Archive for the 'Bathroom humor' Category

MVT (Most Valuable Time)

October 23, 2010

Andrew Hicks

I’m near the end of the glorious downtime that occurs only once in the daytime hours. Both babies are asleep. As parents know, an hour lasts 120 minutes when your kids are awake and 30 minutes when they’re not. So this is the most valuable time of the day for me. It’s my 1909 T206 White Border #366 Honus Wagner baseball card*, if you will. This is when I take my laptop outside and write this blog.

It’s another great day out, too. Even the faint smell of Liggett Lady’s secondhand smoke and the sound of her intermittent hacking cough seem to be harmonious with nature. Only the back issues of the Farmer’s Almanac will be able to say for sure, but I suspect this September and October have been home to the most beautiful days I’ve ever slept through.

This is the fourth day I’ve been getting around with a cane rather than crutches, and it’s been a major advancement for me. My in-laws are still taking good care of Sarah and Silas, for which I’m extremely grateful. Tiffany comes up on the weekends, too, but each day sees me resuming more and more of the responsibilities of caring for my own children.

Probably one more week of assisted-living exile, and I’ll be back at home, facing 45 hours a week of solo daddy time. I’m having to relearn old stuff and freshly learn new stuff. My body’s still healing, too, which leaves me feeling exhausted a lot more easily. It’s hard for me to resist sleeping when they sleep, and nap time is over far too quickly.

The naptime wakeup ritual has taken a strange turn this week. For four consecutive days now, sometime during her nap, Sarah has removed her pants and diaper. No poop episodes yet, but everything in her bed that could be peed on got peed on. Parents of kids older than mine have been warning me this would happen. And, yes, I had noticed Sarah randomly pulling her pants to her knees and then walking around with them like that, but I just figured it was because VH1’s been showing 8 Mile twice a day for the past month.

The potty-training days are drawing nigh. We’ve been watching the Elmo’s Potty Time DVD on almost a daily basis lately. Having seen “Sesame Street” with Sarah for more than a year now, it’s weird to watch their format be adapted to talk of poop, pee and diapers for an entire hour. Three quick examples:

  • A disconnected shot of a soundstage with twelve to fifteen preschool-aged kids standing around and all simultaneously announcing, “I really need to urinate.”
  • Lots of bathroom-themed songs, including one called “Dirty Diaper Blues.” It’s a decent rendering and all, but the great Elmore James recorded the definitive version.
  • When Baby Bear, the muppet character with the speech impediment, calls himself a “potty animal,” it sounds like he’s saying “potty enema.”

I’ve been more or less out of commission with Sarah since AB2KX**. She’s gotten better at her tricks. Sarah moves fast, she hides my cane when I’m not looking, and she frequently outsmarts me. After just one afternoon back on the job, I was ready to call local adult-contemporary radio and dedicate Sade’s “Smooth Operator” to my daughter. Some people count to 10 to get their anger under control. I get Delilah’s people on the phone.

Sarah is a really fun, warmhearted, loving little girl, and I treasure the time I spend with her. It’s been great to be able to play outside again minus crutches. Sarah likes me to pretend-chase her around the yard, and I can finally do it again. The ground is unlevel, so she kept falling down. I was moving conspicuously slow and unsteady and could never catch up with her. It was like we were reenacting a scene from a bad ’80s slasher movie.

Then we went inside, and I gave her cookies and let her eat the outside of a banana (pronounced “buh-mah-muh”), which Sarah insists is the tastiest part. I’m getting back into the swing of things.

*I just Googled a few “most valuable _____ in the world” queries, and that was the baseball card match. Several sites I hit first all proclaimed the most valuable thing in the world is “time.” Indeed, I wasted five minutes reading about the value of time and another five pondering the simple irony of wasting valuable time reading about how valuable time is. Then about 90 seconds typing up this footnote that no one in their right mind will read all the way to the end. Pickle shoes. Cinnamon and gravy.

**a.k.a. Ankle Break 2010. I’ve decided to get all acronymy on you. But aesthetically, especially with that double asterisk weighing it down, the phrase AB2KX looks like a hack-job. It doesn’t make me cool. Just Google AB2KX and see what I mean.


