Monthly Archives: June 2008

A Whole Day With My Son

This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

I had a rare opportunity on Saturday and I planned to take full advantage of it!

With MJ working during the day on Saturdays, that means I have Will all to myself. That’s rare because usually I’m at work and even if I’m not, MJ tends to hog him a little. She’d dispute that, but you moms out there have to admit that even when you don’t mean to, you never like to leave him alone. So needless to say I was prepared to relish the opportunity to spend a little one-on-one time with him.

We had to drive to my Aunt’s house because it was my cousin’s birthday party and there were some relatives that hadn’t met Will. I envisioned a day of me showing off my son, him sitting on my lap giggling and smiling and everyone telling me how beautiful he is. Well, I quickly learned about what happens when you take your new baby out to be with family:

EVERYONE ELSE HOLDS HIM BUT YOU!!!

I couldn’t believe it. I stopped at my parents’ house first because I was early, and I asked them to watch him for half an hour while I went for a 3-mile jog. But even if I didn’t ask them to watch him, it wouldn’t have mattered. I think my Mom and Dad watch the driveway to see my car pull up, and then they battle for position near the door to determine who’s the first one to hold him. It’s actually pretty cute. My dad would hold Will all the time, 24/7 if no one stopped him. He loves him so much and can’t get enough of him. My poor mother has to literally rip him out of my dad’s hands just to say hello. But either way, there’s no way I’m holding the baby.

Then we got to my aunt’s house and honestly, I don’t think I held Will the entire time. Well, except when it was time to change a poopy diaper. Curiously enough, no one wanted to hold him just then. Go figure. But for the better part of three hours he was passed from relative to relative and I barely saw him at all. Not that I totally minded because I got to hang out with my cousins and play bocce, but I just thought it was an interesting phenomenon that whenever you go somewhere with a baby, you will not hold your child for the duration.

And lastly, you can’t underestimate how powerful a new baby is either. Let’s just say I wasn’t on the best terms with a couple of my aunts, and our last correspondence had been…well, let’s just say unfriendly and leave it at that. But as soon as they saw Will, it was as if all was forgotten. He’s only been around 3 months, but my little guy is already making his presence known.

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All’s Well That Ends Well

This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

It was a rough day all around.

Work was tough for both me and MJ. She got out before me and went to pick up Will at my mother-in-law’s house. Then, when she got back to our place, she was greeted with doggie chaos. One of the puppies must be sick because the house was COVERED in dog crap, piss and possibly puke. It necessitated an entire mopping of the hardwood floor in the living room and MJ had to get on her hands and knees to scrub out the pee and runny poop stains on the bedroom carpet.

I offered to come right home after work but she told me she wanted me to go to the gym, so I did. Then I was hoping to get in a 6-mile run, but MJ needed a prescription picked up at the CVS across the bridge in Buzzards Bay. So I offered to get it, but then she told me I needed to pick up the FSA card (some bank acronym I’m not familiar with, but it involves pre-tax dollars set aside for medication and it’s on a specific card). So I told her I would stop in at home, pick up the card, go for a run while she called in the prescription and then pick it up at CVS after I was done running.

No sooner was I about to start my run when my phone rang. It was MJ on the verge of tears. She had been taking Will out for a walk because he’s extraordinarily fussy, and when she tried to get back in the house Fenway escaped. MJ didn’t even have time to turn around before that crazy Dalmatian was out of sight and long gone. So I hopped back in the car (extremely pissed off at this point) and drove back home to start looking for Fenway. I walked all around the complex, through the woods but to no avail.

Luckily my phone rang and a very nice guy called me to tell me he found Fenway about a mile away. She had to cross a main road to get where she was and she could’ve easily been hit by a car. It took everything in me to stop from screaming at MJ for being careless, but I managed.

Of course I get back home with the dog and Will is still screaming his bloody face off. It’s humid out and the poor guy is so hot, so MJ suggested a bath. Except…she wanted me to give it to him.

Giving Will a bath is the only thing I’m still afraid of. I’ve conquered my fear of holding him without hurting him, changing filthy diapers, operating the stroller, feeding him and dressing him. But a bath? With water he can drown in? And no diaper which means he could let loose at any time? It was a little too much for me.

But I sucked it up and faced my fear. And yes, I’m fully aware that I’m a 28-year-old grown man and I have no business fearing a 15-pound infant, but that’s the way it is so shut up! And while I was there, I figured I was hot too so I jumped in with him. Dad and son, taking a bath…

At first we were both a little nervous and still feeling each other out. I didn’t really know what to do and he didn’t know what to make of the situation. MJ left us even though I begged her to stay. There was a lot of initial kicking and me trying to hold onto him, deathly afraid of his head slipping underwater. It was a little awkward. But then, the coolest thing happened…

I stopped gripping him for dear life and he stopped kicking like a madman. We both locked eyes and kind of stared each other down for a few seconds. Then I ran my hand and some water over his chest and he cooed. He returned the favor with a slight smile and just continued staring at me. I smiled back and all of a sudden he broke into this sh*t eating grin, as if to say “See dad? This is what it’s all about. And you were afraid of this??”

Then I sang a made up song about Daddy and Will splashing in the tub and he ate it up. I’ll never be a rockstar in front of 100,000 screaming fans, but for a few minutes today I was a dad who was at the center of my son’s universe. I wouldn’t trade the latter for anything in the world.

