by Peary Perry
Men Cut to the Chase.
Here’s another ‘So… how come?’ for you.|
So how come when babies are born,
the way men describe them is entirely different from women?
As I’ve mentioned
the past few weeks, our oldest son and his wife were expecting their first child
at any moment. Well, little Chloe finally arrived this past Saturday around noon.
So for the past twenty four hours or so, I’ve listened to the way my wife describes
our new granddaughter and the questions she answers, versus the questions and
answers I communicate to my friends.
At the hospital on the phone:
My wife: “You won’t believe this, but our son and his wife just had the most beautiful,
precious baby. You should see her, she has the prettiest little pouty mouth, you
should see her little stingy ears (what are these?) full head of hair, curly,
blond, her mother’s forehead and her father’s eyes. Long, really long fingers.
She’ll be a piano player for sure. She’s a big baby, came in at 9 pounds, 13 ounces.”
Other women: “How much did she weigh? How long is she? How long was the labor?
What kind of a delivery did she have? What’s her Apgar score? (What’s an Apgar
score anyway?) How long is her hair? What kind of complexion does she have?”
On and on and on…for hours.
My wife: “She’s so smart; you should see how
she holds her head up, and she puts her little hands over her head, she’s so relaxed,
you’d never know she was just born yesterday. She doesn’t shiver like some other
babies, she’s so calm. She’s going to be a wonderful baby, I can just feel it.
The mother is really calm…everybody is really calm…The doctor says she’s one of
the prettiest and healthiest babies he’s ever seen.”
Men’s version: “Thought
I’d call you and let you know, our son and his wife just had a baby, big baby
weighed in at something like 13 pounds, 9 ounces, I think that’s right…I might
be wrong…anyway, looks good, got all her fingers and all her toes. Yeah, she’s
got some hair, but I can’t tell much about it. The doc came in and said she looked
ok to him. Nope I can’t really tell who she looks like; they all look alike to
me at this point. Everyone is doing ok, so how about that last putt Tiger made
at the Masters?”
There you have it, the fundamental differences between
the two sexes. Women want the details, men just cut to the chase. I remember when
our first baby was born; he came in at something like 6 pounds, 9 ounces. I told
everyone he weighed 9 pounds, 6 ounces. Guys didn’t get fazed at all, but the
women did. Like I told them I might have gotten it mixed up, but what’s a few
pounds one way or another? Then again it wasn’t me having a baby. It’s very hard
for men to relate to a difference of 2 or 3 pounds.
Now, I’m not picking,
just being an observer of human nature, but stick 5 or 6 grown adults outside
of the nursery window at a hospital and just listen to their conversation. The
men shuffle around not really knowing what to do or say. Mainly because we don’t
really know what to do or say. This is not something we have any experience with
even after all of these years. In my opinion, men and women can relate in just
about every area except this one. Even though we’re a real part of the entire
process we kind of get lost after the initial effort. The men outside the nursery
do a lot of grinning and smiling, but not very much talk. The women talk about
everything and anything. They notice how the babies get wrapped when the nurses
lay them in the cribs. Men just notice that they have a blanket tucked around
them. Men talk in low manly, hushed tones not really knowing what to say next.
As a result of genetic engineering, women revert into a kind of sing-song voice
mode which requires the adjective ‘little’ to be place in front of anything remotely
descriptive of the new baby.
“Just look at her little ears…Doesn’t she
have the cutest little nose? Her little fingers are so delicate. Isn’t that little
outfit she got from her Aunt precious?”
Men have a hard time with this,
since we realize the reason everything is so little, is simply because the baby
is…little. But then again, what do I know? This is probably the time to just grin
and smile and keep my mouth shut.
If I had to guess, I’d be willing to
bet, I’ll get plenty of chances to enjoy this newest little bundle from heaven.
© Peary Perry
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Letters From North America
- April 17 , 2005 column
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