What Makes A Man Out of You… (2)

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I have always believed you can only transact a successful partnership (of any kind) with an active, self-indicting fear of God. What I now propose only graphically underscores that fear; thereby producing an unmistakable desire to “make it work”, irrespective of what the ‘world’ says or thinks… Of course, my focus is on the family… the launch pad of every successful society. My position is not held up by any professorial embellishments or empirical studies in high-octane laboratories. No, my conviction is merely polished by the knocks and ‘shakings’ I have subjected my life to in the inevitable art of living… a willing, if sometimes foolish, guinea pig in relational experimentations.

As an individual, I have a great interest in children…I love cuddling and baby-sitting cute little children…especially the ones that are well groomed and who ooze that dull mildly musky smell of innocence. I adore babies who break into dimpled smiles and hearty giggles at the slightest ‘provocation’. So, when my wife was pregnant with our first child, I was almost uncontrollable in my excitement. As I watched her tummy swell, I became fretful with worries… would it be a she or he?

Would the baby look like my wife or me? Of course, I preferred any sex so far the baby took after my wife. I had a very poor impression of myself in the ‘looks’ area, and since I had learnt that when your child takes after you, the innocent one takes up the full compliments of your attributes in the resemblance sector – sometimes with uncanny insistence. I was afraid that if my face worried me, a child who then carries over the look with deeper intensity has severely marginalized his or her opportunity for success. That worried me.

I was always chatting with the growing foetus whom I was reliably informed was receptive to sounds even through the thick membranes of the mother’s stomach. I sang, played music, and danced for my expected baby. I did many funny things while waiting for the date of delivery. In spite of my sweet anxiety, we agreed that we would not do a scan test to ascertain the sex of our first child.

Interestingly, it was not a big deal to me whether it was female or male. Then, I had this understanding that anyone who liked the attention and the presence of the female folk would more often than not produce female children. I half expected a girl. But, all I wanted then was for her to be more beautiful and more intelligent than my wife (in view of my analogy above).

Even when my wife was pregnant, it did not stop our weekend night clubbing, since the doctors said such vigorous activity was good for her and the baby. As time went on, we began to notice slight movements of the baby. I would wait for several minutes so that I could catch the belly move… each sighting sent me into paroxysms of excitement. It was a great spectacle. We noticed that the movement became more pronounced and intermittent when we were inside nightclubs with those huge thumbing music blasting great danceable but incoherent tunes. The baby would practically dance around the womb in apparent glee.

In retrospect, when I look at my daughter today and tease her about her ‘craze’ for entertainment, art, drama and such flighty stuff…she would remind me that it was not her fault, as we introduced her to the whole thing right from her mother’s womb.

Back to 1991… One day after a rigorous tango on the dance floor, my wife complained about the cigarette smoke enveloping the atmosphere. She opted to sit down, far away from the ‘chimneys’. I was quite disturbed when there was no tummy movement for several hours afterwards. I realised that my smoking days were ending. See, I was a chain smoker…and a good drinker too. But, it appeared my babe hated nicotine smell. I vowed to stop smoking before her first birthday. Incredibly…I did it…even before she turned one!