10 November 2008

Changed Priorities Ahead

"I don't care what nobody says,
We're gonna have a baby..."
- Kings of Leon, "Knocked Up" (2007)



Sitting here in the dark, a glass of scotch in hand (two cubes), rain lashing the windows. The lights of Seattle are lit in refraction through the drops sliding down the outside of the pane. The trees are being tossed in the wind. High clouds sail past the waxing moon. King's of Leon pumping out some grooves on the stereo. The dogs are resting at my feet. Stacie's asleep upstairs. I have a warm feeling inside, much deeper than the scotch can ever reach. My life as I know it is about to change. For the better? Yes, I believe it will be. Going to be difficult, to be sure - but I have a feeling the rewards will be worth it.

(KINGS OF LEON, "KNOCKED UP" Live)

Changed priorities, indeed. We're having a baby. Projected due date: June 13, 2009, six days before our 5th wedding anniversary.
We decided to start trying a couple of months ago after some long conversations. We had hoped we might get pregnant by the spring - so much for that. Didn't even take a month.

Some words associated with this: excitement, terror, anxiety, joy, anticipation, expectation, worry...

So now we take a deep breath, cross our fingers, and jump into the deep end.

A thousand thoughts ricocheting around the inside of my melon: 
How will I ever live up to the example my parents gave me as, well, parents? Wish my dad was still alive. Where can I buy Dr. Suess books? How soon can the kid start eating broccoli? Will I ever figure out how to text on this damn cell phone? Will we have to watch Barney? How soon can we all go camping, or hiking, or swimming? When is too soon to read The Old Man and The Sea to a baby? Or exposure to The Clash? Will the kid like metal, or rap, or alternative, or (gulp) country? Surely not new country. (Johnny Cash or Hank Williams is acceptable). Will the baby be an artist, a writer, a musician, a rodeo clown? What will the dogs think? I know Stacie will be a great mother, I just hope I'll be a good father. Should we look into an Ivy League school or a state university? Is Tom Waits appropriate for young ears? Miles Davis? Monk? Coltrane? Mingus? Will we still be able to travel? Will the kid like Peru? I bet he/she would dig Machu Picchu. How do you say 'baby' in Portuguese? Wait, they speak Spanish in Peru. So that would be 'bebĂ©'. I like bambino better. So Italian it is. The kid will definitely learn foreign languages. 
I think my head is going to explode...

Any and all hints, ideas, and/or wisdom will be appreciated.
KJT - Seattle (2008)
(Sign pic by my sister in Oxford, 1996 / Stacie & I, by me in Salzburg, Austria 2005)

27 comments:

Graham said...

The Clash is acceptable at any age! Congratulations and good luck on the journey ahead.

SFR said...

Congratulations on this new chapter in life's journey! As a father of two girls (10 & 6), I can't begin to tell you how exciting the road ahead is for you both.

KJT said...

>Graham: I believe you're right. We'll be rocking the casbah & the cradle. Thanks~

>SFR: Exciting? Yes. Terrifying? Yes, plus! Thanks~

karenp said...

Oh my god. And you so innocent talking to me about Fiona the other day in the parking lot. We are so very happy for you.

KJT said...

>KP: Yeah, wanted to say something, but we were waiting until after the doctor's appt. Thanks~

cae said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

"Dad" remains my favorite title. I tell everybody that being a parent is the hardest job I've ever had but NOTHING beats the pay or benefits.

Man, I'm excited (and a little jealous) for you guys!

> Will we have to watch Barney?

NO - but be prepared for its equivalent.

> Will the kid like metal, or rap, or alternative, or (gulp) country?

The kid will like mostly what you like until it hits its teen years and then it's anyone's guess.

> What will the dogs think?

They may be jealous - and that can be problematic.

> Is Tom Waits appropriate for young ears?

In my experience, yes. You know my musical tastes, my daughter's heard a lot of things and has only been educated by it. Heck, the first music my daughter ever moved to (at just over a year) was Otomo Yoshihide's "Replicant" - a kind of Japanese jazz/noise track with a discernible beat.
The only music in my collection I ever "shielded" her from was the dumber stuff, such as Zappa's prurient juvenalia.

Man, that's awesome news - congrats!

KJT said...

> CAE, thanks man. I may be using you as a sounding board in the future...

Anonymous said...

Kevin
There is no doubt that you will be amazing! I am so, so happy for you both. Congrats! It's like dogs but BETTER!
Shaughna

Graham said...

