The set-up: My wife has a fraternal twin brother, of this I am fairly certain (when you get to this story’s conclusion you’ll understand why I use the word “fairly”). Several years ago, as we were having a joyous time attempting to conceive our first child (maybe that was just me having the joyous time), I wondered aloud if twins were common in her family as I had just read an article on genetics and twin…production? (for lack of a better word). I then vocalized my anxiety about raising a child…
The application: Unbeknownst to me, my innocuous query elicited a chain of events in my wife’s mind that was astounding in its nefarious complexity. She claimed that my question spurred her to conduct some web-based ancestral research to determine the answer and after about two weeks of research, produced documentation to the effect that her family had generated (for lack of a better word), 28 sets of twins since the mid-1800s. My reply?…Holy sh*t! Two days later, she informed me that one of our joyous attempts was successful. We were pregnant…
As I’m sure you’ve deduced, my first reactionary thought was, “A BOGO, really, a buy one, get one free deal? I’m not ready for that, am I?” My wife, sensing my trepidation, soothed me with claims that the odds favored a singlet. It didn’t work. I always thought it was the mother who initiated the “nesting” procedures, that it was a maternal, not a paternal instinct. In this instance, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I immediately began pricing cribs, diapers, diaper genies, and…college tuition.
The big day finally arrived. No, not the delivery day, the ultrasound. For some reason, my wife scheduled it the same day I arrived home from an unavoidable business trip and claimed it couldn’t be rescheduled. I would miss the appointment. My wife feigned indifference as her mother would be accompanying her and the ultrasound tech was a close friend of hers.
Needless to say, I wasn’t as focused on “thinking outside the box” and “hitting the ground running” as I should have been during my meetings. To make matters worse, I kept going straight to voice-mail when I called my wife with the new kangaroo pouch. When I arrived home, my wife stated that the ultrasound had gone well and that we were NOT, in fact having twins. Thank God, crisis avoided…we were having triplets…shut the front door! She then proceeded to play the ultrasound video for me, and there they were, like three peas in a warm, amniotic fluid-filled pod.
Her mother was ecstatic. My wife was ecstatic. Her ultrasound tech BFF was ecstatic. I was stupefied. I then sat down and resigned myself to a life of eternal diaper changing, chauffeuring and poverty.
After I pulled my head out of my hands, I looked at my loving wife and mother-in-law and there they stood, arms around each other’s shoulders, each with snarky grins on their faces. They were reveling in my incredulity. Those female versions of man’s best friend! “April Fools” they then exclaimed in unison (it was March 31st, BTW). I then peed my pants in unrestrained relief.
The realities: My wife does have a fraternal twin. She has no earthly idea how many sets of twins there are in her family. She conducted no ancestral research. She falsified all the ancestral documents she showed me. She knew I was fearful of raising one child, let alone two…or three. She intentionally scheduled the ultrasound appointment the same day I arrived home. The ultrasound tech and, obviously, her mother were in on it. The tech provided an actual ultrasound video of triplets. My wife wanted to keep the joke going, but her mother talked her out of it. I still dearly love my wife.