Posts Tagged ‘Mothers’


I can feel it, there is a baby eager to make her way into the world and meet her father….and her mother too, I guess, but she has been with her mother for a good nine months now, so that is probably nowhere near as exciting as meeting me.  I would want to meet me if I was her. 

There are two types of fathers in this world.  Trust me; I have done extensive research (meaning I asked three people their opinions and a simple majority confirmed it).  First there is the father who will not venture below the waistline during the evolution of labor.  They want nothing to do with what is going on in the nether regions during the most critical stage of the birthing miracle.  The “above the waisters,” henceforth referred to as ATWs, are not wrong for their longing to keep clear of the “zone of the unimaginable,” because what happens down there doesn’t make a whole bunch of sense. 

For one moment in time, all the pressure and energy of a woman’s being is centered on an area that the man has been centering all of his pressure, energy, and attention on for years.  Now, in an ironic twist, the ATW has decided this magical place we men never quite understood, but were lured to like a moth to a flame, is best left alone and he becomes a cheerleader rooting his wife on, face to face.  He leans into her, giving her an arm or finger to squeeze, and says glittering generalities surrounding motivational phrases we used to scream from sidelines, dugouts, and bleachers during sporting events. 

Trust me, ATWs say the same things to their wives during labor that they would when a man gets up to bat and there are two runners on in the late innings of a baseball game.  They just make it sound more breathy and motivating.  During a game, we yell to our teammates, “This is your time, brother, pick one and drive it, don’t leave them stranded out there on base, bring ‘em home.”  During labor, the ATWs go with what they know, they lean in and say, “This is your time, you’re a mother, concentrate and drive through the next push, don’t leave that girl in there, we need to bring her home.”  ATWs never stray too far from what they know.  The mother has become a teammate and they are going to get her through this very individual moment in what is generally a team sport.

The second type of father is a militaristic man (MM), not to imply that he is more of a man than his counterpart, ATW, but that he is very different.  He is a man who is trained to be at the most chaotic point of any evolution.  He believes that is the place where he can provide the best support to the woman in her moment of peril.  The MM believes that the point of friction is where he should be shouting out orders and organizing the next combative muscle movements.  He needs to see the breach point and somehow find a way to gain the initiative and exploit the enemy.  In the case of labor, nature is the enemy, and the natural process of birth is a thinking, breathing, and adaptive enemy at that. 

The MM thinks in terms of objectives, phase lines, stages, and culminating points.  He has divided up “Operation Baby Boom” into distinct phases, and even more specifically, into smaller stages.  He is looking for the best moment to mass his combat power and engage the enemy in what he refers to decisive action.  The woman lying on the bed is his main effort, and the doctors surrounding her are all supporting efforts.  Should something go wrong, the doctors are poised, and ready to assume the main effort.  The MM has briefed all parties involved and he is ready to cross the line of departure. 

The MM has his head right into the business area of his wife’s nether area.  He is fighting back pushing the doctors out of the way and doing this himself.  He is intrigued by the entire process.  Sure, he shouts out motivational phrases, but they are less like cheerleading and much more specific.  After a push, he looks up and gives his wife a situation report (SITREP).  The SITREP includes basic information about the evolution.  “Good push, I believe the baby is close to crowning, the next push is going to be an important one for us, I need you to really bear down; we have the enemy on their heels, and I think that they are just about out of options. The contraction lasted 90 seconds, and was three minutes and thirty seconds from your last.  Using this as a gauge for the next one I believe we can consolidate and rest for two more minutes, but then we will need to press forward. Stand by.” 

Without restraint from hospital personnel, the MM will not contain himself when the baby crowns, he will reach up there and pull the baby through the obstacle belt.  The MM doesn’t understand why the labor takes more than 15 to 20 minutes, and seems to be rushing the process the entire time.  And, as is the case with many military planners, the MM doesn’t necessarily have the best exit strategy.  Once the baby is out of the womb and laying there in all of his or her glory, the MM is overly emotional, and cannot figure out what to do with his hands.  He doesn’t know how to hold a baby, but he is dying to try.  The MM has never felt more masculine than he does at the moment he sees his baby, and this baby is his next General Officer…

I am certain that I will be the father who is all up in my wife’s business.  I am excited and ready for this to occur, and all signs in my house are that this kid is coming with a vengeance in the next few weeks.  I cannot write anymore today, as I have to put together a crib.  Earlier this week I put together a stroller, and a car seat thingy.  We are surrounded by bottle whozits, and pink whatzits, and breast feeding thing-a-mbobs, and some kind of diaper changing magic place.  I have been tasked by my wife to help her nest and I have some required reading to complete on the subject of sleep schedules.  Right now, she is snoring to my left because she can only sleep in small bursts.  The baby has infiltrated every aspect of her life.  This baby, not yet born, has infiltrated every aspect of my life, and I couldn’t be happier.

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years.

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This is now actually part two of three.  If you haven’t read part one click here it will give you some context, plus it will give me more readership on that blog, which in turn, will make me feel better about myself. 

4.       I have been threatened and subsequently nearly killed over one US dollar.  I wanted to keep this on the subject of my father because I can do whatever I want to.  If I wanted to reference Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I can.  Like, for example, do you remember the song, “I got the golden ticket, I got the golden ticket….” 

      Okay, so my father… I think your initial reaction should be to feel sorry for me for my life spent with such a scary tyrant of a dad.  However, I bet that by the time you’re done reading this, you will wish that you could get in line to help him beat my ass. 

