So here I am sitting up looking at pictures of other people's little Chinese orphans looking like tiny dropsical asian plush toys (what IS it with the "stuff-the-baby-inside-14-layers-of-clothes" thing? Don't they have potbellied stoves in China? What..?) and wondering to myself:
"What would it be like to do this several hours a day..?"
I'm not sure if it's some sort of Y-chromosome thing, or it relates to our shorter attention span to anything not related to ballistics, salty snack food or breasts, but I have yet to find a preadoptive Daddy who spends a lot of time thinking, planning, dreaming and generally obsessing about his future progeny. Conversely, I've encountered quite a few preadoptive Mommies who do this...umm...a LOT. And I had to wonder...why is this?
Part of this may have something to do with the difference between Mommies and Daddies, period. Those of us gynoimpaired types just seem to be, well, more casual about certain aspects of child-rearing in general:
Mom: Do you have your lunch? Wait! Where are your other socks!? You can't wear those socks with those shoes! Because look at the color! Here. Okay, that's better... Call me when you get there! Did you get a note for your teacher? About the recital? Don't forget to ask Janie about her Mom's thing this weekend! Did you get your juice box for your lunch? Well, here, take this one. I love you! Bye, honey!
Dad: Nice socks, sweetie. See ya.
In my experience this applies to biological pregnancy, too. Mom rocks with her tummy, sings and talks to the little person inside, marvels at the little sensations and movements (and cringes at the mountainous size), cocoons, decorates and stockpiles. She is completely and utterly prepared, crammed with knowledge and quivering like a whippet inside the starting gate for the slightest uteral twinge that's Nature's version of "Heeeeeeeere comes RUS-ty..!"
Dad buys a couple of "What to Expect" books (skims through one, makes a face at the "This is What Happens When You Child Is Born" section and fails to read anything more...) and pats Mommy's tummy from time to time, saying "How's the weather in there, sport?".
But there does seem to be a real gender difference about adoption, too.
I mean, I want a little daughter to love and cherish. I am hoping that our wait won't be long; at least not TOO long. And I do want to be helpful and supportive of my bride...but...
The depth of commitment just isn't there. She has The Naked Ovary and Do They Have Salsa In China bookmarked: I have "Intel Dump" and ESPN Soccernet. She reads about attachment issues and delayed development - I read trashy Regency romance novels. She looks at picture after picture of other people's adorable little Chinese daughters (and more than a few who look like Deng Zhao Peng in infant drag...) and I peek over her shoulder, remark about the shoulders on THAT one, and wander away.
Perhaps it has something to do with Woman as Little Mother of All Living: the Nurturer, the Font of Lovingkindness and the Gentle Hand that Rocks The Cradle.
Y'know what? I have no idea why Men and Women are so different about this.
Excuse me. I have to go look at more cute Chinese babies.