Sarah and Silas with my father-in-law Jim, our child-care MVP of the past month and a half. Thanks, grandpa!

Up all night, sleep all day

September 29, 2010

Andrew Hicks

I can’t expect him to articulate a response, but I bet if Baby Silas could tell me his favorite song by hair metal band Slaughter, it would be “Up All Night.” This kid is sleeping the hours of a rock star lately, and it’s probably my fault. The parenting books and magazines tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps. Great advice, if you disregard the fact that, in the first few months of their lives, babies sleep up to sixteen hours a day.

I’ve had body-clock problems that have left me on the Slaughter sleep cycle myself. I think Little Guy is just following my lead. My wife Tiffany said, “That’s an easy one. Just force yourself to stay awake all day so you can sleep at night.” Great advice, if you disregard the fact that I have a broken ankle and live in the bed. I can’t always resist the temptation to get unconscious. It’s like telling a polar bear to stay out of the snow.

I thought the silver lining of this arrangement would be that I’d be madly productive. No job to go to, no one around really. And I have gotten some good writing in, but I’m with this baby basically 24 hours a day. That actually does require a lot of work. Then, during my downtime, I have a hard time finding a fresh creative angle on, “We drank another bottle. He cried some. Just got the diaper changed.”

Well, okay, this is a semi-interesting diaper story. I had Silas on the bed today, out of his diaper, and realized I had no Pampers handy. I had to sprint-crutch out to the living room, and all I could find was one of Sarah’s Size 4 diapers. It turned out to be surprisingly effective, although when I put that oversize diaper on his infant body, I was reminded of those weight-loss commercial “after” shots where the newly thin person stands in their old fat pants to offer up stark contrast. (The Formula Diet, right?)

Same topic – lack of preparedness leaving you caught literally with your pants down. Minutes after the giant diaper, I sat down to use the bathroom and realized too late that there was no toilet paper. Bad feeling under ordinary circumstances, and ten times worse when on crutches in a largely unfamiliar house. Kleenex to the rescue, thankfully. My only other options would have been the white, downy bath towel with the high thread count and the shower itself. And you know what happens when you get the cast wet.

Slept all day, took care of Little Guy, encountered the above difficulties, then wrote about it extensively on Facebook. This brings us to dinnertime. My mom went on an epic grocery shopping trip before I got here for my five-day stay that’s now mid-Week 2. She hasn’t been grocery shopping since. The best groceries are long gone, the mediocre groceries are just about gone, and the Caffeine-Free Diet Schnucks Super Cola two-liter is bound to be cracked open any second now. After that? *shudder* Water.

My dead-of-night meal is assembled purely from scavenger-hunted odds and ends. For example: 1 can Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup + 4 ounces diced deli turkey + 1 can Rotel + 1 diced tomato + 2 Taco Bell mild sauce packets + shredded cheese + 12 crushed Saltines + cracked black pepper  = not half bad.

My mom, ever the MVP, has twice allowed me to spring on her at the last minute that I’m going out for a couple hours and need her to watch the baby. Terrific old friends I barely get to see have driven to my mom’s house and helped my temporarily disabled ass into their cars. Then, well aware of the ticking clock, we went somewhere close and quiet and found a dark corner where I could prop up the cast leg. And the laughter, fellowship and beer flowed – ever briefly – like it was 2002 again.

The first night, I grabbed an NTN trivia box, logged on as user Goiter, and butted heads with a trio of middle-aged men who were playing under a total of four screen names. Each had customized NTN avatars and brought their own reference material. My companions performed better than I did, but it was a fun time. I alone knew that Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald’s adult-contemporary duet “On My Own” came out in 1986.

I stayed out a little late the first time, but I was at home promptly at 10 pm the second time. It’s like being a kid again in a few respects. I can’t see the girl I love when I want to, for starters. She was texting me a couple nights ago about how she wanted me to watch the new “Dancing With the Stars” with her. She’s lonely watching TV, I’m a hundred miles away caring for a screaming baby. Both of us are longing for mundane normalcy. Tell me that doesn’t sound like a montage from “Teen Mom” with a tender Taylor Swift song playing in the background. All that’s missing is me having to do my geometry homework or something.


Sarah, Silas and Grandma Hicks