Gray Watson Personal Thoughts 1999.02.22
In the Shadow of the 40Ds

2319 @ Home

Started the migration today from my home of a couple years, letters.com to 256.com, my future virtual abode. How exciting!! I've been meaning to do this for a while. 256.com just seems cooler to me for some reason. Letters.com stemmed from some ideas I had about online letter services that never panned out (i.e. I never got off my fat ass to develop them). All I did was write a postscript envelope program complete with postal bar code and bought a HP 4M+ with the envelope feeder. Sigh.

Operation Baby

Ro continues to swell with child. Pretty wild I must say. She is just about 5 months into it and we are busy scheduling lamaze and breastfeeding classes (I'm particularly interested in the latter) and starting to assemble various necessary accouterments. We are hardly off the plate running towards first base at this point of the game, although it was certainly a home run that got us into this "mess". Here's a couple things that I have learned so far for those of you contemplating a trip around the infield. Additional parental advice will be shared in the future I assure you.

  1. All of our friends with children seem to get a kick out of thought of us having kids. I don't think this has anything to do with who we are. Rather I suspect that it is more the fact that someone else is joining them in hell. This combined with a dash of pleasure in the thought that they would not be caught dead going back in time to where Ro and I stand now.
  2. However, each and every one of them has stated that even if they they could go back, they would not do things differently and that having children has been the greatest accomplishment of their lives... Lying bastards.
  3. You will find yourself all of a sudden "children aware". I will find myself closely watching the father walking his son down to the bus. I am fascinated by the lady in the grocery store juggling her two kids in the middle of the junk cereal aisle. Jason brought over his little son Jake the other day and he wasn't just a cute little tike running around, he was a sign of things to come -- a future facet to the McCrudden/Watson landscape.

When it comes down to it, our friends are probably correct. Ro and I certainly feel like we are hardly prepared for what lies ahead. Although we know enough to contemplate this naivety and ignorance, in no way can we determine its breadth or depth. I do take comfort in the fact that one set of grandparents is 10 minutes away with the other set just an additional hour. Although both grandmas say preposterous things such as "oh the labor was marvelous" and "you weren't any trouble at all as a little baby", they still represent the industry experts and we will look to them often, I'm sure, for guidance and solace.

Let's see. When last we left the sneak preview machine, I exposed the existence of said child. Since then we have learned the sex of our monster-to-be. I remember Ro pointing excitedly at the screen on the ultrasound machine and asking if this was the penis. "No", said the ever-patient and ever-capable technician, "that's the baby's knee. This is the penis." I think that this was right after the tech gave me a weird look when I asked if I could get digital copies of the pictures instead of a polaroid. In any case, we are thinking about the name... Well I was going to enter it here but I made the mistake of asking my wife for the spelling and she does still have some measure of veto power. In any case, we are thinking about the name of one of my childhood friends combined with a middle name from the McCrudden side of the family. It's got a nice ring to it.

Names are tough. I have a couple of rules for naming one's child. First off, coming from someone who has been called Gay Gray and Purple Watson his entire life, it is important to be proactive about school yard taunting. Although you just don't know who is going to go down on the President next year, you still can do your best to ensure that you child will not have a name that everyone will regret later. You also have to make sure that the name has a simple one syllable version. Anyone who thinks their daughter is going to be called Elizabeth as they race around the playground needs to put down the 10,000 best names for your child reference book right now. Lizzy, Beth, Eliza, El, or Betty [Ann] it will be, and there is nothing you can do about it. How about the girl in a friend's high school class named Shithead -- pronounced Shi-TEEDE she said defiantly, poor child.

But hell, maybe Picabo Street wouldn't be a world class skier without her signature hippy parent's seal on her driver's license. Maybe she would have been just another one of us normal folk without the jabs from the mean kids during recess. We certainly should never underestimate the ability of a human being to overcome adversity -- although I think that Senator Shithead is probably out of reach of just about anybody.

Well time to go to bed. More later. I leave you with one of Dennis Miller's rants from HBO on Friday. It is on a completely different subject, but is just too good not to share.

You have to take responsibility for your actions instead of suing the inventor of the fork for your fat ass -- Dennis Miller.

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