That Trying Decision

January 28,2008
Skaddadle
Todd Lieman( )

Hi. My name’s Todd and I’m a Dad. I have one kid, henceforth to be known as K-Man, who is two-and-a-half going on 22-and-a-half. (Should we just get it out of the way that he’s the smartest, cutest, most artistic and athletic of all of his friends? Or of ALL? Sorry, wrong column. We’ll save the parent-hyper-competitive bit for another time. Suffice to say, K-Man is a good kid.) I’m also married (we’ll call her G) and have a six-year old Australian Shepherd (full name Harley Bear Davidson Kolb Lieman). So, how did I get here? Beyond the obvious – mom and dad got a little tipsy, sperm hit egg saga – getting to this day, and this blog wasn’t all that easy. It all started a bit over three years ago, when after five years of ongoing should-we or shouldn’t we debate, G and I (without Harley’s blessing) finally decided to make that “trying decision.” We finally decided, “let’s just dip it in and see what happens, shall we?” (Our toe in the water is what I mean, of course. What were you thinking?) Prior to this decision, to my knowledge, I had never gotten anyone pregnant. There was the one time in college when the condom broke. And there had been a couple of “I’m late” messages left on my answering machine, but fortunately, none of these instances resulted in a little bambino. (By the way, leaving such messages on an answering machine? Not so cool.) So, after 21 years of using every form of birth control including condoms, the pill, the rhythm method – and especially the occasional prayer – I was actually having sex with the intention of knocking someone up. What I instantly discovered, of course, was that instead of enjoying the anticipation all the great things I thought I’d do with my kid, I immediately discovered that with this decision came a whole new set of sexual insecurities. Since that first time so many years ago with Stephanie Robertson on her neighbor’s bed, I had reasonably overcome the “was it good for you too?” (and other) questions that plague any sexually active male. But with the decision to try, I had to worry about a much bigger question: Can my boys swim? I probably wouldn’t have worried so much if it hadn’t taken G and me about five years of weekly conversations, debates and philosophical pontification about whether or not to have a kid in the first place. Many couples just know that they were put on this earth to procreate and multiply. That wasn’t us. We just happened to like sleeping in, dining out, traveling and watching too much Reality TV. Plus, we already had the dog. And he never hated us. Not once. Were we really gonna do this? Ironically, it’s that very same dog and our unparalleled (some say ridiculous) devotion to him that made people tell us that we should have kids.  “Just look at how you treat that dog,” they said. Unfortunately, the things that we did (and still do) to take care of our dog-child are considered abusive to a human-child.Crate training, for example, is frowned upon for childrearing. Go figure. As we continued to struggle with our decision of whether or not to throw condoms…er…caution to the wind and go for it, we decided to get a little more scientific and professional in our fact finding:

  • The psychic told my wife we’d have a boy. Our therapist asked questions in response to our questions.  I logged onto Amazon.com and bought lots of books (we even read parts of some of them). And the big mistake – we told our friends and family that we were considering it. 
  • Our FWCs (friends with children) always looking tired and exasperated, all delivered the unconvincing, “You should do it. It’s the best decision you’ll ever make,” speech. The speech always seemed a little forced. In fact, I think doctors hand out that speech to all new parents as a business development tool. 
  • And what did our Jewish mothers-in-law think? They were wonderful and understanding and told us to, “do what you think will make you happy.”  Sure. As long as, “whatever you think will make you happy,” included getting pregnant and delivering a grandchild sometime in the next nine months.

In the end, we just decided to go for it.  We were watching the 1980’s classic movie “Risky Business,” and my wife turned to me and said, “Honey, sometimes you just have to say what the @#*%. Let’s do it.” Okay. The funny thing is that once we made the decision, I couldn’t wait.And, it’s not just because we were supposed have lots of sex.  It’s because it wasn’t the reality of the kid that was scary. It was simply making the decision. So, that’s how I got here. That’s the very beginning. Now, for the rest of the story…