The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Male nesting

My husband and son have been going through their own form of nesting this weekend. They probably both think I am crazy, but I think honestly some psychological switch clicked in their heads this weekend. My nesting period occured weeks ago, and now I feel basically settled on the home front and am just trying to take care of my other children (my 148 students) before I leave them for a couple of months. So, while I spent much of the past two days frantically grading papers and updating my school website, Marc and Vinny have undergone a preparation process that I cannot say displeases me in the least.

For Vinny, he has been excited to be a big brother for months now, but he has recently decided that he must be Mr. Independent and Mr. Helpful. He has been getting himself dressed every day, and today, he wanted to help me get dressed. He was handing me my shoes and necklace and hairbrush, and then he actually wandered around the house putting stuff away, and not even just his own stuff. He put my shoes back in the shoe rack. No, I am not kidding. I really, really, really hope this lasts.

For Marc, it has been amusing on a completely different level. I made only one request of him this weekend- that the random clutter in the garage get cleared so I can again park my car inside it. Much more than that was done. The backyard was cleaned, several loads of laundry were done (he even got Vinny to put away his own clothes.... seriously), my car was loaded with things for school tomorrow, his car was cleaned out, and dishes were done. He is definitely feeling the baby preparations too. Last time, we had the bassinet and car seat both in a box in the corner of our apartment the day the baby came, so while I was in the hospital, Marc headed home to get those ready and put together. The bassinet is already set up and ready in our bedroom, and tonight, Marc took the car seat out of the box and put it together. I guess last time, he hadn't really "become" a dad yet until Vinny actually arrived, but now he is already a daddy and he is feeling the mental need to be prepared. In fact, there are probably more mental preparations going on than I even realize, because he has been talking about various ways he could earn extra income in his spare time, and even making a mental list of future home improvements that need to be done when we get the money. He even asked me today, "Okay, so what else do we need to buy for the baby?"  I could see he was doing the calculations in his head. It was cute.

I did a little bit of research and found that, despite the physiological hormone changes that cause female nesting in pregnancy, there is definitely some psychological support for male nesting too. He even semi admitted it himself. When I walked outside to see him loading my car, I said, "Wow, how did I get so lucky?" He looked at me for a second and said, "What do you mean?"  I replied, "The house is picked up, the garage is clear, the backyard is clean, and you are loading my car." He actually said, "Well, I know the baby could come at any time this week, and I just know we will want to feel like things are ready."

:-) I like this second-time around parenting stuff. (But just for the record, that doesn't mean that there will be a third).

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