads are pretty clueless, but you’ll be surprised at how fast they grow (and bond). Ours is three months and he “talks” in some language I don’t understand (maybe Tamil), goes on walks (when we support his arms) and likes to sit in the bathtub with me on weekends. As soon as they can keep their head up on their own, its like a small person who is real.

    Also agree with daddy_san about the nightwatchman bit. I have not slept an uninteruppted full night except the two days I was on tour and lying in a hotel bed. Guilty pleasures but my wife doesn’t know and she doesn’t read your blog. πŸ™‚

  8. A mixture of fondness, pride, excitement and the as usual fun elements. Congratulations sir! Hope your child has awesome gaja buja fun! πŸ™‚

  9. Have a diaper cloth or clean nappy at the ready. The moment you pull the dirty nappy back, drop the clean one over the…um…firehose. The sudden cool air encourages them to let fly, and if you don’t cut off the stream you’ll be wiping down the walls for ages. (My son once managed to urinate in his own ear.)

    Congratulations to you and your wife! Parenthood is AWESOME. (Except when it isn’t.)

  10. Wow! Sir!!! Awesome experience as a father. All the newly made dads should see this experience (perhaps, this generation) to make sure they follow your advice. πŸ™‚ Nice read sir! Expecting more from you, like “An Expectant Father”! πŸ™‚

  11. I’ve had a baby or two try to feed from me (if all you have is a digestive system geared for milk, everything looks like a nipple, I guess), but the nose-for-nipple switch is a new one to me.

    How is he dealing with the french beard? Most kids I’ve encountered take a while to get used to it.

  12. Loved it Krish! Especially the ending! πŸ™‚
    And, congrats on becoming a dad, thought you might still think you’re expecting to be one soon! πŸ™‚

  13. Congratulations Krish Ashok ! Thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. It’ll be a Boys’ den in a few years and that’s when the “real” fun starts πŸ™‚ Enjoy ! πŸ™‚

  14. Congrats!
    The fun begins once they are past the first 8 weeks. Be prepared to have fun with “poke the tongue out” games. Also, your every move from then on will be carefully watched and internalized. Boys may love their moms but they are sure to ape their dads 100%.
    Have fun! πŸ™‚

  15. Congrats on the arrival of KrishAshok Jr πŸ™‚
    Then, father to a new born doesn’t mean much but vice versa do mean a lot.Try watching him close you can see your “kid” version.Don’t miss those unexpected saliva dripped smiles and rare facial expressions which make you wonder “OMG!! he reacts like me”

  16. Congratulations! Now that aside, maybe it’s just the post but after reading this,you come across like a self-centred egoist who couldn’t support your wife during her pregnancy. You sound so disconnected from it. I feel sorry for your wife, because you seem like one of those husbands who would just play on their iphone while the wife who is unwell carries on her duties (seen some of those cases in the hospital and it’s pathetic!). But hey, I know have no right to be so judgemental, as I do not know you. A baby does change your priorities… enjoy πŸ™‚

  17. Thus post actually brought tears to my eyes πŸ™‚ I can imagine how disconnected men are from the whole process but I know you’re going to be one of the best πŸ™‚ I also feel lucky that I got to see you in the act πŸ™‚

  18. Reblogged this on pensive-thumbs and commented:
    Absolutely hilarious. Amazed at how he manages to bring the Madras flavour to his English writing. Something I can learn from him.

  19. In about 10 years from now, every guy will get a copy of @krishashok ‘s book along with his first Shaving kit. It’ll come with a set of DIY procedures to help all men folk.

  20. I can quite imagine the way you must’ve been seriously “discharging your fatherhood duties” in a “non-influential” way! Congratulations! & thank you for sharing all your angsty moments in such a delightful way. Happy parenting even when it’s not too happy!

  21. Hahahaahahaha… I had a similar fatherhood experience! Many people ask you, how do you feel or how does it feel to be a dad. Trust me mate, the first 3-4 months you feel nothing! You just chill out with friends who are nagging you for a party, have some beer, etc etc, when wifey is still @ her mom’s place! Its all great fun as you have no one to snatch away that remote control while watching “How I met your Mom” or 2 & a 1/2 men! And if you are managing your wife & kid alone with no family support, make that a year! Oh those sleepless nights, I remember! My champ was born nocturnal!

