Archive for the “daddy” Category

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Wee! It was lunchtime.? We took Caroline to an Indian restaurant not too far down the road. She didn’t eat much.? Mostly salad, a tandoori chicken drumstick, some onion fritters, and for desert gulab jamun aka Indian donuts.? It was awesome. The highlight of our trip was when a group of hipsters walked out behind me and from across the table Caroline points and loudly asks “what is that?”. I nearly peed ma pants.? I have no problem with anyone or their sense of style (except for emo kids, but then again I am not sure I classify them as people…they are more like git wizards) unless they take themselves exceedingly serious.? That opens them up to any mockery and/or mild disdain wielded their way.? I believe it is for their own good. I hope it will teach them to laugh at themselves.

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I have a three year old daughter.  Jeez, I can remember getting on the school bus at the corner and looking up at the oldest kids on the bus, who were, at max, a ripe old thirteen years, thinking I can’t wait to be so grown up.  Funny thing is I am 26 and I still don’t feel grown up.

When I step back and look at my life, I am very confused, a little disappointed (in myself), and outrageously grateful.  Three years and a little more than a month ago, Paul came by my house before my baby shower, given by Megan and Jessica, at the house Jessica and I shared in the hood, to pick up sonogram photos to show his parents when he told them they were going to be grandparents twice over much sooner than they had supposed.  Paul’s parents are simply amazing.  That had to be a shock of a lifetime, but they handled it with a grace and a “je ne sais quoi” that i have come to realize simply permeates even their most mundane everyday tasks.

The whole clan made me feel welcome (you people know who you are).  My daughter has an amazing extended family.

I always dreamed that when and if I had children that I would be a sterling example of what it means to be a human being.  I would be married, have a career of which I am proud, and of course somehow I would instinctively know my child’s every need and want.  Well I am most certainly not married, although Paul and I are engaged.  I work a retail job that sends me into a death spiral of panic and depression every time i walk through the door.  Finally we arrive at the following conversation.

Caroline:  Mommy, I’m hungry.

Me:  Well, what would you like to eat?

Caroline:  Food.

Me:  What kind of food, sweetheart?

Caroline: I don’t know.

I will spare you the rest but eventually I resort to popcorn because I can find nothing that will seem to satisfy her.  A more well-balanced meal the world has never seen and will likely see never again.

Yesterday, was officially Caroline’s birthday.  As I was lying awake in bed trying to ease the pain in my knee in any way i knew how short of a hack saw and some whiskey, I came  to a realization.  I am a bloody sterling example of what it is to be human.  Every day I know my little girl sees what is most important, a mommy and daddy that love her.  And Paul, poor Paul,  he puts up with my ten kinds of crazy everyday and he still sticks around…You cannot tell me that isn’t love.  He is lying in bed finally sleeping after a feeling awful all day and driving from Lafayette back to Baton Rouge with a less than happy little girl.  He works harder than anyone I know.  I love him.

I think women have two hearts because if I say that Caroline or Paul are individually my everything, I am lying and stating a truth at the same time.

My job may make feel like a soulless automaton, but I do adore my co-workers.  I may not be saving lives or changing the world, but I am learning amazing things from amazing people.  On my team, there are some of the most encouraging and awe-inspiring characters.  I call them characters because when I try to describe them, they sound too large for life.  I know that the atmosphere in our little departmental bubble and that even I contribute to that indescribability, but  honestly half of these people don’t sleep, work two or three jobs, and go to school or raise kids  yet they smile and toss around playful, sometimes mildly embarrassing, banter that seems to float effortlessly across the room like the bubbles blown by Caroline that drift away upon the breeze.

I may not be a mom in the June Cleaver sense of the word or in the way that I fantasized, but I am a real mom none the less.  I am almost certain, that just like the fractures and scrapes that leave the scars of childhood, my flaws ( understatement of the year at least until I wake up in the morning) actually build character and make me a better mother in a way.   I will always expect the best from Caroline, but even if she screws up I think I will have shown her you can come out alright on the other side.

later alligator
Dancing Dancing Danciiiiiinnnng

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i just had the following conversation with my daughter.

her: daddy i’m spiderman and you’re batman

me [taken aback, first by the fact that she has any idea who these characters are, and second by the sheer GALL of choosing spiderman and leaving me possessed of not a single actual superpower]: ok.

her: ok. now. LET’S DO THIS THING!

me: [stunned silence]

her: come ON, batman!

me: … ok spiderman, where are we going?

her: we’re gonna be FROGS!

me: perfect. let’s go, man!

her: daddy, you’re batman and you’re a boy. batman is a boy. i’m spiderman and i’m a girl. spiderman is a GIRL.

me: naturally. ok let’s go, girl!

her: LET’S DO THIS THING!

us [proceeding to frog-hop our way up the stairs]: GO GO GO!

her: the green light means GO!

oh, and welcome back. it’s been a while, so let me fill you in. caroline’s going to be three in 9 days or so.

and yea. that’s it.

that’s ALL that has happened in the last year and a half.