I remember a few years ago someone making kids versions of classic punk songs But perhaps The Clash should be built up to, perhaps start with the Toy Dolls' Nelly The Elephant, if you don't know them then check the song out here:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=T9jMdIrxpR8
In addition this baby grow is a must! http://thecradlerocks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=49&zenid=63259190039c102006af12bb690479c9

KJT said...

Ha! the Punk onesie is awesome! We'll be getting one of those!

Lara said...

Congratulazioni!

KJT said...

Grazie!

GNO:DGD said...

Holy crap!
Great news!
Congratulations Timmermans!

KJT said...

Thanks, Appreciated!

redwithenvy said...

you worrying about whether or not you'd make a good father is proof that you will. was there ever doubt?

very sincere congratulations. i sense many blogs on this in your future.

KJT said...

Thanks S. I'll try not to be one of 'those' people who prattle on about their kids too much...

cae said...

> I'll try not to be one of 'those' people who prattle on about their kids too much...

Good luck! =D

(this is one task that is not only never ending it eats your head - but you'll love it - just be prepared to say goodbye to the "you" you're accustomed to: he's gone, baby)

Curt Weitkunat said...

Awesome! It is a truly life-changing event. Does your Mom know?

It really wasn't 'real' for me until I held the twins. Yeah, Susan was absolutely huge for 9 months, but it didn't register until they were there, at 10 lbs total.

Your kid will excel, just because you want to provide and expose him/her those different life experiences. Simple walks and hikes will take 3x as long, just because of the exploration of things you never thought to think about.
It changes everything... for the better! Congratulations to you and your wife!

KJT said...

Thanks Curt - I'm buckling in for the ride!

KJT said...

And yes, my mom does know - she's known for a while now...

Anonymous said...

Kevin,

Congrats! Great news! You will make a fine father I am sure. Don't forget to read Robinson Crusoe. Oh...and The Little Engine that Could.

Steve S.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and your wife! I must admit that I am a bit envious. My wife and I hope to have a child in the near future. I'm sure your life will change more than I (or you) can imagine. You may even drop from the radar for a while like all of my friends did when they had a child. But family comes first and I KNOW you will be a good father. Hope he/she becomes a rocker or at least a rodeo clown.

Chris F.

bleakzone said...

Congrats! Been meaning to weigh in on some of your blog topics for awhile, but as you are well aware, I've been dealing with a baby too!

Looks like we'll be going to puppet shows together soon enough.

Prepare thyself for the great unknown, man. It's a blast and insane and totally exhausting and thoroughly confusing and fascinating and whoa!

Zi has been inundated with everything from Miles to Motorhead, Alice to Zorn, Black Sabbath to White Stripes - and the little dude is only 6 months old! He will probably like new-country or rap the best (collectively known as "crap").

I'll leave a comment about the concerts next...

KJT said...

Yes, Master of Puppets indeed - but who will be pulling the strings and who will be dancing... I have a feeling the little one may end up being the master.

KJT said...

> Chris, yes, I'd be happy even with a rodeo clown!

SLStormin said...

Ah, yes KT - I was literally thinking about you guys a week or so ago & was wondering if you would ever take the big plunge into the happily bottomless abyss that is parenthood - CONGRATS and warmest wishes for a smooth and happy process!! Better buckle up my friend! I've been perusing your blog and thinking as well if you'll still post wonderful pictures of your meals when they consist of frozen pizza, plain spaghetti or macaroni and cheese? Better get all that cooking and blogging out of your system,bro, cause that little rascal will have you running 24/7. The best and most wonderfully terrible(terribly wonderful?)experience of my life - our daughter has take me so far outside my comfort zone on so many occasions, but given me countless unique gifts and once in a lifetime moments of joy and wonder.
Please accept my recommendations based on real world experience - someone gave us some little speakers to use for in utero musical pre programming: Baby Motzart, Bach, Vivaldi, et al. Dad slipped in a bit of jazz & maybe some Frank Zappa once or twice(mostly Hot Rats - but not Willie the Pimp part). Interesting results were yielded. Carlin responds especially strongly to music - Warren Haynes from Gov't Mule is referred to as "Uncle Warren", and requests are made to play the Bela Fleck DVD, all at the tender age of 3 years. Go figure. Brought her to Widespread Panic show at Marymoor at a bit over 1 year old - hanging out in the way back on the lawn watching your kid rocking out is a very good way to spend a summer evening - whish we had a venue like that nearby. Anyhow - rock on with your bad self, do to speak. Keep us in the loop. Peace.
PS> Dora the Explorer & Barney get way more airplay than Bela Fleck, lest you think it's all fun & games, music wise...

SLStormin said...

SO to speak - Rock on with your bad self SO to speak - it's bad form to typo when paraphrasing Frank Zappa. L8tr on my friend.