Valentina got sick this month. I know, I know, “babies get sick, so what?” Well, Valentina doesn’t get sick so this is new and uncharted territory. From other parents, I have heard all of the horrors of sick kids: vomit everywhere, diarrhea everywhere, crying everywhere, everything…everywhere. I have grown to fear the first sickness. I fear it so much that even thirteen months later, Valentina’s older brother is still required to wash his filthy teenage hands before he can make any contact with her.
Alas, my efforts have been for naught. Miguel brought home a sinus thing from school and it found its way to Valentina. We expected it and sure enough, her congestion caused her to snore and choke so loud while she was sleeping, she would woke herself up. Strangely, there were no other symptoms, just a really snotty nose. How anti-clemactic.
I would be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy it just a little. There is something strangely satisfying about slurping up snot and boogers with a bulb syringe. To be even more honest, I think Valentina enjoyed it too (or at least didn’t hate it to the point of tears). Whenever I would pull a giant booger from her nose, she would gimmace and then smile and laugh. How is that experience even enjoyable or funny? I think she enjoyed the sound of the syringe as much as I did. When you hear that thing really grab on to some mass, there is a wonderful sense of accomplisment.
Three days later, it was all over for Valentina and my turn to snore and choke. Until I get to deal with a GI issue, I don’t really feel like I’ve made it to the “show”. Valentina starts preschool in a few weeks and then my world will come apart around me, I’m sure.
Does anyone know where I can get an adult version of a bulb syringe? Seriously, those things are amazing!
When I started this thing, my goal was to post at least once a week. I knew that many of the other SAHD blogs posted very very randomly (and for good reason) but I was determined to post regularly. My plan was to write on Monday evening during soccer practice and proof and post on Tuesday.
Fast forward to now.
There is no more soccer practice and with it went my free Monday and Wednesday evenings. Work also got a lot busier so when I do get a few spare moments in the evening, sitting in front of a screen is the last thing that I want to do.
I have been defeated, but not entirely. When it comes to child rearing, I’m a n3wb. I should have expected my life to be consumed and personal endeavors to come to a halt. Since Valentina was born I have not been to a gym, stopped SCUBA diving, and back burnered my flight school plans. I will not lose my writing!
I refuse to post randomly, I might as well not post at all. My new goal is to post once a month. This way, I will have more time to think about what I am doing rather than post anything just to get the words out. The amount of free time that I have in 30 days is probably adds up to the 2 hours I used to get during soccer practice.
Today is the great day where everyone thanks you for your service and tries to lighten your baby management workload. You might even get some gifts too.
This morning I was told, “today is your day, what do you want to do?” What do I want to do? Honestly, I want to do what I did yesterday and the 363 days before that: feed the dogs, feed myself, feed the baby. I’ve spent a year nailing down the perfect system and although I appreciate the help, it would be more stressful to watch someone else do it.
This website is all about making fun of myself and trying to find a little humor in the unknown and sometimes scary. I have and will continue to sarcastically bitch about how much I hate feeding Valentina or how bad the Diaper Genie smells but it’s just that: sarcastic bitching. Being a dad is awesome and I’m glad I have the opportunity to get pooped on, puked on, poked in the eye (or nose), and tend to wounds.
So what do I want to do on Father’s Day? I want to be a father. I don’t need a holiday from that. Maybe I’ll sip on the good stuff later tonight.
For longer then I can remember, I have carried a small first-aid kit with me wherever I went. It sat in the bottom of my backpack, never used but always available. Occasionally I would take it out and remove wraps and bandages I figured I would never use. Every time I held it in my hand though, I knew it was important to have and I dreamed of the day I would get to tear it open and save someone’s day. That day has finally arrived:
The new, walking version of Valentina was moving quickly down a rocky sidewalk at Gulf Coast Town Center. She still has her trips and falls but when it happens at home, it’s no big deal. This time however, the sidewalk took its toll: a scrape on the knee. I wish I could remember if she was even hurt or started crying. My mind raced into medical mode and I didn’t hear a thing. I WAS FINALLY GOING TO WRAP SOMEONE UP!!
Where is my bag?
After years of carrying a backpack with me and being prepared for any emergency, my bag is in the f-ing car. You have got to be kidding me! Now I’m forced to use the dinky plastic box of band-aids my wife insists on keeping in the diaper bag. No matter, I will dazzle everyone with my cool under pressure and perform the best band-aid application.
…and off they went. Did anyone notice how quickly I assessed the situation, triaged the baby and stopped the bleeding? Nope. Valentina just kept on walking and I was left standing on a sidewalk with a diaper bag, a box of band-aids, and the wrapper from my first “trauma response”.
“Aren’t you precious. I love your shoes/shirt/bow/earrings/smile.”
Everyone always loves to give Valentina compliments. Who wouldn’t? She’s cute and fun and has a great personality already at 11 months. But unfortunetly, she can’t say “thank you” to your compliments. What an awkward situation.
I like to write a lot about what you can do as a dad with a new baby but I’m at a loss on this one. What do I say? I could say “thank you” for Valentina but that could be completely misunderstood. On most days, I’m lucky if I have even gotten a chance to brush my teeth before noon. As I stand there, in my stained shirt and tired smile, I’m absolutely sure that you would not pay me the same compliment. For me to say “thank you” would be accepting your compliment to Valentina as my own – and I clearly have nothing to love.
So what are my options? I could say, “yeah, I know.” That sounds conceited and rude. Like I’m thinking, “well yeah, what else do you think would come from my lions? I only make 10s!”
What about, “yup, she’s a cutie”? That sounds purposefully downplayed. Like I know that she is cute but I’m going to try to politely ignore everything you are saying.
What about… silence? Can I just ignore everything you are saying and pretend that I either don’t hear or allow your compliment to land on Valentina and hope she makes some random motion or noise? If Valentina does nothing but stare at you, then that will make two of us, oblivious to the polite gesture you have made.
I really don’t know how to manage this. For the past 11 months, I have tried a combination of all three with varying levels of success and awkwardness. If there is a right way or your way, please leave it in the comments.