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I Hate It When…

This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

It’s Friday and I’m feeling a little frisky and rambunctious, so here’s a list of things and people who bother me. So without further ado, I hate it when:

— Someone (and since we live on Cape Cod it’s usually an elderly woman) walks up to Will and says “Ooh look at his double chin. He’s so pudgy. What a little butterball.” Excuse me, but did you just walk up to my son and comment on how fat he is? Tell you what? How about I do the same for you. It would go something along the lines of “Oooh, look at you with your old skin and liverspots. And you’re a stinky old gal aren’t you? Do you and my son wear the same brand of diaper? Now how about you go get in your Grand Marquis and drive 20 MPH on the highway?!”

— People drive like morons when I have Will in the car. Look, I still drive fast but I drive responsibly too. So this morning on Route 28 — which is a 55 MPH road — some douchebag in a Volvo is right on my ass even though I’m doing 70. Then he pulls around into the right lane, speeds up to 85 or so, and cuts in front of me only to find he can’t go anywhere because traffic is heavy. Well, I hope that manuveur was worth it buddy. You’re now one full car length ahead of where you were. Congratulations, even though you just endangered my son’s life you’re now going to get to your destination 3 seconds sooner than if you had stayed put and driven like a normal human being. Let’s just say he got the one-finger salute.

— Someone in a restaurant, grocery store or any other public place tries to give me advice on how to take care of my child. Either it’s “He’s cold, you should put a blanket on him” or “I can’t believe you give him a pacifier, those aren’t good for him you know?” I don’t know what is wrong with these people or why they feel the need to give me unsolicited advice, but how can they not realize how rude they are being? From now on I’m just going to not-so-politely tell them to mind their own business and point out they can probably do a little work on themselves before offering up their crappy advice to me.

— Anyone says the following things to me about Will, because I’ve now heard each of them thousands of times.
“Wow, he hasn’t missed too many meals huh?” No, he hasn’t. I’m a little funny in that I don’t like to starve my child. Moron.
“Oh he’s gonna be as big as his daddy.” Really? So you’ve not only called my baby fat, now you’re starting in on me? Watch yourself.
“I think you’re overfeeding him.” How the hell do you know? If a baby is hungry, he should eat. You can’t really overfeed him at this point so shut your mouth.
“Look at him, he’s so beautiful.” Well, OK…I still like hearing that one!

— Someone will invariably ask us when we’re planning on having the next one. First of all, that’s none of your business and it’s a little personal don’t you think? I mean, isn’t that the same thing as asking “So, when are you going to have intercourse with your wife and launch your sperm inside of her in the hopes of planting your seed in her belly?” I’m still getting a grasp on taking care of one kid, what makes you think we’re even contemplating adding another one to the mix right now? And more than that, where would I put this child. We live in a two-bedroom condo that can barely contain three people, two dogs and two cats. And since we bought the place in 2005 right before the housing market went into the toilet, there’s no way we can sell it. So how about we strike a deal? Since you’re so worried about me impregnating my wife again, how about you front me the down payment on a new house and then we’ll talk about more kids.

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The Witching Hour

This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

I’m not sure what’s been going on with Will the last two nights, but as soon as 8:30 p.m. rolls around he becomes the Devil.

It’s not enough to say that he cries or that he’s slightly fussy. I’m not sure what sets him off, but he goes absolutely ape shit. One minute he’s happily sucking on his bottle or being held, and in the blink of an eye he’s crying so hard he’s turning purple and just wailing and screaming. I’m not exaggerating here either, he’s crying so hard it’s like he’s Kobe Bryant and the Lakers getting beaten by the Celtics. And for the next 30 minutes or so he’s absolutely inconsolable. He doesn’t want his pacifier, won’t take a bottle, he’s got a clean diaper, the swing doesn’t even come close to working and even his little vibrating seat does nothing for him.

For parents of babies with colic, I don’t know how you managed. If Will cried like that on a consistent basis throughout the day, I’m honestly not sure if I’d still be living in the house. I’m impatient as it is, but with the sound of crying echoing in my brain for hours on end I would be dead inside. And I know I shouldn’t get frustrated with Will but I do. It’s my biggest shortcoming as a father. I feel bad about it and I’m trying to fix it, but when the screeching and hollering starts I just lose it. It’s not like I’m abusive or anything, that would never happen, but one time I just started screaming at Will, saying “WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?? TELL DADDY WHAT YOU WANT AND I’LL DO IT! JUST STOP SCREAMING!!!!”

Suffice it to say, MJ does not tolerate this well. So I tried to take out my frustration by other means. When he’s crying like a maniac I start talking in my soothing, baby-talk voice, but I’m saying things like “Hey buddy, you’re the devil. Daddy wants to rip his ears off so he can’t hear this awful noise. If you don’t stop crying Daddy’s gonna run head first through the glass slider and end it all right now.” Hey, I figured if I was using the soothing voice that’s what counted. But apparently MJ thinks Will is a baby genius because she claims he knows what I’m saying and that it’s negative. The kid just discovered his hands last week, yet now I’m supposed to be believe he’s a linguistics and body language expert.

In the end, the only thing that soothes him when he’s that upset is MJ. I guess no one does it like mommy does it right? But do any other parents have this problem with their otherwise happy babies? MJ calls it “Will’s witching hour” but I don’t know what the hell that means. How can he be perfectly content one minute and a crazed lunatic the next?

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A Little Something to Lighten the Mood

This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

MJ was sad but she did well this morning and was able to leave the house without incident. I’m going to check on her at work later today but I think she’ll be fine. She might even like being at work and talking to other adults for a change, although I’m sure she’ll rush home as soon as possible to be with Will.

In the meantime, check out the video below. It cracked me up and if you have a sick, dark sense of humor you’ll love it too…

Click here for Baby Fights!

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