Thursday, April 27, 2006

And It Only Took Whacking My Head Repeatedly on the Side of The Toilet

My upcoming birthday trip to see MBF Tracy has taken on a new twist. It was originally designed for me to visit for the weekend (plus a couple of bonus days) with Olivia, while Eric--assisted by sitters/friends/gypsies--would take charge of Jake. We've worked this routine out before, albeit with some flexibility from Tracy and her team of babysitters, and Olivia having to play docile possum in a stroller all day as we shopped and lunched our way through my hometown.

But The Weaning, or what we affectionately call The Day I Became an Epileptic, has released my charge of being the only one who can feed Olivia. So Eric has become point person, and will mother both the children as I fly off to Houston with absolutely no idea what to do with my new freedom. Currently when I sneak off alone, I periodically suck in my breath sharply with that fear I have left her, abandoned, in the back booth of Starbucks, or in the cart in the parking lot of the grocery store. These little jolts surely are taking time off the back end of my life, much like single cigarettes smoked while drinking out in the 80's, or that some days my exercise is limited to the reading of a pop-up book. Can you imagine the severity of these millisecond horrors when I have almost four days of zero-responsibilty? Men you don't have these brief terrors you've forgotten your children; if you're not with them it isn't a shock to your entire system. No, you are at work, or playing a round of eighteen, or in the bathroom. And as much as it sounds that I am complaining, I am okay with--some days in love with--that feeling of being totally responsible for a little person's, say, breathing.

Thus, confessing to you that I look forward to the next few days even with those little moments of confusion is not shameful. While I know Tracy will get irritated at my occasionally checking to see if she is hungry, or wet (sorry T, habits don't disappear overnight), I get to experience that male-hubris high of going to the bathroom alone.

I don't doubt Eric's abilities one bit. When I came back from the hospital, Olivia's outfit was on backwards, she was drinking her bottle with the orthodontic nipple upside down, and Jake had used an entire package of scotch tape (on delicate wood furniture) to secure his fort. But they were happy, safe, and Olivia was knocking back twenty-four ounces of formula per day. So who, then, can argue with a father's touch? Not me, for I intend to enjoy doing the "No Longer Breastfeeding Shuffle" by quaffing decent champagne and gormandizing caviar as an entree (MBF reading this, panicking, hiding American Express card). And enjoying that private guest bathroom, baby.


tracy said...

You crack me up, I will probably be wet from laughing so hard I pee my pants. Let's break out the champagne and caviar! I will see you in 25 hours(but who's counting, apparently me),what a wonderful gift for both of us.

Jack said...

What do you mean men don't get this? One of the most upsetting feelings in a nightmare that I ever had was when Garrett was a baby. I dreamed that as I got back to my car after playing a softball game, I remembered I had set Garrett down somewhere before the game and forgotten about him! To make matters worse, he was only the size of a peanut (I think that's what we called him sometimes back then) and I couldn't find him in the grass anywhere. I had totally failed my responsibility and lost him completely by forgetting about him over softball.

I know exactly what you mean, and hope you can pull it off without the nightmare.

Laura said...

You're right! Apology extended to all the men out there who do understand the feeling.

I was really only refering to Cromagnum man, to whom most of us are married.

Walter said...

I shall study this blog in order to improve mine. I counted more than two dozen punchlines and clever observations.

Men catch it on the chin in our society, and I commend Jack on setting a great example and thus being able to defend our honor.

I cannot have dreams like Jack's, but I do have dreams of parents sueing me. This is not a joke. My first teaching assignment was at a poor neighborhood, and many of the parents were highly litigious. The teachers' union was strong there because of the claims continually made against teachers. I burned out there. I'm not scared of leaving a child anywhere. I fear for retribution from their parents for small infractions.

And who is this Cromagnum man? Does that have anything to do with Tom Selleck who played "Magnum P.I." and is still having an interesting acting career going?