When the uninitiated think of labor, they imagine a scene straight out of a '90s comic romp of a movie. One where, after a big, gooey splash of baby juice hits the floor, the entire family piles into a taxi, and the mom-to-be gives birth to a spiffed-up 15-pounder after about 10 minutes of sweaty screaming.
Perhaps that's why when an expectant dad posted a picture of an addictive game he'd recently gotten his hands on with his laboring wife in the background, people got really, really mad at him.
To understand the picture, which the internet's new object of rage posted on Imgur, you have to understand that yesterday an augmented reality game called Pokémon Go came out, and people are kind of obsessed with it.
As users walk around, the game uses GPS data to populate the real world with virtual Pokémon. Yes, even in your wife's hospital room. In this contentious pic, we see the father-to-be trying to catch a whack-ass Pidgey.
Criticism was swift on the post, which has now been viewed over a million times "Stop and start thinking about something other than Pokemon…like your fucking kid & wife," read one. Another cautioned, "Do you want a divorce? Because this is how you get a divorce." While a third issued this biting criticism: "Typical male. May you have the kidney stones of a thousand of my ancestors."
And that kind of response is understandable. Labor isn't exactly akin to rolling in a pile of kittens at a lovely tropical locale. On the list of the suckiest things you'll ever do, it ranks up near the top. It hurts. It's scary. You don't really want to do it alone if you don't have to.
But labor is also really, really long.
Remember that '90's rom-com version of a high-jinks labor? Yeah, it's not really like that. What really happens is that once it starts, labor can take anywhere from 10 hours to a few days to wrap up when you factor in the early stages. When it's not excruciating or urgent, labor is kind of boring. You need something to do in the meanwhile, and so does your partner. There will come a time later on — and this lady doesn't look like she's there yet — when catching a Pokémon when you should be catching a baby should earn you a place in Man Baby hell. In the meantime?
Every labor is different, every woman is, and so is every marriage. Some people want their partner's undivided attention from the first twinge to the last third-degree tear. Some people would prefer their partner be more like furniture: silent, unobtrusive and out of the way. Some want a combination of both and don't mind if Dad dicks about on his phone during the slow bits as long as he's attentive during main event.
The dad in question later took to the internet to explain his side of things. His wife was waiting for her C-section to begin, apparently, and was OK with her husband passing the time this way. In an interview, he said that he showed her the Pidgey he caught immediately afterward, and she laughed and rolled her eyes. So probably the assumption that he'll be getting a divorce anytime soon is a tad premature. Perhaps she's also a fan, and as soon as she's recovered, she'll be out to catch 'em all too.
Of all the criticism leveled at this unintentionally controversial dad, there is one that stands out above all the rest:
"My wife would kill me if that wasn't a mew."
Truer words were never spoken.