It’s getting close to midnight on Tuesday, May 22. Junior (my wife’s been pregnant for 37 weeks) is due June 6, which leaves plenty of time to finish editing this magazine (due at the printer tomorrow morning), buy 12 dozen diapers and contemplate my next move. “Are you ready?” Everyone’s been asking the same question. How the eff should I know if I’m ready? Nothing that big has come out of my wife before- not at my house, anyway.
Am I ready? Let’s see... when I’m awake, I’m pretty much working or eating or doing something to facilitate those primary objectives. There hasn’t been a lot of-any-free time these days. So, no, I ain’t ready. I need to get a few things organized here. Straighten out my life a little bit. Gimme six months. “Honey, I think we should go to the hospital,” Simone says. Ha! Nice try. I keep typing. “I’m not kidding.” “Wait...what? Are you friggin’ serious?” “I’m leaking.” Holy shit. We jump in the car (sansvideo camera and toothbrush, because we’ll be home in an hour) and head to Kaiser Permanente near Mission Gorge. It’s 11:52 p.m.
We roll up to the hospital at 12:08 a.m. Just 16 minutes door-to-door: good news for when the baby comes out in a couple weeks. I’m still banking on a false alarm. “You aren’t dilated,” the nurse says from between Simone’s knees. “I don’t think it’s happening, yet.” “Can we go home?” Nope. The nurse instructs us to walk around the hospital for an hour, and then return to the exam room for a follow-up.
Millions of dollars’ of cutting- edge equipment sitting there unused, and the high-tech diagnostic methodology of the day is walking around the parking lot. Nice. We walk. “If the liquid on this slide crystallizes when I look at it under the microscope,” the nurse says after swabbing Simone anew, “it means you’re having a baby.” Simple solution: don’t look at it under the microscope. I got a magazine to proofread. The nurse returns at 1:47. “You’re having a baby.” “When?” “Now.”
Oh, my eff word. Simone’s mom is flying in from Brazil to help out for a couple months. The plan was for her to be here for two weeks, pre-baby. Her plane lands at 10:35 a.m.
I’m trying to remain calm when I look over at Simone, who’s sobbing. Mom was supposed to be here, holding her hand. Reminded once again of my innate talent for being a selfish thoughtless prick, I manage to consider my wife’s feelings for a moment. After all, she’s the one who’s really got something significant to deal with here. I just have to watch (from north of the blue curtain, by the way. I’m somewhat clear on how birthing works, but I prefer to leave a shred to the imagination).
Who should we call? Or is it “whom”? Holy crap. My phone battery is dying. I’m freaking out. It’s 3:58. At 6:05, they wheel Simone into the operating room. I’m going to faint or soil my 23- cent disposable scrubs. “You can come in now, Mr. Perloff.”
Bright lights. Half a dozen people hiding behind masks. Lots of beeps. Slurping sounds. Do I smell smoke?
At 6:17 a.m., Alexander Vicente Perloff is born.
Baby crying. Wife smiling. Please don’t let me pass out... Fingers, toes, something
approximating a genital-hey, this kid’s got it all! I was terrified our child would pay the price for my lifetime of partying, but it looks like we’re in the clear. I’m already in love.
Dude weighs six pounds, one ounce. I always knew he’d be born on magazine deadline day. It’s just luck.What I didn’t know is that that day would be May 23. Simone and I met on December 23, 1999, and got married on September 23, 2001. And now here’s baby Alexander, on May 23, 2012 (even 2012 has a 23 hiding in it), at 6:17 (6 plus 17 equals 23).
I don’t really believe in luck, I’m just sayin’...You’re pretty much part of the family now, too, Dear Reader. Know how to change a diaper?
And the clan keeps growing. PacificSD blind daters Suzannah and Ty (they met at The Shout! House; I presided over their wedding at Mission Bay Hilton) are set to have a baby girl July 12.
My friends Michelle and Mike (co-owner of RMDGroup and FLUXX nightclub) are having a boy this summer, too. Name: Alexander. If you’re downtown and see a pair of strollers parked outside FLUXX, pop in and join us for a drink(s).
At six minutes old, my son grabs my finger, his entire fist covering just one of my joints. I think I’m crying, but I’m too much in shock to know for sure.A friend suggested teaching him sign language. Touch mouth for food, eyes for sleep, butt for diaper-change. I can see it now: he’s playing little league at age six, hits a line drive makes it to second base. I give him the sign to steal third, and he shits his pants.
Just like daddy did 10 minutes ago.
Welcome, my little prince. Meu principe encantado. Eu te amo. I love you from the bottom of my heart. You’re a Gemini star born in the Year of the Dragon to a quasi-Jewish father and the most beautiful woman in the world.
I wasn’t born yesterday, but I have a lot to learn.