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There Will Be Games

So, I got a baby. The doctors took it from my wifes belly, which is were I left it,I guess it's my fault.

It was  a C-section. I remember sitting beside her and the doctor held this weird looking baby covered in what appeared to be lard up over a curtain and said; "here's your baby." as he walked away I yelled; "We don't know the sex yet." he told me to come over and look.

When I got there I saw a penis, obviously a boy. Then I turned around to tell my wife and forgot all about the curtain. I saw everything. It's one thing to see your wife exposed but let me tell you, mid C-section is as exposed and she can ever be in front of me. I had to pretend I didn't see anything at all and go sit calmly beside her and tell her about our beautifull boy. This boy that has changed everything.

I remember going out every week-end to play games. It's foggy but I do remember it. I remember a game group I had, I remember going to my brothers house for our "Wildcat" sessions. These are sessions where we get drunk, and then record a song. We pick a genre and a topic and write and record a complete song that very night. Usually garbage and almost always funny. We've written hip hop, death metal, classic rock, Native traditional, Chinese folk, Quebecois Protest songs... the list goes on. I think that Wildcats and gaming are what I miss most right now.

Before the baby came I heard a shit ton of advice, and thousands of people told me things like; "You just don't know what your in for", "Your life is going to change forever", "there is no experience like it", "It's the best thing you'll ever do"

I think I heard enough boring platitudes about fatherhood that by the time the baby came out I knew exactly what to expect and so far... nothing has been a surprise. Enough people warned me that I didn't know what I was in for, that my life would change forever that by the time it happened I knew exactly what to expect and I did it anyway. So it's my fault.

I knew I'd be like this a long time ago too. I remember in our pre-natal classes we went around the room and all the guys had to say "when they got it". They'd say that during the ultrasound it finally clicked, or when they felt the first kick, something like that. It came to my turn and I said that it still hadn't clicked. I was hoping it would happen at the birth.

But it didn't. There was no "click"... just, nothing. I think for me it's really slow. I'm learning to love him day by day. It's a process. At first I thought something was wrong with me. I asked my friends; "How come I haven't clicked? Am I a monster? I don't feel emotional yet what is wrong with me?" I had intellectualized it too much. I had essentially removed myself from the equation.
Was the birth of my son the best moment of my life? No. I can say that unequivocally and without remorse. It was a pretty standard medical procedure and it intoduced me to someone, who although I love, doesn't really have too much to offer me just yet.  It's not that it wasn't a great moment, or that it didn't have meaning, it's that I've had so many great moments over the years that to elevate this above them all seems a little ignorant on my part. Who can create a hierarchy of moments that callously anyway? Am I going to let this procedure eclipse the great bonding moments I've had with my friends and family thus far? I am very excited for him to start learning how to speak, I am excited to find out just who he's going to be. But right now:? He's a selfish and inconsiderate person with pretty much nothing interesting to say. If I compare him to my brother, he's an absolute bore.
I felt worse after the birth. The grandparents were there and they cried when they saw him, my Brother in law showed up and he cried... what kind of asshole am I? I still haven't cried. I hold him close and kiss his head and feel very loving towards him but no uncontrollable emotional outbursts. Everything is slooooowwwww. Am I dead inside?

The most impressive thing he's done, at 5 weeks now, is roll over to his back from his front. Whooooooo. See, we give him "belly time", where he gets to try and exercise his practically useless limbs and occasionally he manages to flip himself over. That's it. Sure, he's cute, he's precious, and I adore him. But my standards are a bit higher then that. It's just not enough, and I don't feel bad about saying it. Although I sometimes feel like I'm supposed to feel bad based on the responses I've seen to my opinion.

When he was born I knew I would have to give up some of my hobbies, I just have too many, so I told my wife that the only one I'd keep was the band. I can't have everything. It's all I have left. I'll probably buy Quarriors cause I can play it at lunch here at work but other then that, forget it. It's too bad becuase my favorite games are generally really long games where we sit around all night playing one moster game, trash talk, drink, and hopefully get angry enough at each other that an apology is due come night's end. For now, that's done. At least the band makes money, gaming just costs money and it's not quite as rewarding.

But even the band is suffering. I haven't been able to write shit since he's been born. I play songs for him all the time but it's not real practice. He doesn't like to hear me practice, he wants something with a beat, something worked out. Our little music critic can apparently tell the difference! What a dick! So I must have played a thousand lullabyes lately ( I have a book of lullabyes from around the world, great book too) and I am so sick of those strong simple melodies. Man, they're all in 3/4 it seems so I'm getting sick of anything in 3/4. I must have played Rubber Ducky a couple hundred times too, dancing around like a fool. I love the bridge though...

Every day when I / make my way to the tubby
I find a fella who's / cute and yellow and chubby

Rub a dub dubby

Rhyming fella and yellow is genius, don't get me wrong and the jazzy chords are fun to riff on, but I was starting to feel limited. So, after Barnes last blog thingy I started playing him Slayer. He loves the riff in the middle of Angel of Death, the one Public Enemy used. I also started playing him some Willie Dixon... Spoonfull has been great as a sleep tonic. I just bounce the little guy around while singing spoonfull and he passes right out. Turns out he's not nearly as sensitive to genre as my wife would have me believe.

But no games, just none.

I miss them, they look at me when I'm sitting on the couch. I sit in the can with my TI3 expansion rules and cards and look wistfully at them, longing to have friends again. I have practiced my Carrom skills sitting alone in the living room, or with a baby on my lap, trying to bounce the striker off the far side and pocket the pieces left behind my shooting line (we play the no shooting backwards rule). My bank shots are getting pretty good! I've played around with Earth Reborn trying to come up with kick ass scenario's that I just can't play test.

Games I've played since Sunderland was born...

Wizard (Screw your neighbour) which hardly counts
Survive... but only Two Player
7  Wonders at work (thank god for work, without it I wouldn't play at all)

uh, I think that's it. I play a lot of video games now. Mortal Kombat and Metro 2033. Mortal Kombat is amazing. But video games just aren't the same.

New feature in my life... I rush to the store whenever my wife wants anything... [i]anything[/i]

"Hey honey we're low on diapers."

"No worries babe I'll walk down and get you some"

"Let me make a list first so you don't have to go again later on."

"No worries there babe, I'll go eight times in one day if  you like" (anything to get out of the house!)

That's my life right now. I used to game every week-end, I used to have friends, I used to be irresponsible occasionally, I would walk around downtown aimlessly, stop at the comic store, wander into EB games, go the Art Gallery, I used to just jump up and go to see some new Jazz guitarist, movie or local metal band at the drop of hat,  I used to drink for fun, now I drink out of neccessity, I used to be a man, now I'm a father.

Anyone want a baby?

There Will Be Games
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