Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Working Girl

Toodles was playing with her little play laptop. You know the type - has a bunch of pictures and shapes for the toddler to press, making the laptop talk and sing.

So she's playing and I said, "Time to get dressed."
Her reply: "Daddy, I'm working."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Snip Snip part 2

Dr Gonzales announced that he was finished and congratulated me on a courageous effort. Then he left me.

Take your time, he said. The nurse came in. Take your time, she said. Do you want me to get your wife? Yes, please.

Turnabout. Now she was the one helping me get my pants on, helping me walk down the hall. I made it about ten feet down the hall when I began to feel light-headed. There was an open exam room and I "quickly" made my way to the table where I laid down.

"Take as much time as you need," said the nurse. About ten minutes later, we were back on our way. Slowly.

Remember, I'm 6'5" and fairly athletic, so walking slowly is not part of my nature. But it was on this cool, gray, windy Thursday.

Slowly down the hall. Slowly out of the elevator. Slowly down the hall. Slowly into the car. Slowly into the house. Slowly up the stairs. Slowly into bed.

Vicodin was my friend.

Did I mention the athletic supporter? No, not a member of a university booster club. In my pre-op instructions, they had me bring a jock strap. After my surgery, they packed my penis and scrotum with gauze, gave me special underwear (boy shorts) and then Wife helped me with the jock.

This became terribly uncomfortable over the next two days. Two days before I could take it all off. That's when I was allowed to shower. The water would help detach the bown, blood-stained gauze from my private area.

Aren't you glad I'm sharing all of this?

Now it's Tuesday and in the sixth day of my recovery. Wife was terrific over the weekend, taking care of Toodles, JD and me. We have arranged for a sitter Monday through Thursday to come from 6am - 11am when she is relieved by my mother.

I'm sitting in bed, my laptop between my legs, playing WGT.com and watching premium cable. (Just finished the Showtime series, Shameless.) It was great for a couple of days, but it is starting to get boring. My time is supplemented with checking news, finaancials, playing sudoku, and texting everyone I know.

More to look forward to? The Chicago Blackhawks are back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs! They start Wednesday night 9pm Central time.

Any TV suggestions? Yeah, I should read and write. For some reason, this is not a terribly inspirational time for me. I really do just want to sit and mope. Forgive me.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Snip Snip

Just in case there's any confusion, yes, that is a reference to a vasectomy.

The severing and sealing of the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testes to join semen in the urethra. The intent - to infect an egg within a woman's uterus.

Let's start with, "Why?"

Certainly, that's what my scrotum was asking during the procedure. "We were all doing just fine! Why are you punishing us?" Yes, I wondered that myself as the needle carrying the local anesthetic was being inserted.

Well, for starters, we don't want more kids. When Wife and I talked about having kids, she wanted one while I wanted three. We decided to start with one and go from there.

As many of you know, pregnancy can be difficult. Some women enjoy the experience. While there were certainly some sweet, tender moments during her pregnancy with JD, it was not something Wife wanted to repeat. The heartburn, the lactose intolerance, the difficulty sleeping, carrying around the weight, losing the ability to drink red wine, and the internal kicks to her ribs all contributed to her feeling rather put-off by the idea of another pregnancy.

After convincing her that growing up without a sibling would be unfair, we decided to conceive again. Different pregnancy, different problems.

So we had our two kids. Our wonderful kids whom we adore and love with every ounce of our beings.

Wife had JD at 34, Toodles at 37. How old does a person want to be when their kids are growing up? To each their own, but we had our two and that's great.

Condoms are getting old. For Wife, hormonal contraception is not an option. And we are very fertile together. Both kids were conceived within a few tries. For us, one mistake could easily lead to another pregnancy. (I would never use the phrase, "Unwanted," because, if something happens in the future, I would never want that child to feel as if they were a burden rather than a blessing.)

Oh, and potty training. It sucks. Changing diapers is fine for the first 18 months. Then it starts to become a burden. I actually can tolerate the smell. It's the fighting. Having to pin Toodles legs back over her head because otherwise she'll kick or or her poop or get it all over the place sucks. She's crying, I'm angry. There's nothing good about that situation.

Sleep deprivation. While we have two outstanding sleepers, There is still those first 8-12 weeks where 5 hours of sleep feels like a full night. No thanks.

So back to the procedure (and I'll keep it brief.) There was some pain, but it wasn't torture. I wouldn't say that it was easy, because it wasn't. Dr. Chris Gonzalez of Northwestern Memorial Hospital was awesome. We had a bit of a chat and he was great about talking me through the whole thing.

We even had a bit of a chuckle. Talking about being an at-home Dad, I said that there are many days that I wish I had an office to go to. He agreed, saying that after many weekends, he's glad to get back to work. I replied, "Yeah, can't wait to sink your hands into some testicles."

Not sure how that comes across on a blog, but it was funny at the time :)

After the surgery is really when the story starts. I'll put that in the next entry.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hug it Out

Toodled and JD were playing in the livingroom while I cleaned the kitchen and did some dinner prep.

Toodles began yelling, "Ow! Ow!"

I walked to the hallway that connects the kitchen to the living room. Toodles was charging toward me, still yelling, "Ow! It hurts! My arm!"

Squatting to see the problem, she pointed to the back of her hand. Then she said, "I want hug."

We hugged for a moment, then she let go and ran down the hallway to resume playing with JD.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Teaching Opportunity

I have been asking JD, my 4-year-old son, to clean up his plate and glass after his meals.

Today, I has using the potty when I heard a crash. There was no doubt that JD had dropped his plate. He was distressed.

I assured him that it was not a problem. After cleaning up the mess, I got another plate. After placing it on the table, I demonstrated how to use two hands and to bring it to a large, open area of the counter near the sink. Then I asked him to do it and gave him a high-5 and a hug.

Listening to Hawk Harrelson announce White Sox games, I have learned a few of his wise sayings. Two apply here. First, experience is something you got when you didn't want to get it. Second, the worst thing you can do after a failure is to dwell on the failure rather than learn the lesson so as to be successful the next opportunity.

Funny things

JD and I were watching Fresh Beat Band when one of the characters, Twist, went into space. I asked JD what he was doing. JD replied, "He's in space. He's looking for E.T."

How cute is that?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Just a minute, please!

With a gifted speaker comes some difficulty. Toodles, now 22 months, regularly uses 4 and 5 word sentences. The downside is that, when she asks for something, she doesn't understand concepts such as time or sanitation.

She may come to me while I'm handling raw chicken and ask for milk. Just a minute, please, I say to her. I want milk, Daddy. Just a minute, please. She begins to get frustrated and is soon crying and yelling at me.

This would be tolerable if it only happened, say, once a day. But it happens at least four or five times. Every day. At the dinner table. In the car. On a walk. At the playground. She wants something that isn't immediately available. And she gets pissed.

I have been trying to be patient, but I occasionally lose my mind and control and yell back. Of course, that only makes everyone upset. As with most undesirable behaviors, it is more a matter of time than teaching.