      Long story short.  I had pretty much recovered from the candy bar fiasco and was back to some semblance of normalcy.  It was summertime and around our house, we had this really cool Tupperware container for holding Kool-Aid.  As a matter of fact, I first developed my fondness for Tupperware because of my childhood Tupperware collection, which included this container.  This container was used so much by us that it actually had permanent stained Kool-Aid marks on the sides.  It featured a sliding top that let you pour Kool-Aid through a strainer like opening or a full wide mouth opening.  The top fit snugly down inside the bigger, bottom piece.  As a fourth grader, I was curious about things, but didn’t have the background in physics, nor did I possess the common sense required to avoid the seemingly, easily avoidable.  (Whitney has proposed to me recently, that not only did I never have common sense, but I also failed to ever find any…) 

      So in this situation, I thought that the container top fit so snugly inside of the bottom that it could actually withstand the weight of the Kool-Aid and would remain closed if I tipped it upside down.  Unfortunately, what I hypothesized (that the container lid would stay nestled into the bigger bottom portion even when forced to hold the added liquid’s weight) was incorrect.  However, learning did occur.  This science experiment taught me about potential energy and kinetic energy, one of Newton’s Laws, and about how sugar reacts to linoleum flooring.  To be clear here: The Tupperware container’s lid did not support the weight of Rock-o-dile Red Kool-Aid.  The experiment further illuminated that Rock-o-dile Red Kool-Aid spreads across a kitchen like oil does on water.  To be clear here:  One gallon of Rock-o-dile Red Kool-Aid has the ability to cover at 12 square feet of kitchen surface area.  In full on panic mode (see yesterday’s blog on my father as Satan), I grabbed the roll of paper towels and just started unrolling them onto the mess on the floor, counters, crevices of the stove top, under the fridge, everywhere.  I must have used two rolls just to soak up the Kool-Aid.  I felt like I had averted near disaster, and best of all my dad hadn’t happened upon me during the science experiment.  I was going to walk away from this unscathed.  I threw the soaked towels away, and walked away with satisfaction over my new found knowledge of science. 

      Hours later I heard yelling, and like a dog that had forgotten all about their earlier transgressions that walked right up to his owner when he discovered urine on the carpet, I wandered right to the point of the yelling hoping to see my sisters getting skinned alive.  Instead, what I saw next looked like the scene of a crime.  Red paper towels everywhere; did my dad actually just skin my sisters alive?  Not only that, but everywhere he walked his shoes were making this weird sticking sound like he was walking on glue.  I quickly saw that what was going on in the kitchen was somehow coming back on me.  I tried to slink into the background, but he saw it my eyes……fear. 

      I remember being held against a wall; I remember my dad’s voice; I remember that his index finger bounced off of my nose on every syllable as he repeated the following phrase over and over and over, “DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH A ROLL OF PAPER TOWELS COSTS, THEY COST A DOLLAR!!!!!”   I woke up seven days later with no recollection of the events that ensued after being pressed against the wall.

5.       I was nearly killed by a falling 32 inch television set.  This was in the 80s, so you know that the set weighed at least 70 Lbs.  To be clear here:  The set was probably built in the 70s, so you know that the TV weighed at least 100 Lbs.  More specifically, the TV didn’t even have a remote, so kids were often used as little remote controls.  But, in our house, my dad, who I have mentioned before as being wary of children, would not allow kids to touch anything.  Kids carried “magic sticky” and everything kids touched was contaminated and broken. 

      My dad cherished the television.  It was his baby.  We kids were there because my mom loved us and convinced my dad that we were worth keeping around; I am sure that she pointed out our potential for slave labor when we were older and stronger.   Out of protection for the TV, my dad placed it high atop a set of shelves to keep kids from ruining everything he worked so hard to get.  The problem with shelves, though, is that they form a ladder.  Being left alone to watch TV, I decided that I wanted to watch The Dukes of Hazard and see what trouble Bo and Luke were up to in Hazard County. 

      I began the climb to the top of the shelf.  The shelving, I shit you not, was like 15 feet high, and I expertly negotiated every shelf.  As I reached up for the TV, I made a couple of bad decisions.  As a child, I was curious about things, but didn’t have the background in physics, nor did I possess the common sense required to avoid the seemingly, easily avoidable.  (Whitney has proposed to me recently, that not only did I never have common sense, but I also failed to ever find any…)  I failed to understand gravity’s effect on human beings and televisions.  And I think more importantly than this, I failed to understand the distribution of weight across an object that extends vertically from the ground, more specifically, that the vertical object cannot have its heaviest point be off center and higher than midpoint, or else, said vertical object will tip over in the direction the heaviest point is pulling it.  (See Figure 1.1) 

  Figure 1.1, this photo is my personal property.  I spent hours drawing it 

      Needless to say, I reach for the TV and this movement sets in motion a horrible sequence of events that tells you my entire childhood in a nutshell.  Everything starts to fall.  I cling to the TV and pull it with me.  Halfway down I am now holding the TV pressed firmly against my head, at this point all of the lessons I needed to learn were learned, but unfortunately, there was no stopping this from happening.  I was falling, and this 80s TV was going to smash my skull in, and I looked death in the eye, and I screamed like a bitch.  When I landed, my head cushioned the blow for the TV, but I swear this is what I heard in the surround: 

Mom:  Oh my god, my son, he’s dead…..he’s dead, I know it.

Dad:  WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN HERE, OH MY GOD, MY TV, WHAT DID HE DO TO MY TV… 

Stay tuned to part three where I will do what I originally said I would do during this blog. I will finish my last two personal tidbits of information and recommend some terrific reading.    


Mom, I have a few confessions to make.