Notes from raising kids.
The following is a collection of things that have honestly, truly happened to me. For reals.
Lisa: Lucy, what do you want to do today?
Lucy: Get a puppy?
Chi: You and mom are both scientists!
Me: No, I’m not. Just your mom is a scientist.
Chi: <Gasp> Are you not smart?!
Lucy:”…Red and yellow, green and white; they are precious in his sight…”
I’m a bad parent that uses competition to motivate his kids. I told Lucy and Chi that the first person to get their shoes on gets to pick what music we listen to in the car. Lucy looks at me, looks at her shoes, looks at Chi, looks at his shoes, the quickly runs over, grabs Chi’s shoes and throws them over the baby gate and down the stairs. She then sits down and begins to leisurely put on her shoes. Chi looks up at me, hands out and shrugging with a look that says “what the heck was that?!?!?”
Chi: Daaaaaad! Lucy keeps saying “butt!”
A discussion ensues about “potty talk” and tattling. Both are admonished and things quiet down. Suddenly, Lucy gets an impish grin…
Lucy: Chi…knock, knock.
Me (to myself): Don’t do it son…
Chi (Enthusiastically): Who’s there?
Me (mentally): Nooooooo….
Chi:”Girls want to do everything by themselves. Boys are like ‘Eh…I’ll let mom do it.’”
And now, my children’s new favorite joke…
What do you get when you cross a crocodile and a chicken?
Chi: Crocodile chicken.
Lucy: Fried Eggs!
I don’t get it either.
Some people talk about their first date. Or their best date. We just have “our date.”
Should I use self check out?
There seems to be some confusion about how and when to use the self checkout lanes at the store. I’m here to help. Please, feel free to obey my sage advice…
Zeke’s hospital stay
First off, everything’s fine. Dayton Children’s Hospital was awesome and took good care of my baby and my wife. No complaints there. Everyone is home, no lasting concerns.
At any rate, what happened is this. On Friday night/Saturday morning at 2:30 (which, apparently, is Zeke’s main operating time) Zeke was just inconsolable. That’s not weird before feeding, but it’s very strange afterwards. He also felt a little warm.
So I was nominated to take his temperature. Sorry, dude. And it was 100.6. Not overly hot, but for a 4-week-old, something that would raise an eyebrow. I called the nurse on call (bless her) and she said we should probably go to an urgent care.
Without getting into too much geography, the closest child-friendly urgent care facility is Children’s Hospital. So Lisa packs up the little guy and off they go. I stay home with the other two.
I get a few texts over the course of the night. Mostly telling me things it’s not. One with a photo…
Yep, that’s Zeke in a baby hospital gown. Both the cutest and saddest hospital gown ever.
As you can probably see, he’s got an IV. This would be one of many sticks he would receive in the next few hours. He also got a spinal which, apparently, is evil.
So, what did we find out? He doesn’t have meningitis (whew), doesn’t have a staph infections (relief) and doesn’t have herpes (really? What has he been up to in 4 weeks?).
The only test that came back positive was for a cold. When Lisa told me this, I was packing tissues in both pockets because the other two are literally snot machines. So, that makes more than a little sense.
They had been pushing a coctail of antibiotics, but just about every time they knocked a bacteria off the list, they stopped giving him one. So over Saturday the number of meds reduced to almost nothing.
Sunday he was still fussy in the morning, but by lunch was feeling much better. Somewhere in the early afternoon his fever broke. By bedtime we were hearing he’d be out tomorrow.
Monday came, the last of the tests cleared, the IV was removed, the paperwork started and he was out at about 2:00.
Still don’t really, technically know what he had. He did have the cold virus, and that could be the cause. Or it might just be “a virus” and that will be all we ever know.
But he’s home. He’s doing well. Could sleep through the night better, but that’s something neither of his siblings got for a while, so I’m not too hopeful on that in the short term. Oh well…
But thanks for the prayers. Thanks for the logistical support (again, Melissa Robbins, coming over on short notice so I could be with my wife and kid at the hospital. We’ve got to stop meeting like this. And thanks to Sarah Suddith for help on Sunday). And thanks for the concern and encouragement. I do wish Facebook had an option that wasn’t “Like” for the “kid in the hospital” updates. Maybe a “Sympathize” or something. But I appreciate the likes and the comments all the same.
But, if it’s fine with you, let’s not do this again, OK?
A note on today’s mail.
Dear Republican Party of Ohio,
Now, what is Issue 2 about? Why should I vote this way? You might think there’s something useful on the other side, but no.
Equally unhelpful. But now with random italics, bolds and colors. And let’s not forget the cornerstone of rational discourse - ALL CAPS.
Seriously, Ohio Republican Party. You are hurting America. Stop it.
