Tag Archives: Dad

labor pains for the husband (more out-takes from 2012…)

More stories from the last few months…

Actual text message exchange between my husband and me, two weeks before baby H was due last October.  My husband left for work that morning hoping to finish early enough to attend T’s class picnic dinner.  I texted him that afternoon, as I was packing the picnic basket.

The exchange…

Me:  “Leaving soon.  Should I pack a sandwich for you?”

His response: “WHAT?!  Leaving for the hospital?  Are you in labor?”

My response: “Leaving for T’s picnic.”

Send.

Then, unable to resist, me again…

“But I love that you think I would be at home, with three children, in labor, needing to get to the hospital, and would stop everything to text you and see if I should pack you a sandwich.”

My husband: “Ha, Ha.  I’ll take turkey.”

In all fairness to my husband, I did have him (and myself, and my sister who was visiting and helping us) spooked, announcing on several occasions that I thought I was in labor before the actual event.  The best false alarm was when I was having contractions 4-5 minutes apart while sitting on the couch, encouraging him to pack his bag and load the car.  When he was completely ready, I got up and said we should leave as soon as I had eaten something (knowing they wouldn’t let me have anything at the hospital…)  Mid-snack, the contractions stop completely and I said, “Huh.  I think the contractions stopped!  I really do.  I think we can just go to bed.”

To which my husband replied, “You’re kidding, right?  Because it’s 10pm, and I just chugged 3 Mt. Dews!

Sheepish silence from me.

Uncontrollable laughter from my sister!

(Oh, newborn baby H, the main thing you should take from these stories is that your daddy was very, very eager to meet you.  We all were.  And you made us wait 6 days past your expected delivery date!)

For the record, I didn’t know about the spitting, and there’s really not an *excessive* amount of chocolate or beer.

Part of a standard toddler pediatric check-up is responding to the question: “Has your child used two words in sequence in a meaningful way?”  Apparently, doctors are seeking a positive response accompanied by an example such as, “More milk” or “Hi Mama”.

Well, T just enabled us to check that box this morning.  Guess what he said?

“Chock good!”

In case you are wondering, “chock” is his word for “chocolate”.  Yes, my toddler-aged son’s first phrase, forever to be noted on his medical record, reassures the doctor that while his language development is progressing quite nicely, his nutritional exposures might need a little more work…

Oh well.

A pediatrician friend told me that she once asked a young mother the same question during one of the check-ups, emphasizing that the two word combos had to be distinct words (i.e. not “night-night” or “bye-bye”).  That mother’s response?

“He says, ‘da*#  dog’.  Does that count?”

At the very least, you gotta respect that mama’s honesty!  For us, I am usually playing “duck and cover” while the kids are letting everything out.

Here’s a few examples:

During one appointment, the doctor prescribed medicine for S and encouraged her to drink it by telling her it tasted like root beer.  “My dad is the one who drinks beer in our family”, S told her.

During another appointment, the doctor asked E if she washed her hands before mealtime.  E said, “Yes.  And if we’re at the park and there’s no sink, I just use spit to clean my hands”.  (I promise you I had no idea this was happening, but – heaven help me – E spit right there in the exam room to show the doctor how she could use rub her hands with saliva .)

Fortunately, our pediatrician “gets it”.  Or at least she seems to when we laugh it off at the office.

Of course, I have absolutely no idea what she’s writing down on the kids’ charts.

In case you hear sleigh bells this evening…

Just thought you might be interested to know that Santa shops on Craigslist and is picking up his main Christmas item for the girls as we speak

I just heard from him that after a successful purchase, he is in his sleigh on the way home.

(This is much better than the phone call I received from him during his last Craigslist holiday excursion, exactly one week ago, when he told me he was unable to pick up “attempt number 1” at this type of item – despite borrowing a larger sleigh from a Santa Nana – because it was “larger than he imagined”, might “crumple the sleigh like an accordian”, and made the Christmas tree twine he had intended to use to tie it down look like a piece of thread that would snap and send our sleigh crusher hurling down the highway.  In his words, “It would have never fit in our house.  Honestly!  I left it with the owner and still gave him $10 because I felt bad that he had to help me try to carry it to the car”.

(Whatever.  Those craigslist postings can be hard to interpret.  The picture made it look manageable!  I mean who knew you could get too much Christmas for an original asking price of $40?)

You may be wondering at this point what on earth Santa has been trying to get the girls that has caused this much drama.  Well (no surprise), it’s something dramatic people (like my daughters) will (hopefully) love.  Here’s a clue from the craigslist posting: “a WOW gift for your little dancer, singer, actor/actress”.  Another clue: retractable curtains.  And I made sure to check this time…it is significantly smaller, with dimensions perfectly appropriate for a 5 and 3 year old (and for a sleigh!).

