He Screamed & So Did His Dad

It is not supposed to be like this. Life isn’t supposed to mirror a bad sitcom or resemble a silly movie. The things that happen there are exaggerated for comedic or dramatic effect. Yet I find myself wondering when fiction morphed into reality.

The baby is coming…soon. It is not supposed to happen today or tomorrow. The magical due date says that D-Day is two weeks away. The books and docs say that it could happen sooner but that it probably won’t. I try not to read anything into her facial expressions but every gasp, grimace and groan makes me look for the bag and keys.

Real life isn’t like the movies. Those things are possible, but unlikely…right. There won’t be any speed records set on the way to the hospital. Nor will a motorcycle cop pull us over only to be convinced that we need a police escort to get there on time because no baby is going to be born in the front/back seat or any other place of the this beautiful blue Honda CRV. It is brand new, just a few months older than the child it will carry.

I live and die a thousand lives on the freeway. The commute between house to work and work to home has become grueling. What happens if the baby comes during rush hour. No, it won’t happen that way. No need to worry because that is a movie. Besides there are two more weeks and a baby shower this weekend.

A unisex baby shower that is. The guys want to know what happens there. They offer to serve as the designated driver just in case the father-to-be drinks too many beers. But that won’t happen. No sir, dad-to-be is in Secret Service mode. Every trip into the outside world  is carefully planned. He scans the area looking for danger and makes sure that no man, woman, child or beast comes close to the belly of the mom-to-be. During a trip to the mall he spots a man running wildly towards them and throws a block into the midsection of the runner that would make NFL coaches proud.

Relax. Breathe. It is ok. The baby is fine or so he is told. It is easy for mom to be. She carries the baby. Nature has given her secret knowledge and he isn’t privy to it.

Kids in the mall are screaming. Moms and dads of young children are covered in mysterious substances. They seem unaware of the goo as well as deaf. How can they not hear that screaming.

Night comes and sleep beckons. Tomorrow he will go to the highway  patrol to learn how to install the car seat.

A hand shakes his shoulder and a voice says “my water broke.” What, where, when and why aren’t I wet he thinks/asks.

Time passes and he is standing next to a boy who looks like Doogie Howser. Doogie tells him to hold her legs and tell her to push. She doesn’t need to be told. One look makes it clear that it would be dangerous to suggest it.

A head emerges but it is not clear yet what the sex is. This beautiful baby is covered in muck and goo. Dad remembers someone saying that babies looks like Winston Churchill and giggles. “Push harder, we need to find out if we have a boy or girl.” The air is thick with anticipation.

He screams and so does his dad. A son is born and life has just become simply amazing.

This was a post for the Red Dress Club which is now known as Write on Edge. The prompt is:

This week we asked you to let narrative take a backseat. We asked you to step back into a significant moment in your life and bring us back the sensory treasures you found there, the feelings, scents, textures, sounds, tastes, and colors of the moment.

I think this needs work. Time constraints prevented me from devoting as much time to it as I would have liked but for the sake of practice I jumped on it. I would rather try and fail than not try at all. If you are interested in reading past submissions you can find a list of them below:

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  1. juliannemarie.ryan September 24, 2011 at 4:18 am

    Sorry I tried to delete my comment. Set up livefyre account wrong and hard to fix from iPod touch.

  2. Joanne Cipressi September 21, 2011 at 8:30 am


    This was awesome! I loved it! I will have to check out those others as well. 🙂 You are such a great writer. 🙂

  3. TheJackB September 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    @juliannemarie.ryan Communication is the hardest and easiest thing ever. Yes, that is an intentional contradiction.

  4. juliannemarie.ryan September 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Gold. Men may be simple creatures, but we still like you to share your feelings with us.

  5. julieemoore September 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Great job with this prompt. I loved hearing from a man’s point of view. I guess I never thought my husband even thought about such things, we’re gonna talk.

  6. 2old2tap September 20, 2011 at 11:57 am

    This was so perfect! I can see the harried looks and ninja tactics. Good job!

  7. TheKirCorner September 20, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I would LOVE to know what my husband was thinking…and honestly it was perfect, so true and real, like we were standing there, watching you try not to laugh and ask your wife to push so you could know the gender. A wonderful read.

    • TheJackB September 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

      @TheKirCorner It really was funny to me listen to this resident tell me to tell her to push. If he hadn’t had his faced focused upon an area that he would normally have no access to he wouldn’t have said that.

      Obviously I have never given birth but having been a part of it a few times it looks to me like you moms don’t have to be told to do much of anything. I of course couldn’t help myself.

      That moment is burned into my memory. I see this reddish-brown hair and most of a body but not quite enough to know which name this baby is going to receive and then, “voila!”

  8. legosinmypocket September 20, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Love this point of view, since you dont hear it in such detail often. 🙂

  9. galitbreen September 20, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Jack! You went for birth from a male point of view? Freakin genius, friend.

    • TheJackB September 20, 2011 at 6:35 am

      @galitbreen Thank you. One of the guys I play ball with is expecting his first so we just talked about what is going to happen. It made sense to me to try and run with it for this.

  10. vic39first September 20, 2011 at 2:33 am

    This is perfect Jack. I love seeing everything from the perspective of a pre-fatherhood dad–particularly this, “They seem unaware of the goo as well as deaf.” It all changes after that first scream.

  11. BetsyKCross September 20, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Perfect. My favorite part of having children…that moment!

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