Since the inception of TRS in 2000, I have written about life "on the road". By plane, train, or automobile, I tell the story of trips; but the real story in each one is about the journey, not the destination. On March 15th, 2008, Daddy's Little Speed Bump was born. 21 months later, Speed Bump Number Two arrived. I thought it fitting to create a place, with a Road Scholars theme, to share this new journey.

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Sunday
Jul062008

Mommy Doesn't Know Everything

 

Yesterday, Kaitlyn celebrated her sixteenth week of life and she’s already following in her father’s footsteps. Here’s a summary of her travels and experiences so far:

  • Two minor league baseball games
  • Lyndon B. Johnson Lake
  • Southern California
  • Austin and a tour of the Texas Capitol
  • San Antonio Riverwalk
  • The Alamo
  • Fredericksburg, Texas
  • First airplane ride
  • First emergency room visit
  • First ear infection
  • First laceration

That’s not even including the time she spent in Europe while in the womb. We’ve had our share of good times so far, and a small dose of trauma.

We traveled in late May to California to have Kaitlyn baptized. We returned with an ear infection that earned us a trip to the emergency room with a fever of 104. If you want to see a new mom freak out, show her a thermometer that reads 104. Another way to make a new mom freak out: show her blood. This afternoon Jen was trimming Kaitlyn’s fingernails and accidentally missed one and hit the finger instead. All ten are still accounted for, but there was enough blood drawn to cause a stream of tears and a moment of hysteria. Kaitlyn cried a little too. If nothing else, these little incidents serve to remind mommy that she’s not alone, and she doesn’t know everything.

When we first brought Kaitlyn home from the hospital, she barely weighed five pounds. My wife was literally afraid to touch her. I’ll admit, it was hard to get a handle on something that small, especially since it liked to squirm. One of the nurses referred to Kaitlyn on her birthday as a "little jelly bean". For at least the first two weeks of Kaitlyn’s life, I was the go-to guy for just about everything. I even tried breastfeeding once. It turns out mommy does know a thing or two about that one.

I changed Kaitlyn’s first diaper. I bathed her for the first time. After she ate, my wife would hand her off to me to burp her. At bedtime I was the one that swaddled her. When Kaitlyn was fussy and nothing else seemed to work, daddy came to the rescue because daddy watched The Happiest Baby on the Block about four times, once in slow motion. I was useful. I knew things. Then over the last four months, something happened: my wife became an expert…on everything.

Now if I sit with the child, mind my own business, and she starts to cry, my wife can’t hold back her expertise: turn her on her side, pat her bottom, she needs to burp, she needs to crap, sit her up, lay her down. It always ends the same way: GIVE HER TO ME, which is like the triple dog dare of parenting. It’s not just the words, it’s the tone. It’s the same tone she uses at the end of an argument when she says “fine”. “Fine” at the end of an argument does not mean everything is fine. It means, “fine, you're sleeping in the tub". That’s the tone I’m talking about.

To compensate, I like to think I go the extra mile with the little things I do still know. For example, I always seem to be qualified to change a poopy diaper, especially if I've been hiding at work all day. No problem, I embrace it. I treat changing poopy diapers like an Olympic event. Mommy sometimes takes five or ten minutes to change one. She must be buffing the child's ass because I can get it done in about 60 seconds. Of course, according to mommy, I put the diaper on wrong most of the time.

A few weeks ago my wife asked me to change Kaitlyn's clothes. She already picked out a dress for her to wear and laid it out on the bed. I was honored. The outfit my wife picked out was a little dress with all snaps. I set Kaitlyn on top of it (after changing her poopy diaper of course), put her arms through, and snapped it up the front. I carefully double-checked her diaper to make sure I’d met all of mommy’s requirements, then triple checked that I had all the snaps lined up properly--apparently that’s a big deal too. After a thorough inspection, everything looked good. Kaitlyn even had a smile on her face. I proudly marched to the living room. My wife took one look at us both, shook her head, and told me the dress was on backwards. No gold medal for that event.

I’ve thus come to cherish the little traumas, when I hear "do something" instead of "give her to me". When the fever hit 104 it was daddy that drove to the hospital and daddy that carried the little girl into the ER while mommy parked the car. Today, when mommy cut off the child’s finger, it was daddy that calmed her down; then I calmed the child and put the band aid on.

By the way, daddy still does most of the bathing. Mommy hasn't mastered THAT yet!

 

 

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Reader Comments (1)

LOVE reading the new speed bump baby blogs Sean! Enjoy every minute with Kaitlym, they grow up so quickly. And yes, being a Mommy myself, we do feel we know most everything! What would we do without the Daddys tho, they are the rock that holds it all together.

July 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJudi

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