I can’t post a picture because (1) it’s not Christmas! and (2) I haven’t seen it!   My fingers are crossed that it will be something that will suit us and inspire the kids’ creativity.  But I’m waiting, because my Santa is still on the road…

Memories of – and prayers for – “Dee” (and others) on All Souls Day

(note added after post was written:  I feel like I’ve been on a string of more serious posts here…I promise my next post will be more light hearted (!), but today I am thinking about “Dee”.)

I confess that I know very little about some religious holidays, such as “All Saints Day” and “All Souls Day”.  I want the kids to know about these special religious days, which means I need to know something (anything!)

From what I know about All Souls Day (Nov. 2), it seems like an appropriate day to flip through some old family photo albums, tell each of my kids one thing my dad (“Dee”, who passed away 2.5 years ago) would have loved about each of them, and then together say a special prayer for my dad?

I think I am going to tell E today that my dad would have loved watching her run across the field behind our house. 

Relevant memory:  I was required by coaches throughout middle school, high school and college to run as part of my training for basketball, and my dad was my eternal encourager: holding the stopwatch when I had to do intervals, measuring distances in the car when I had to run in new locales (like while on family vacations), and insisting that he should follow me in the car when I waited until too late (i.e. until after dark) to do my runs.

E loves to have people count how many seconds it takes her to run across the field.  It is impossible to emphasize how much my dad would have loved sitting in a chair on our back porch and doing that for her.  Feeling the joy of being her grandfather; and (in the years that were harder for him to be mobile), being able to sit for hours and bring such joy to this out of breath, ever-running child.

E, he would have sat and counted for you as long as you wanted, and you would both have been blissfully happy.

I think I am going to tell S today how much my dad would have loved her company, especially in the mornings. 

Relevant memory: I spent almost every morning of my childhood sitting on the floor of my dad’s enormous bathroom while he got ready for work.  That room had it’s own heater in the ceiling, and my dad always set it on high in the mornings, making it (by far) the warmest room in the house.  I would wake up every morning, and immediately walk to his bathroom and sit under the vent.  He had green towels that he kept in there, and he would let me wrap up in them to get really warm, and then he would lay one on top of my head and declare me “his little green mountain”.  My dad was slow in the mornings – rising early and taking hours to get ready.  I rose early and sat there for hours.  He would play this great music, sometimes “oldies”, sometimes “bluegrass”, and sometimes these old spirituals… Anyway, I would stay in my warm little towel cave as long as possible, usually until he had to leave for work (or – once I was old enough – until I had to get ready for school.)

S is exactly that type of kid.  Yesterday morning she was calling for her dad to come hide under the covers with her at 6:15am because the house was too cold and because she loves her daddy.  Tonight, she didn’t want her hair combed after her bath because “I like being here on the floor curled up in these towels.”  At this stage of life, S warms up slowly (literally and figuratively), and once she has warmed (in a cozy space or to a person) she stays put.  I am like that, and I get that from my dad.  He would have loved turning S into his little green mountain.

I think I am going to tell T that my dad would have loved meeting him.

T is the only one of my kids who was never held by my dad, since “Dee” died a little over a year before T’s arrival.  At the same time, T is the kid who most embodies my dad physically, with that dark hair and those blue eyes.  If my dad had seen those features in miniature, I think he would have begun spoiling T rotten right then.  It is a reminder to me that I should give something to T on behalf of my dad: maybe a photo (maybe a small, T-sized copy of the one of Dee in his basketball uniform?)

T, if your “Dee” was still here, in addition to that photo, he would make sure you had a good grasp of

(a) all the family stories (no one could tell them like he could…though there are entire sections of family lore missing because those are the parts that got my dad laughing so hard that no one could understand what he was saying!),

(b) everything related to Alabama athletics (he was a second generation team captain for “the University”…), and

(c) a steady supply of icing.  (Dee ate his cupcakes like you do… all of the frosting, none of the cake.)

He would also have thrilled you by giving you an endless stream of your favorite greeting: your tiny version of the “high five”.

Prayers for you today, Dee.  In my minimal research about All Souls Day, I learned that I need to pray for you – and all souls – more often.

I wish we were in Alabama for the day, so the kids could help us place a few flowers on the grave in honor of you and All Souls Day.

In lieu of that, we are going to draw flowers and say a prayer for “Dee”.  If you are praying for souls today, please include a much-loved and missed “Dee” on your prayer list!

It’s all a matter of perspective… (alternate title: photo of the week)

Photo of the week:

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From left to right: S, a ribbon-clad-dad, and E

In this photo, you see a man who has allowed himself to be covered in ribbons by his daughters.

You know what the man sees?

The football game.

I mean, he has discovered a way to delight his children while following his teams and catching up on Sportscenter.  How absolutely brilliant is that?

(By the way, my husband gave me permission to post this photo . . .  He knows that I love pretty much any photo where everyone in it is insanely happy. And I assure you, all three people in this photo are insanely happy: two as a result of their daddy’s new hairdo and one as a result of watching his team win the game!)