- Your toys are the big soft plush ones – Yes, I know the legos across the room look like the coolest toys in the world. And yes, I know you worked very hard to get over to them. And I’m sure that the massive amount of sensory stimulation you get from shoving them in your mouth by the hand-full is totally worth the part where you get picked up by your feet and smacked on the back to dislodge the ones that made their way to the back of your throat, but you have your own toys. They’re the soft cuddly ones that we surround you with when you’re on the floor. They’re the ones that are too big for you to choke on. You know, the ones in the bright, inviting primary colors. Those are your toys.
- Pick a position, then sleep in it – I know having so much control over your own body can be intoxicating. And being able to roll over on your own is super-duper neat, but practicing this incredible skill should be reserved for when you are awake, not when you’re “sleeping”.
- Food is easier to eat when you open your mouth – This should be pretty self-explanatory. You want it, you cry for it, now open your mouth and take it.
- The hair on my head/face/chest is not there for you to use as a handle – This hair is not there so you can have a convenient way to pull yourself up. It’s not there so I can’t get away from you when you decide it’s time to chew on my nose. That hair exists to help me reserve body heat… and for decorative purposes.
- Please stay still when I’m trying to change your diapers – You’re the one who pooped. You’re the one who’s so unhappy about sitting in it. So don’t fight me when I try to clean it up for you. Remember, you did this to yourself.
Long ago, before my wife, I loved another girl. And like most teenagers in love, I thought she was “the one”. Well, due to circumstances beyond our control, this girl, “the one”, moved halfway across the country. To say I missed her would be a gross understatement. My since of loss was overwhelming. I pined, yearned, ached and all the other things a teenage boy does for a girl that he loves and is suddenly separated from.
This is how I now feel about my now nonexistent privacy.
I now pine for the time in my life where I could go to the bathroom and spend as much time as I wanted (or needed) to without having someone scream at me through the door. I ache for when I could once take a shower without a small person ripping open the shower curtains just to declare at the top of their lungs that they can see my penis before running off tittering. I yearn to do the things that I once found relaxing like cooking or tying flies without someone demanding that they be allowed to “help”. And being alone with my wife… well…
I miss you so much privacy.
There was a plan for this week. Monday at 3:30 pm I was to pick-up my wife and oldest son at the airport. There was supposed to be the hugging and kissing and the “hi daddy, I missed you,” and the stories of all the fun and exciting things that happened during the four days they spent in New York City while visiting family. We were going to go home, eat dinner, watch a little TV and go to bed. I was going to sleep late the next morning to make-up for the sleep I missed while staying up with the baby on the days they were gone. After getting up the oldest boy and I were heading down to Charleston to visit my father, his wife and my new six year-old adopted brother. We were going have a family fishing tournament. Afterwards there’d be fried fish and beer.
That’s not what happened.
When I picked them up the first thing my wife says to me is “I have food poisoning”.
“How bad is it?”, I asked.
I found out how bad it was not to long after that. And it was bad. Oh God it was bad. I mean BAD. Worst case of what-the-hell-ever I’ve ever seen. I won’t get into the gruesome details for my wife’s sake, my sake and for the sake of you, the reader, because… I mean… Just… WOW!
So, I still haven’t had any sleep and it’s making me less than pleasant, my wife is terrified to touch the children in case she is suffering from a Norovirus, the fish in Charleston remain unmolested, the kids haven’t been out of the house and therefore are living nightmares to deal with and chaos reigns supreme.
Saying that children “grow-up so fast” is an old cliché but it’s true. One minute you’re changing diapers and the next you’re sending them off to annoy professional educators who don’t get paid enough to put up with your child’s particular brand of bullshit. Everyday speeds by so fast you lose track of what happened when, the weeks and months all blend together into an incomprehensible blur and the next thing you know the years are flying by as you hurdle ever closer to death.
And yet somehow every second spent up at 3 am with a crying baby, every minute spent listening to Dora ask some stupid fucking question about my opinion on her particular problem and every hour spent in the car with a child whining from the back seat about how long it’s taking to get there, where ever it is, seems to take the kind of time usually reserved for measuring the life cycle of celestial bodies.
Or maybe it’s just me… I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. Sorry.
The above title took me about five minutes to peck out with my one available hand. The other hand is currently occupied holding a sleeping baby.
I was forced to stop typing three separate times; once to remind the other two children that the baby’s asleep and if they wake him up they may not see tomorrow, once to pretend to eat a toy car that my three-year old insisted was a piece of pie and once, and let me remind you I only have one hand, to help my seven-year old put his “spy watch”.
I remind my seven-year old that spies are quiet and the baby is asleep. He’s tells me about how ninjas are also quiet and how he can be a ninja spy or a spy ninja and ninjas were very quiet like spies and when will his brother be done watching his cartoons because he wants to play a game on the Wii and he wishes it wasn’t too hot for the playground today because he wants to play outside but it’s too hot… He has ADD. He isn’t medicated.
My three-old just informed his unmedicated older brother that he was done with cartoons and he can play a game now if he wants. As his older brother picks a game the three-year old (who from here on out will be refered to as “the middle child” or “demon spawn”) screams at the top of his lungs because “NO, NOT THAT GAME!”. He physically attacks his older brother.
Still not wanting to wake-up the sleeping baby in my arms, I try to get control of the situation with the most menacing whisper I can muster. It goes unheard. I try again. The baby is twitching. “Boy’s!” A little louder. Still it goes unheard or unheeded.
“STOP IT! THE BABY IS SLEEPING!,” I shout. Demon spawn and the older one stop and look at me. So does the baby.