ALL.

shut UP.

i didn’t procrastinate THIS long just to sit here and actually type out 16 months worth of happenings, so just deal.

is the blog actually coming back, you ask? well, maybe. i have an idea or two about how to make it easier (lazier) to keep this thing up, so watch this space. you just never can tell…

i leave you with this. i’ve been a dad for three years. that’s the longest i’ve ever held down ANY job. why do i feel like i have a pink slip hovering over my shoulder?

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Just so we don’t end up sitting here for weeks with that downer of a swine flu post at the top of the page, here’s a mini update, or “microblog,” as the Internet Elite call them.

I think it’s safe to say that Caroline and I are now both back to our baseline levels of health. As evidence, I submit the following:

tonight as we were going through caroline’s bedtime rituals, we went into her bathroom for the toothbrushing-and-laughing-at-various-items portion of the nighttime ablutions, which is always great fun. Tonight, she decided to run to the bathtub and pull out all the bath toys one by one (or point to each one in turn and make the noise that that animal makes until daddy got the toy for her) and then arrange them on the toilet seat cover. Once they were all assembled, she gathered each and every duck, two by two, and made them kiss each other noisily (and the pelican too, but I think that’s still legal here in the “brother/cousin” belt) until every conceivable pairing up had been forced upon the unwitting creatures. It was pretty adorable, and a picture or video of the proceedings would melt your heart. Of course no such thing is forthcoming.

Anyway, the point is that the entire time she was doing all this, she did NOT have a diaper filled with diarrhea! My baby is healed, I tell you!

But really, I think all is well now on that front. Liz is still down, but it looks like we two will be getting back our day jobs starting tomorrow. Ah well. Swine flu, we hardly knew ye.

and because i know there are laws against me posting on this thing without visual representation of my child, here’s a video of caroline displaying one of her most recently added tricks (turn up the volume):


in case you can’t quite tell, that’s caroline whistling. it’s not a GREAT video of said whistling (rest assured, it is more impressive in person) but i can promise you that out of the over 30 attempts i made at capturing this phenomenon, this is the least bad. most of the videos are of caroline noticing the camera and thus ceasing to whistle, much like this one:


she’s got an uncanny knack for anti-performance.

and that’s all for this week. come on, two posts in one week, what a bonanza!

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so yea, for those of you who don’t know yet, we’ve got the swine flu.

it started with caroline, who began exhibiting some severe gastrointestinal seismic readings wednesday morning. since i shortly thereafter also started feeling bad, i chalked it up to the fact that we ate wendy’s the night before, as fast food is extremely rare for we two (liz being braver and more “employed” than either of us) and it can sometimes mess with non-adherents to the fast-food code.

we brought her to the doctor, who agreed with my assessment, and then thought little more of it.

that afternoon and evening i began to rapidly deteriorate, and liz forced me to go to the afterhours clinic, where a cheerful doctor told me that i was almost certainly right about the food, and that it couldn’t be the flu because she hadn’t seen aaaaanyone present with gastrointestinal symptoms, or at least not without tons of more typical respiratory symptoms first, but just for the sake of completeness she would swab me for a flu test anyway.

of course, it came back positive. after she recovered from the shock, she stuck a needle full of anti-nausea drugs in me, wrote me a script for tamiflu, and then took a car payment for their trouble.

48 hours later we repeated the process with liz. same clinic, same doctor, same stomach symptoms, same disbelief. her new theory is that we DID all eat something funny and then coincidentally got the swine flu at the same time. or something.

whatever.

anyway, liz is the most recent victim and is therefore currently the worst off. caroline appears to have gotten the mildest case overall, as she never really got much aside from the initial vomiting session and the continuing diaper issues. and i seem to have gotten the shortest case on the whole. i bounced back to nearly normal in 24 hours, and now i’m pretty much 100%.

so today was mostly caroline and i taking care of mommy. for “taking care of” read “playing with our new alphabet blocks”:

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and making jello:

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anyway. these exciting events have of course derailed my in-process post(s), but we will return to our irregularly scheduled programming shortly.

meanwhile, enjoy this picture from a happier, pre-flu time, when caroline was just learning how to eat cookies with milk:

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yes, i’ve skipped a couple of weekly updates in a row, but you were expecting that so dont act all surprised. i’m back now, so chill.

so, with the long absence in mind i was planning to have a big ol’ compendium of zoo pictures and other assorted cuteness to post. alas, fate and caroline had other plans.

a few weeks ago, caroline had her first major “accident report” come home from daycare. she was outside on the playground acting like she was too old for the little kids in her class and evidently decided the best way to prove her big-kiddedness was to ride a tricycle around in front of the other kids. it came to light later that she’s been riding tricycles for some time without telling us (just like she was walking at daycare for two weeks before she decided to let us in on the secret) but on this particular day she somehow fell forward off of it and bumped her head on the concrete. she reportedly cried for a minute or two and then demanded to be let back into the playground. she was totally fine by the time i picked her up. all in all, a pretty mild incident.