    Only after a good amount of time, fatherhood begins to sink in & you actually realize what it is! Especially when the little one begins to recognize you & give you that spectacular smile to make you day! Every smile junior gave to me was as good as living one completely satisfying life!

    And about being insensitive to the whole process, or being called a self-centered, hell! I was & it was awesome! So what!

  22. Congratulations for that little dude.. You’ve got one of the coolest (as of now lamest) & creative dad.

  23. Congratulations! Well, very very familiar, since I am right now going through the exactly same thing. While at the hospital, the nurses used to give me the “who let this male specimen into the realm of absolute female supremacy” kind of looks, and nowadays the ladies of the house snigger while I struggle to hold him for two minutes before he starts screaming “put me down!” in baby-ish.

    Still, an enormous experience, I am still sitting around wide-eyed looking at him while me makes eye-contact and says “goo”. I can sit like that for hours.

  24. Congrats Krish πŸ™‚ In a few years from now when your Son reads this post, your biggest fan might just be ‘in the house’. “I then put him down with the gentleness of a bomb disposal expert” Classic !

  25. Congratulations. Awesome blog post.

    >but till then, I suppose I am still an expectant father, and I just can’t wait
    Wonderful way to close. I like.

  26. Congratulations! So glad you made the decision to reproduce – we need more funny, smart, rational minds in this world.

  27. you hit the nail on the wall. there isnt really a lot of work for the dad. most dads who say they contribute are like managers of coders. they just hang around the programmer’s cubicle and distract them in the name of helping. you get kudos from the wife if you pretend to help in a way that doesnt annoy her.

    1. Having witnessed first-hand, men contributing actively from day one, I think you guys are just being lame.

      1. The levity was ok although tad chauvinistic/sexist, As someone who was the first person in the world to hold my daughter, cut the umb chord, I think you are missing out on one of life’s joys. The way I see, since dad’s cant do as much about input( at least in the early stages), output processing/burping is the only place you can contribute/be part of the experience. My life has grown richer for doing these things hands on( more material for writing:)) It isnt as much about caring for wife or her letting you do things, as much as it is you missing out on one of the few pristine joys of life. Getting the rabbit hold right is a right of passage into fatherhood.

  28. Very nice post. Congratulations!! I am a new dad too. My son was born on May 10th and I so understand every bit of this. I am having the exact same thoughts. Very well written. A friend of mine shared this with me and I am so glad he did. Let us wait for the little boys to grow up and get us out of the “expectant” phase. Good luck!

  29. While the biological burden & glory of bringing forth a baby go to the woman, the father CAN have a role after birth. It is learn as you go, just like for a new mom. Drape a towel while changing, trim nails while sleeping etc. I don’t see the need to wait, especially if there is desire to be involved. An infant falling asleep in the arms and smiling in sleep is a gift that is yours to take. (It won’t last long, hurry!) Access to care-giving for first born has to be … taken. Babies are precious, everyone wants to hold on, competition can be stiff.

    You seem to be suffering from a mild case of a male version of postpartum melancholy. Take care πŸ™‚

    p.s. Wow. So many comments!

  30. congratulations!
    a lot of humor as usual in the post. surprising that only burping the baby is the daddy duty you are able to perform..not able to buy πŸ™‚ enjoy

  31. Well Said! my Bro had a kid recently and it amuses me to no end to see him ‘shadow-helping’ the ladies with the ‘karate kid’ at home! Really enjoy your work.

  32. Oh congratulations! Such good news! I am so happy for you guys! I came to this blog from Pri’s, and have been reading through your old posts in my spare time.

    And enjoy the journey, don’t just wait for the destination πŸ™‚ sing to him, put up puppet shows out of socks made to look like funny characters – lots you can do! πŸ™‚

  33. Nice feeling of a father.Every father had the same feeling but the period in which they lived matter a lot.The time when the fathers were allowed to see their baby once in a way as the mothers used to be with their mothers house after delivery and the time now where both the father and mother stay together and look after the baby together the father role is the same.With the change of time and other advancement in our way of living, the expression of father son relationship might change but the real relationship between father and son in whatever period you are will be the same and it is a nice feeling.Enjoy and don’t miss even a single smile of him which will bring down all your tensions.

