‘Old man’ getting older

The “old man” in A Christmas Story was 23. During the Depression.

If it seems like dads are getting older on average (and yet playing more video games and collecting their own toys later than younger generations), then you’re not wrong. According to a study by Stanford’s School of Medicine just published in the journal Human Reproduction, today’s average dad is three and a half years older than dads were on average 45 years ago.

While 1972’s dads were around 27.4 years old and chain-smoking in the waiting room, 2015’s dads in the delivery room are nearly 31 years old. Analysis also revealed that the number of dads over 40 and 50 both doubled in that time.

But, before our male readers get excited, no, it’s not because women prefer older men. Mothers are also getting older and are actually closer in age to the fathers of their children today. Unlike in the ’70s, when all of those ladies were marrying eligible bachelor-captains of the gold medallion and polyester industries.

Just in case everyone pushing 30 is getting anxious: relax, it’s an average. The study includes one 88-year-old father and, on the other extreme, an 11-year-old one. And if the latter doesn’t shame you into putting on a button-up shirt next time you go on a date, then maybe you’ll have better luck in your 40s or 50s.

The McBournie Minute: No one told me what I’m supposed to do — expectant dad lessons

When my wife told me she thought she was pregnant, I told her it was probably just the Mexican food. I don’t believe she’ll ever let me live that down, so I may as well put it out there myself.

She’d been telling me about odd sensations for the past day or so, and I kept explaining it away. One time I suggested that the tacos we had the night before were the cause of the weird stuff going on in her body. The next day she took a test without telling me, then walked into the room and said, “Want to hear something crazy? I’m pregnant.”

Then she went out for a run. So I was left with the pregnancy test and some questions. A quick search online showed me that there wasn’t such a thing as a false positive, only a false negative. For days I’d been trying not to get excited over nothing, and now I could let the doubt go. I was going to be a father. I cried, I prayed, and I did my best to get myself together for when my wife got back from her run so I could finally share in her excitement.

They say it’s a journey you take together, but it’s not. It’s a journey that is experienced in two completely different ways by two people. For whatever arcane societal reason, it’s all about the mother from the beginning. She has all the support and all of the knowledge that has been passed down from woman to woman since the dawn of time. Guys don’t have that. We drink beer with other guys and grunt acknowledgingly at each other, because no one wants to make it awkward by mentioning feelings. It’s just how we’ve done it since the Stone Age, and it’s served humanity pretty well, I’d say. But it meant I had to figure most of this out on my own. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: No one told me what I’m supposed to do — expectant dad lessons