If you want me to vote your way, that’s fine. There’s a good chance I might. But, and this is kinda crucial, actually tell me what it is I’m voting on. “Liberals bad, Republicans good” isn’t an argument. In fact, it makes me think that you have nothing of value to say so you’re just going to spend campaign funds on some sort of unfocused ad hominem attack.
Also, if you wanted me to be like the guy and take this to my computer to figure out what they heck it is you’re talking about, why didn’t you include anything that would direct me where you want to go? Guess what I did? I Googled “Ohio Issue 2.” Guess what? The top responses were news stories out of your control. If you’d have given me a website, I might have started there to figure out what you wanted to say (but maybe not as you were obviously unable to do so in two sides of an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper).
But, yes, back to the main part of the discussion. If you are going to go through the effort to attempt and inform voters of the decisions ahead of them in November, maybe it’s a good idea to actually inform the voters of the decisions ahead of them in November.
PS, I did some research. Turns out Issue 2 would redefine how we do our Congressional districts. It’s actually a subtle and complicated issue. The constitution referenced in the material isn’t the federal Constitution, but the Ohio state constitution. But, you know, “Liberals Bad” fit on the material they had, I guess.
I have discovered a phrase that can totally disable all of a man’s higher cognitive functions. That phrase is the one I heard at 2:45 this morning…
“Honey, I think my water just broke.”
And, just like that, I went from a college educated, relatively intelligent and eloquent guy to a complete Neanderthal attempting to bang rocks together to unlock the mysteries of fire. Of course, the 2:45-ness of the situation wasn’t doing anyone any favors.
I responded with “So, what do we do?”
The obvious answer (and the answer I was given) was that you go to the hospital. There were other stupid questions with now obvious answers and somehow I ended up calling Melissa Robbins and, bless her heart and home, she came over. I honestly don’t know much of what happened at my house after that, but apparently it was fun times. You’ll have to ask her.
At any rate, we get to the hospital and, through a series of tests I can only imagine involve some amazing deductions on the part of the OB/GYN staff, it’s determined that Lisa’s in labor and that today will be the day.
Neanderthal Adam’s still thinking “but we’re scheduled for next week. What happened to next week? I’ve got things to do…”
Neanderthal Adam was overruled.
The next little bit’s quite boring, which in this situation, is very, very good. A parade of docs, nurses, anesthesiologists, residents and, correct me if I’m wrong here, possibly a man in a bunny suit. It’s possible I dozed of a bit in there…
So, a little after 7:00 Lisa was taken back to the OR. A little after 7:30, they came and got me. A little after 7:40 Ezekiel was out. By 8:30 Zeke and I were in the nursery, by 9:00 I was back in recovery with Lisa.
The rest of the day, honestly, is a blur. I’m downloading and posting photos right now. They’re helping me remember some things. Otherwise it was a fairly uneventful day considering, you know, we just had a kid and all.
So, that’s the skinny. I’m home resting, but feel free to call if you’re wanting to stop by. I may tell you no, but it’s nothing personal. Just logistical. At any rate, good night, and see you all in the morning.
Our internet celebrity
Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of my daughter and my grandfather. This photo’s been making the rounds and it’s been a bit, well, odd.
This photo was taken in May of 2011. Lucy’s almost 4 months old in it. It’s an amazing moment and it means a lot to me just because of that.
But then there’s another whole layer. This is, as far as I know, the last photo taken of Pa Pa. He’d been in and out of the nursing home, hospice and the hospital since Lucy was born and we had a very narrow window when he and our kids were all healthy enough to visit. This was that moment. This was the first and only time he got to see his only great-granddaughter and the only time that she would get to see him. He passed on a little over a month after this was taken.
And, now, it’s almost a meme.
At last count I’ve found over 6,000 copies of it online. I’ve found a bunch on Facebook. Tumblr’s full of it. It’s almost everywhere.
And it’s been a strange journey for me.
First, I was mad. And, I think, rightly so. And, honestly, I can still get mad about it. Especially if I click on some of the pages it’s on as the folks using it tend to be useless re-posters of other people’s stuff.
aside #1. let me just say it’s amazing how unoriginal 99% of the posts with this photo are. there are two versions. the first, on blogs, tends to be a block of photos and something about a picture being worth a thousand words. the second is popular on facebook and features a poem stolen from another guy. both are, frankly, sentimental tacky crap.
Then I got mad at…someone else. This photo was originally shared on my wall with security set to “friends.” That means someone I know saw this photo and shared it. And then someone else shared it. And, at some point, this just got away. And I’m not sure who to be mad at.
But I’m definitely mad at the person who first teamed it up with the poem. That was just tacky.
But now I’ve kind of made peace with it. Not that it’s OK. I’m still kind of mad and still try and figure out how to get it taken down where ever I find it (surprisingly, harder than it looks). But now it’s just a good way of seeing who I know is an untalented sentimental hack.