    Parenting is a gift loveit and enjoy.

  34. Wonderful! Congrats to the parents. God bless the new born. Have fun!!! Fatherhood just gets better as the days, weeks and months go by! All the best

  35. Congratulations!! Best wishes to the baby and proud parents!
    Coincidentally, I just watched this video “Congratulations” by Somegreybloke and couldn’t help sharing πŸ™‚

  36. Wow! For having waited every day to see a new post on your blog, this one was worth that much and a whole lot more! Hearty Congratulations Krishashok! Although, uhm, the video above doesn’t give you much credit. πŸ˜› πŸ˜€ Can’t wait to read more of your ‘Dadventures’ from now on..

  37. congrats.

    if i was your wife, my first priority would be to train you as much as possible in taking care of the baby so that i’m not completely burdened by baby responsibilities after all my female relatives have left to take care of their own lives, and i’ve to put my career on hold to take care of the child. put this thought in your wife’s head and maybe things might change for you?

    and ‘giving birth’ doesn’t automatically make you better-qualified in all things baby-related. the womenfolk in your family seem to be very particular about gender roles, i don’t know.

  38. Congrats !!!

    “And the women in the house have mostly kept me away from nappies”.

    Elderly womenfolk always seem to treat their sons and husbands as some prized possession who should never be allowed to help their wives especially with regards to baby .I wonder why.

    But It should be your priority to learn how to help your wife with regards to baby care.

    gudluck !

  39. Congratulations!!! I’m a longtime lurker, but just thought I’d wish you and the wife all the best πŸ™‚

  40. I stumbled upon your blogpost from the Nirmukta parenting group in facebook. Thanks for the wonderfully insightful post! I will hopefully be taking this journey soon too. By the way, your rage toon page is most definitely the funniest thing I have read in a long long time, and I say this without too much hyperbole. I was laughing out loud several times and it probably connected with me due to having similar roots. I especially loved the armchairirony one.

  41. Finally found a blog worth gulping-down-and-then-letting-out-a-belch-of-‘Ah-What-A-Treat’… and that after a whole afternoon of search! You’re witty, you’re fun, you’re thoughtful and you have this exact sense of how-much-of-what-to-put-in to make the read thoroughly enjoyable :-).

  42. As usual, a delightful blog posting! And Congratulations Krish! You just made me gulp thinking about fatherhood; quite an achievement considering the fact that I’m not even married yet! πŸ™‚

  43. Hi Krish and wife, Hearty Congratulations.
    Inspite of my husband doing nothing ever, for my son, he is the most favourite person, the son looks up to. He travels the whole week and spends very minimal time and probably that is the secret to the great relationship they have. My son, all of 9 years, pondered loudly the other day – i am more like daddy no mama, the way i do things. He just picks up all the stuff daddy does, almost subconsciously. He loves pickles, just the way daddy does, flings his tshirts off himself just the way daddy does and walk, talk and part his hair just the way daddy does. You are the hero the son is scrutinising to be, even while in the womb. And you dear Krish, is the apt hero anyone could possibly dream to have. Have fun parenting !!

  44. Congratulations!!

    It was a nice read that brought smile on my face. I believe that the experience was amazing and will create some good memories in the years to come. I am sure you will have a great time parenting!! Have fun and do keep sharing such great posts.

  45. Dear Krish,
    It was great to have you here at Pondicherry University on Sunday. I am Aishwarya currently doing my MBA, final yr. Your blogs are really so much fun! This particular blog, i felt, can be related to the entrepreneurial aspect as well. I mean, every budding entrepreneur would face certain odds that demotivate him/her but the lesson here is to be persistent! πŸ™‚ I would like to ask you a question. How do you think the wait can be effectively managed? If you can talk in the business terms, it would be most helpful. πŸ™‚ Most importantly, Congrats on your fatherhood! πŸ™‚

  46. Hey, congrats!!! Having a baby is the most wonderful thing to happen to anyone.. Don’t worry abt ‘not having a womb’.. Lots of men I know (including my husband) took it like fish to water from day 1.. Just relax & enjoy the ride!

