This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
You all requested it, so here it is. My own thermometer story from when I was a baby. But since I was only two months old at the time, I’m letting my father tell it in his own words. Enjoy…
Okay, since there seems to be such demand for this story (which will no doubt no be a huge letdown), I’ll tell you Aaron’s thermometer story. I wasn’t going to tell it, but Cape Cod Girl has made certain promises, so…just kidding! J
Aaron was about two months old, and his mother and I were both home. She was concerned that he might have a temperature, so she had him in the baby’s room on his changing table taking his temperature. When I saw how she was going to do it, I suddenly found something to do in the other room. But I found escape was not that easy.
My wife called me in and asked me to hold Aaron’s cheeks together while she went out to the car to look for something she needed (I forget what the hell it was). When I protested, she gave me “the look” and told me to hold his ass and not let the thermometer pop out. I asserted my masculinity and unconditionally surrendered, following orders. She gave me a disgusted look and went outside.
So there I am, holding my young sons cheeks together around a thermometer while he is screaming like I am the banjo-playing guy from Deliverance (you are all probably way too young to remember that movie). Aaron was an exact duplicate of Will – a big boy. I am trying to comfort him, telling him this was all his mother’s fault, when suddenly the telephone rings.
One of the phones was on the wall in the baby’s room, some distance from where I was standing. I yelled for my wife to get it, but she was outside. I was waiting for a pretty important call, and we did not have an answering machine. So I really wanted to make sure someone answered the phone.
I tried to reach out and grab the phone, but it was just a bit out of my reach. I stretched further, and even slid the baby a little towards the wall – but I just couldn’t reach it. So here I am with a screaming baby, a ringing telephone, and a hand on my kid’s butt. They had not prepared me for this in those childbirth classes.
I finally decided to reach a little bit further, and in doing so my hand slipped a bit off Aaron’s powdered bottom. The pressure keeping his cheeks together lessened, and then all hell broke loose.
The thermometer literally flew across the room. I’m not exaggerating here – this kid launched that thing like a rocket. It hit the wall at least six feet away, broke in half, and mercury or whatever was in it dripped down the wall. Today we probably would have had to have a Haz-Met team come in. But that turned out to be the least of the problem.
Quickly following the thermometer was a stream of you-know-what that splattered against the wall and slowly surged down to the floor. It was as if he became the Exorcist baby, but the green stuff came from the other end. I could not believe how much there was, nor how far it traveled. I stood there in shock and disbelief, and yet at the same time felt some weird sort of manly pride in the fact my kid could actually do this. And he did stop crying pretty much right away.
When my wife came upstairs, I did what any good father would do – I blamed it all on the kid. I eventually explained what happened and how it occurred. She did not seem to find it nearly as funny as I did. I told her he should have to clean it up, but I think I ended up doing it.
So that’s the story. And it confirms for all of you what you probably already knew: Aaron has ALWAYS been full of it.