So, what’s the take away?
Really…there isn’t one. This would be a great moment for me to go on a screed about Facebook privacy settings and intellectual property rights and expectation of privacy and all that but, really, it’s not even a problem.
I did this to myself.
Not the tacky poem (sorry, dude. It’s tacky) part. Not the gallery thing. I still don’t like those, but having it out there is a risk I took the moment it left my hard drive. So I guess the takeaway is to never share anything you wouldn’t want to see on a billboard by the highway, because you never know where it’s going to end up after it leaves your wall.
aside #2. let that be a lesson to all of you out there. seriously, think about this next time you’re about to post. there is a chance you’ll never be able to get that genie back in the bottle.
Also, maybe the takeaway is to be aware of what you’re sharing if it isn’t yours. Some stories aren’t yours to tell. I think we all understand that you don’t need to repost the bad, but there’s probably also a moment when you shouldn’t repost the good, either. Maybe just smile, file it away in your memory and let it stay special for someone else.
So, what should you do if you encounter this photo? Let whoever posted it know what it is and ask them, politely, to remove it. If they don’t and you’re particularly offended, let me know and I, as the copyright holder and the parent of the child in the photo, do have some legal rights to get it taken down if I’d like. However, I might not always do that as the take-down request is a legal action and could include some legal ramifications including defending myself in court if challenged (which could be expensive. I have a bulletproof case, I’d just have to get there to deliver it). But be kind, be civil and be simple. Remember, you’re finding this on the web page of someone not smart enough to create their own content and easily manipulated by tacky poetry, so they’re probably going to respond better to a kind, emotional plea than a well-reasoned legal argument or angry tirade (even if you feel like doing that).
aside #3. i’ve seen this is some photo blogs about how great of a photo it is. and, honestly, i have to agree. also, none of the blogs have the original and don’t know the dirty details of this photo. while they’re going on about apertures and lighting and depth of field, i’m literally laughing at them. this was taken with my favorite camera…the one I had with me right then. it’s not staged, it’s not a setup. it’s just a photo. i took it with my iPhone. honestly, if i’d had my “big camera” it wouldn’t have worked. it’d have been like putting a stranger in the room and i don’t know that the shot would have been as intimate even if it had been technically better. so all you yournameherephotograpy.com folks…you just got schooled by an iPhone with HDR mode on. So, please, take it down. You’re embarrassing yourselves.
Finally, you’ll notice the photo is attached to this post. It seems strange to complain about people posting this photo and then throw another one out there. Well, there’s a reason for that. Because this is my story. This is my photo. If I’m to have any chance to tell the story, I’ve got to join the conversation. So that’s what happened. That’s the story.
And it’s mine.
I’ve been working on this post for a while. Ever since I noticed this starting to circulate earlier this year. Had to change it a bit because Facebook just took off on it, but the idea is the same. I’m sorry to those (particularly family) that have been hit by this, and this post wasn’t really directed (in a bad way) at you or anything you’ve said, but I pretty much anticipated a lot of your responses. It was also hurried out a bit more than I meant it to be.
If anything, take comfort that this photo is somewhat comforting to many people. I don’t like it being exploited, and will continue to get it taken down where I can, but the internet is both a temporary and a permanent place. It’ll always be lurking out there and it’ll probably always be archived somewhere if you go looking for it, which in and of itself is kind of comforting/frustrating, but it’ll probably also fade away within a few months. Remember hamsterdance or the dancing baby or star wars kid? Exactly.
Lisa’s 6 months along, so we all know what that means…
November of 2008, 3 months before Chi was born, I was laid off.
August 2010, 3 months before Lucy was born, Lisa was laid off.
So we were joking that this time it was my turn. We were wrong.
As of right now Lisa’s company has been unable to make payroll since the first of the month. She was also due to be paid on Friday and that, as well, did not happen. We’re two paychecks down right now.
Lisa has informed her company that she can’t work for free. We’ve got child are to pay for and can’t keep paying for that if Lisa’s not being paid.
Lisa’s company’s suggestion was to pay her and bounce the check if we couldn’t pay it back and they’d reimburse us later. Or take a loan and they’d pay for the “borrowing costs.”
I think we can all agree that those are catastrophically bad ideas. They also promised repeatedly to pay her. Promises don’t pay the bills.
The company declared tomorrow a paid holiday so they can evaluate their options and will have a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the way forward. Lisa and I have agreed that Lisa cannot work any more until she has been paid no matter what promises are made.
So as of Tuesday, unless something unforeseen happens, Lisa will be out of work. But, we’re not terribly worried. Why?
Because the week before Chi was born, I started a new job.
Because the week before Lucy was born, Lisa was offered a new job.
We’ve been here before, and God has provided. We’ve no reason to think He won’t again.