  47. Came across your post just now, enjoyable read. Maybe a bit late to say ‘Congrats’. . . I’m sure you are thoroughly enjoying being a dad now. Wish you both and your little Taurean good times as a family. . .

  48. I enjoyed reading your post. I’m an expectant mom ( 35 weeks and counting days…) pretty much clueless about motherhood. I’m sure when the baby arrives I will pretty much act the way you had done. My only consolation is that my hubby is pretty much like your wife…knows how to deal with an infant. πŸ™‚

  49. Excellent weblog here! Also your site rather a lot up very fast!
    What host are you using? Can I get your associate hyperlink for your host?
    I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  50. of course like your web site but you have to take a look
    at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife
    with spelling issues and I in finding it very
    bothersome to tell the truth then again I will certainly
    come back again.

  51. you’re actually a good webmaster. The website loading pace is amazing.
    It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterwork.
    you have done a magnificent activity in this topic!

  52. Obviously having a child and the benefits they bring are
    priceless but it can be financially very stressful for parents who are already adapting to a life changing event, not to mention the
    sleep deprivation. If you decide on the mixed party,
    tell your friends to make sure that the games cater to both male and female guests
    and if there are children around, plan a game or two for them also.

    Gather a group of family and friends to deliver dinner
    for a week after baby comes home.

  53. The basic reason why people gain weight is the balance
    of calories in their body on a daily basis. As you visit the
    IRS official site, you will find it easy to search for a
    Free File company that is right for your tax situations.
    Essentially, the net is the “impair” with software as well as
    providers available intended for admittance by customers
    utilizing a device using their computer system.

  54. Your style is so unique in comparison to
    other folks I’ve read stuff from. Thank you for
    posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll
    just book mark this site.

  55. Hey there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using?

    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m
    having a tough time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  56. When somebody from Naples Florida goes to Google to discover an automobile repair shop, Google wants to be sure they are not going to deliver pages and pages about car repair
    shops in Atlanta. Funds customers can obtain houses straight from finance institutions for
    as low as 50 mere cents on dollar. Once you get on one
    of these bikes, you feel the way your heart raises
    as you seat on it, and enjoy the power and performance
    of one of these motorcycles; your decision is made.

  57. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    – cliquez ici
    – cliquez ici
    – cliquez ici
    – cliquez ici
    – cliquez ici
    – cliquez ici

  58. The issues associated with the manner in which water is efficiently distributed
    to those in the community, as well as the collection, treatment and discharging of wastewater,
    have serious economical and environmental consequences.
    The use of the permits has not only helped curb point
    source pollution but has also help improve the waterways water quality.
    All of that is changing now, thanks to a
    $65 million upgrade to the local wastewater plant.

  59. “We’re moving to free up a substantial amount of spectrum for Wi – Fi to relieve Wi – Fi congestion and improve Wi – Fi speeds at conferences, airports an ultimately people’s homes,” Genachowski said on stage at
    the event, according to a report from the Denver Post.

    PTCL has been, and still is one of the main telecommunications companies in Pakistan and
    is kind of interesting know how this market has evolved of the last two decades and how
    PTCL do to contribute to the grow of the market, giving to the Pakistan population a good quality
    service and an improved network where of course are include the Wi – Fi services.
    It is like an all in one gadget which helps you to save your
    precious time, energy and money.

  60. People on forums say there is no working roulette
    system, you can’t beat it in the long run, but i’m using bluehand roulette system for weeks and
    it earns me decent money everyday, maybe couple of weeks is not a
    long run, maybe i am lucky

  61. Generally speaking, since people only trade with the Gold StandardIf you would get giddy looking at purchasing in game.
    No visitors are likely not sustainable. This process repeats itself over and above requirements,
    No annual renewal fees, etc. There holdings calculator it is on earth is obtained from
    trade sources. S Matt Biondi hit his peak, the situation has to skate for an entire hospital,
    as he found was that prosperity of a few years and you
    say there’s one down here.

  62. I read a lot of interesting content here. Probably you
    spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of time, there is an online tool that creates high quality, google friendly posts in minutes, just type in google –
    laranitas free content source

  63. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme
    in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable
    information to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and
    our entire community will be grateful to you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.