i should have known what was coming.

last monday, caroline went for another accident report, and managed to take the whole phenomenon to a totally new level. here is what i was initially told: caroline was playing on the slide and fell face-first into the stairs. she busted her lip and it looks like she broke at least one tooth off, but we can’t see much right now because of all the blood. oh, and we can’t find the tooth.

miraculously avoiding acquiring a single speeding ticket, i arrived at the daycare a dozen or so seconds later. caroline was depositing onto a teacher a prodigious amount of a viscous fluid composed of equal amounts of snot, blood, and tears. it was heartbreaking.

luckily and quite randomly, i had a tube of orajel in my pocket. after i coated her pacifier with it and popped it back in her mouth, she calmed down quickly. by the time i got to the car with her, she was pointing and laughing at a very affronted-looking squirrel.

she laughed and talked most of the way to the ER, and in the waiting room she spent the first ten minutes walking around, laughing at the crying babies, and bleeding slowly but methodically down her dress.

then, horror of horrors, the nurses tried to WEIGH HER! as per the usual, she started screaming bloody murder as soon as she realized what was about to happen. the difference between this and her usual doctor’s-office-weigh-in was of course that she WAS bleeding. and as soon as she started screaming she ripped her pacifier from her mouth, aggravating the wound and starting a massive outflow of additional blood which soon covered most of her face.

can you guess when mommy walked into the emergency room?

yea.

so that was nice.

anyway, it transpired that only one tooth was gone and her lip was not busted at all. we spent most of the next 5 hours in an examination room being told by 3 doctors and 2 nurses that this was more of a dentist thing and that there wasn’t much they could do, but we should really x-ray her chest in case the tooth got into her lung. after more than 3 hours of this, one of the doctors decided that she would actually go and ORDER the x-ray, just for a change of pace. and then after another hour or so, just when i was about to go find some dont-pass-out food, i happened upon the same doctor in the hallway and, after i asked her when the x-rays might get done, she actually DID order said x-rays. 30 minutes later we were in the car, having been assured that there was no tooth on the x-ray.

here is caroline somewhere in the middle of this ordeal, finally consenting to pose a bit:

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and a closerup:

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and a meta-picture of me taking a picture of caroline’s mouth:

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so the next day when took her to her newly-acquired pediatric dentist, a fantastic individual whose name completely escapes me at the moment. but i will tell you the thing that impressed me most about this guy. caroline, like riley, has a mortal fear of anyone in a labcoat, or any place that makes her think she might be in a place of medicine. but this guy… this brilliant dentist… DOESNT WEAR a coat! amazing! and you know what? she cried during the x-ray and any other time she was being handled by the labcoated nurses, but she didn’t utter a peep the whole time Dr. Shirt-and-Pants was poking around in her mouth. a genius, i tell you.

anyway, after they heard about the Case of the Missing Tooth, the detectives set to work. i figured they were going to have to go fishing for it and maybe x-ray her digestive tract or something, but in fact they found it almost immediately. turns out, we hadn’t looked in the most obvious place for a tooth to be: her mouth!

ok, so it wasn’t quite that simple. her tooth was not in fact visible to the naked eye, but it showed up nice and neat on the x-ray… pushed back up into her skull. evidently she fell straight downward and just shoved the baby tooth right up into the cavity that is currently occupied by still-forming permanent teeth. according to the dentist this is not entirely rare, and since it went up nice and straight, there is a very high chance that it will, with time, just pop right back out where it used to be. i still haven’t decided if the content of this paragraph is more neat than gross, but its certainly darned interesting.

so we were told to come back in 4 weeks to make sure things are still going ok, told to clean the wound once a day for the next week, and warned that she should probably stick to soft foods for the week in case she ripped the wound back open, though she would probably be careful on her own. i kinda laughed at the soft foods thing (as did caroline) but vowed to give it a try.

right afterwards we went to lunch at this great mexican place that cousin loula introduced us to recently, thinking that she could maybe eat some beans. and of course, caroline dove headfirst into the chips and salsa, determined to prove that she was invincible. the hardness of the chips and the acidity and heat of the salsa left her devastated:

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orrrrr maybe she ate everything she could reach and laughed at the very idea of mushy, painless beans. i don’t remember signing up to raise a female rambo, but then again i tend not to read the fine print.

anyway, that’s more or less it. we spent the remainder of the week trying to baby her at least a little bit, and she spent the rest of the week resisting all such attempts. we went to lafayette for the 5K thing this weekend, and i think she’d completely forgotten about it all. here she is saturday at yet another mexican restaurant (except this one serves pupusas!):

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she fell on monday, was in the dentist tuesday, was back at daycare wednesday, on the playground thursday, and on the slide friday. lesson learned?

i sure hope not.

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