Put Together

So the Boy turns one in a few days.  And really we don’t have anything huge planned.  It’s a combination of he-won’t-remember and Thea-has-no-free-time-to-plan-and-Nikolas-is-hopeless.  Just a small family thing.  But the hope is that Thea will be able to put together a Batman cake.  Does one “put together” a cake?

I think I’ve been adjusting fine to… staying in my pajamas and watching movies with a toddler.  Admittedly, not a difficult adjustment.  Much more difficult for Thea to go back to full-time work… and then some.  Being a teacher is hard.  And unlike me, Thea doesn’t look for shortcuts nor is she as comfortable with mediocrity.  So she works very hard.

Fortunately, we have a setup where I’m able to work from home quite a bit (he says as he updates his blog) and my mom can watch the Boy a couple days a week.  In my mind, a pretty good setup.  Of course… I’m the one in pajamas.

So I feel a little guilty that we’re not the traditional family… Where the man goes to work and… the wife stays home.  I guess the traditional family from the 50’s.  Because I know very few families where one parent can stay home.  Life is expensive.



Michigan J. Frog, as seen on The WB

Image via Wikipedia

It’s like the old Warner Bros. cartoons where Michigan J. Frog pretends to be dead and then starts dancing and singing when no one is looking, driving Porky Pig crazy.  We have a heck of a time getting this kid to settle down, but whenever we have guests or my mom comes over to help, he’s a perfectly restful quiet baby.  Which makes me think that we’re doing something wrong.  Thea suggested today that perhaps we’re not being as loving and cuddly as Grandma, so I tried.  In my most lovey-dovey voice I nuzzled Nathanael, cooing “Who’s a bad baby?  You are!  You are!  Who’s driving Daddy crazy?  My tiddly widdly pain in the butt!”  To no avail.

But I guess our bodies adapt to little sleep.  Here I am, fully functional with a measly three hours rest.  Although… I have no recollection of the drive to or from church.  How did I get home?

I have to get back into the preaching rotation in December, and I’m not looking forward to it.  Usually I need time to ruminate and digest, and our new lifestyle of two-hour cycles, twenty-four hours a day isn’t going jive well with my system.  But we adapt.  I feel sorry for the poor souls who have to listen to me on a Sunday morning for the few weeks before the baby’s schedule starts to… I don’t know.  Isn’t something supposed to happen where he actually sleeps for a reasonable chunk of time?  Someday?

I can hear him grunting and complaining in the nursery.  He started off feeding every three hours, but we’ve graduated to every two.  I feel like our life should be a musical montage of us repeatedly feeding the baby, changing the baby, holding the baby, and holding each other and weeping when he won’t sleep.


Still Nada

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” ~ Elizabeth Stone

When I first heard this quote it really got to me.  I think it was very early on in the pregnancy, and it seemed to perfectly describe in very few words the protectiveness, helplessness, joy, fear, doubt and exhilaration of being responsible for a new human life.  To have your heart go walking around outside your body.

And it will never end.  Watching my parents transition from guardians to guides I understand why they found our independence a challenge… It must be difficult to let go.

Thankfully I won’t have to deal with that for a while.

But how many times have I reached out to touch Thea’s belly and make sure he’s still moving.

I worry that I worry too much.  Probably means that I worry too much.  Worrying doesn’t prevent anything nor does it help.

So I try to push through the worry and focus on being the best dad I can be right now.  So he can grow up to be the Supreme Dictator of the Universe.

It’s late.  I’m a little sleepy.

The Meeting Place

Thea is off volunteering at the school where Nemo may one day attend.

Weird to think that we could still be in this neighbourhood in five to ten years.  Not a bad weird… but in my mind my dad is forty.  It’s still a decade away for me, but I find that the older you get, the faster time goes.  The pregnancy has flown by.  At least for the one who doesn’t have to experience morning sickness and swollen ankles.

I met Thea around this time of year back in 1999.  The air was crisp and the leaves were changing… just like our hearts.  Actually I don’t really remember the first time we met.  She was with two other Filipina girls and they all looked the same to me.  Ah… l’amour.

I don’t think I can even remember the first day of school.  I can remember when I peed my pants in kindergarten.  It was gym day or something so my mom made me wear my gym shorts under my pants and they didn’t have a fly.  So when I opened my outer pants I was blockaded by my inner pants.  Like opening a door and finding a brick wall.  I remember desperately fumbling but it was too late.  Just too late.  I had to do the soggy walk of shame back to the kindergarten room, knowing that it wasn’t my fault.  My mom came with a fresh pair of pants and she held up a Canadian flag for me to change behind.

Can’t remember meeting my wife, though.

Damaged Digit

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the downstairs toilet in our house is literally 45 years old.  I saw similar plumbing in the ruins of Ephesus.  That sounds like I’m trying to sound poetic but… I’m not.  The Romans would look at our toilet and think it dated.  Anyway, my point is that we needed a new toilet since my profusely pregnant wife refuses to use the ancient one and has to waddle up the stairs every time she needs a tinkle which, let us be frank, is often.

So off I went to Home Depot to purchase a new toilet.

Toilet bought, a store employee stowed it in my trunk.  Making sure it was safely inside, I slammed the trunk shut…. on my hand.  Well, to be specific, my little finger.

Thank God my parents were there.

At first, I hoped that no one would notice.  I could just slip my finger out and go about my merry way.  Unfortunately, trunk would not relinquish my tenderest of digits.  And a fraction of a second later my mother noticed my predicament and reacted as calmly under pressure as we’ve all come to expect.


My father, technically proficient, was unable to find the trunk release and instead hopped from foot to foot saying. “There’s no button there’s no button” while my mother wailed and scratched at the trunk.

I tried to be as calm as possible to perhaps bring some cool-headedness to the proceedings.  “It doesn’t hurt that much, really.  Just push the button on the driver’s door.”


My dad, (now certain that the existence of the trunk release was just a myth) had moved on to removing the keys from the ignition, but sadly also found this to be too much of a challenge, and I glanced nervously at the growing crowd as his legs wiggled, sticking out from the car door as he sprawled across the front seats clawing at the uncooperative keys.

As any hope of salvaging my finger drained from my heart, my mother ran to my father’s aid.  “I’LL DO IT!”  She proceeded to open and close all the windows.  One at a time.

“Mom, it’s the little button with a picture of a car with an open trunk.  No… down.  No… lower.  Down… closer to the earth.  At the bottom.  Of the door.”

Finally, I was freed from having to live life attached to an automobile.  My parents wanted to inspect my damaged digit.  It seemed bruised but not broken and I wanted to get away from the crowd as quickly as possible.  I think that’s understandable.  I had closed the trunk on my own hand.

As I got in the car and pulled on my seatbelt my dad spoke the inevitable words, repeated with slight variation over my whole life, “Why would you close the trunk on your hand?”