A couple of weeks ago Katie and I wrapped up our Preparing for Childbirth class, a six-session weekly meeting at REX Hospital in Raleigh. It’s hard to say exactly how valuable the class was, primarily because we missed half of the sessions. One of our absences was legit because we had to leave town on short notice. The other two absences were not legitimate, but we rationalized skipping class by working on other little baby-related projects around the house.

I like to think that Katie and I learned a lot of the material covered in class from the baby books that we’ve read over the past six months, so we really didn’t miss that much when we were absent. Of course, some of the parents-in-training went a little overboard with their questions and participation. I would even go so far as to say that the people in the class (Katie and me included) were a bit weird.

For example, on the second night of class, a guy who sat near us wore a t-shirt that grabbed my attention. A nebulous, abstract image on the center of the shirt was bordered by illegible text (in a gothic, thrash-metal-band-logo kind of font). I was fixated on the mysterious t-shirt for the first hour of class. Then we had a break, and I was able to get a closer look while the guy proudly described the shirt to another father-to-be. It turns out that the abstract image was a silk-screened representation of his unborn child. He had taken a still image from the 3-D ultrasound and printed a t-shirt. Upon closer examination, the cryptic text read, “DADDY’S LITTLE GUY.”

Depending on your personal taste and perspective, this guy is either the front runner for 2009 Father of the Year or he’s a bubble off plumb (as my father might say).

Overall, I would give the class a five out of ten on the valuable-knowledge-gained scale. It earned a much higher score on the new-parents-act-strangely index.