Not exactly news, I know but I thought it was necessary to start with that so as not to confuse anyone who didn’t see my Facebook announcement forever ago. I meant to pen and publish this post shortly after we went public but I had debilitating morning sickness that would be better identified as all-day sickness. I was horizontal for an estimated eighteen hours a day and survived on popsicles, ice cream cones and mini ravioli straight out of the can. Apparently this baby is me my freshman year of college, so that’s comforting.
Also, it’s another boy! We were able to find out early because apparently at 35 you’re considered “advanced maternal” and your pregnancy is “geriatric”. My doctor has done his best to make me feel ok with this but I encouraged him not to use those words again and I would be his coolest of customers. While we both simply wished for a happy, healthy baby, a boy was the best news. I like to think a gender repeat means fewer surprises. When Rinn was born I had zero clue that even in infancy boys get erections so I called a nurses hotline in the middle of the night in a state of sheer panic because Rinn’s penis was doing exactly what a penis is supposed to do. It’s comforting to know that I’ll avoid moments like that and finding out I was pregnant was enough of a surprise thank you very much.
As we announced our news to our families, our friends, and our Facebooks, I noticed a trend. First of all, lots of people think I can control the date on which this babe comes into the world and those people really want our baby born on their birthday. Selfishly I’ve always enjoyed my birthday being a solo affair so this surprised me and while I have many superpowers, willing myself into labor isn’t one of them. Disappointing I know.
Other than that, reactions were usually one of three responses:
The first being various forms of gasps, tears of joy and “THIS IS SO EXCITING!” Let it be noted that these were our favorite kind of responses. We’re happy and it was so wonderful to have so many people happy for us.
Second and most hilarious, the “how did this happen!?!”’. Usually I joke that it’s because I switched to a non-toxic deodorant. But really this question has given me excellent practice for when Rinn eventually inquires about the gory details of how sex works. He recently mentioned to me that “it’s so weird that babies just fall out of your butt” so that time might be approaching faster than I had hoped. But for now he will remain misguided, yet content, in thinking mothers poop out their babies.
And finally, and most ironic, “Rinn must be so excited!” or “Rinn is going to be the best big brother!” Hearing these comments and reading the posts of this nature always prompted Travis and I to share in nervous laughter while smiling and nodding.
I found out I was pregnant rather early so Travis and I erred on the safe side deciding not to tell Rinn about his impending sibling until I had at least been to my first doctor’s appointment. However, because I am who I am I couldn’t resist doing a little fishing. So one afternoon while on our way home from school I made a lame attempt at casually asking what his thoughts were if his dad and I decided to have a baby.
Without hesitation he declares “DEFINITELY DON’T DO THAT.”
Obviously that didn’t go as planned. Forget telling him after my first doctor’s appointment, I started working through hypothetical scenarios in my head in which we would never tell him. Instead we would just let him think I’m getting fat while we transitioned the room above our detached garage into a nursery. Thus keeping his brother a secret for the next eleven years or so, at least until Rinn goes off to college or joins the PGA Tour or whatever it is he has planned for himself after graduation. I quickly realized that this would most likely be followed by years of therapy and our story being made into a Lifetime movie so I abandoned this plan.
Rinn would have to know and Travis and I would be forced to deal with the consequences. And as someone who doesn’t particularly like consequences, especially negative ones, this was less than ideal but if we played our cards right we would have plenty of time to warm Rinn up to the idea of sharing his parents. Or so we thought.
Note to all my readers. Speaker phone is dangerous. Even if you warn the person on the other end that they are in fact on speakerphone, and “please don’t say anything stupid.” And especially if the person on the other end is one of your elderly parents who doesn’t hear well. Needless to say, Rinn found out he was going to be a big brother much earlier than we intended and under less than desirable circumstances.
His first reaction - to run out of the room crying. So far, not so good.
He eventually returned to our room and made a lame attempt to look unaffected but he would have had an easier time convincing us he had just stubbed his toe. Again, because I am who I am and I couldn’t leave it alone while allowing him time to process,
I asked “you’re not excited?”
I was met with a hard “NO..” Could it get any worse?
I started sweating. It doesn’t happen often but I was at a loss for words. Yes, even I fail to find the right thing to say in the face of tragedy and the things coming out of my mouth were only making things worse. Like when your loved one dies and someone says “everything happens for a reason.” Like, gee thanks Karen, it’s a wonder you don’t work for Hallmark.
So I resorted to the easiest, most effective parenting trick in the book. I hugged him.
Just as I thought we were on the right track, he looked up at me and asked “what are you going to name it?” I mean, what an odd question considering he doesn’t seem all that jazzed about this tiny person existing, now he’s curious about naming “it”? Hell, he called the baby “it”. This can’t end well.
“Your dad and I have talked about some names. but what do you think?”
Without missing a beat, “MYSTERIO.”
Travis and I are obviously confused. “Mysterio?”
Rinn goes on to explain that “Mysterio is Spiderman’s archnemesis, and Spiderman has an archnemesis so he needs an archnemesis too.”
So essentially we made the transition from Rinn being not-excited to designating his little brother as public enemy number one. Yeah, what was that everyone was saying about Rinn being the best big brother?
Much to Rinn’s dismay, we quickly vetoed Mysterio, refusing to even consider it as a middle name. But because he’s nothing if not tenacious, he wasted no time in making an alternative suggestion.
“Fine, then we can name him Green Goblin.”
I looked at Travis, “Maybe Mysterio isn’t so bad?”
(Just to be clear, Rinn eventually warmed up to the idea. Although I’m not sure if he’s more excited about having a little brother or simply enjoying telling me how fat I’m going to get.)