Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: Two of them? Really?

So most or maybe some of you know we are having twins.  If you didn’t know, well, we are having twins.  Read about it here, 2nd Heartbeat.  When we had Frank we waited to find out his gender until he was born.  It was going to be a little surprise.  It was such a surprise in fact that when they finally cut Frank out of the sun roof (c-section) the doctor didn’t say anything.  He was mute in-part because Frank was not breathing and was gray as ash, or whatever a good example of bad gray is.  They got Frank breathing in about 2 minutes and the nurse said to the doc, “Well what is it?”  He replied, “It’s a baby, what do you think it is?”  Love that guy.  He or his cohort will be delivering Frick and Frack.

Well finding out we were having twins was enough of a surprise so we decided to find out the sex of these two as soon as was physically possible.  In this case, since Tracy is still considered a high risk pregnancy we might find out by the 16 week mark.  I think the norm is around the 20 week mark.  Tracy is currently getting an ultra-sound about every 3-4 weeks.

We went in for said ultra-sound at the 13 week mark.  This was just to check the little carbon copies out, take some measurements and what not.  All was well.  That is until the ultra-sound tech said “Oh look at that.”  Look at what?  “Baby A doesn’t appear to have too much bone density around the pelvic area if you know what I mean.”  No I do not know what you mean, is this bad?  No it was not bad unless we were dead set against girls.  The tech was trying to say there was no support structure for male parts, indicating Baby A was a girl.  It never occurred to me to look for what wasn’t there.  I was solely concentrating on looking for the carrot and peas.  That’s why she’s the pro.

She gave the old caveat of it’s only 13 weeks, can’t be sure, don’t quote me, I’ve been wrong before, we’ll know better at the 16 or 20 week check, blah, blah, blah.  A quick pass over Baby B’s nether region first indicated a boy but it was really tough to get a good look, so nothing definitive.  Again this ultra-sound was not for finding the sex of the Bobbsey Twins.  However, I concluded Baby A must be a girl because she was hogging the ultra-sound camera and even gave a little Miss America wave.

Baby A. She's just relaxing and waving to the crowd.

So we went home, waiting for the 16 week ultra-sound to find out if Frank would be out numbered.  I had grown up out numbered so I know it’s not a big deal.  My little sister, Kathy, and I used to watch Sunday Night Wrestling at the Spectrum in Phila. on that old cable channel called Prism, we bare knuckle fought all the time, and had some of the greatest badminton matches in the history of the sport, followed by some of the greatest victory laps around the back yard by me.

It would certainly be easier with two more boys.  We have a bunch of clothes already, the toys are sort of male specific, but probably not too much, and ultimately I was hoping for two more since I was staying home with them.  You know you always get the question, “What are you hoping for?”  Well I have long hated the answer, “I just hope they’re healthy.”  Well who doesn’t hope for that?  I mean has anyone ever said, “I’m really hoping for gills and a dorsal fin cause we’re gonna name him Flipper.”  So the healthy thing is a universal given.  I answer questions put to me, and my answer was 2 boys.

The gleeful taunts to my answer were amazing.  There were several variations but all boiled down to “You’re going to have two girls, ha ha.”  I just wonder what would have been the response had I said, I’m hoping for two girls.  I doubt it would have been the gender biased retorts I’ve been getting.  Now let me say, this excludes my family.  I have 5 sisters and 2 brothers.  Of the 9 grandkids we have produced, all but one have been boys.  The family was getting pretty lopsided.  Even my father is hoping for 2 girls.

Well pop you get your wish.  The week 16 ultra-sound showed a definitive girl for Baby A and almost a definitive girl for Baby B.  So unless her B’ness grows a pencil between now and week 20, we need to come up with another girls name.

As my sister Mary Grace, the lone producer of the female grandchild Meghan said, “Girls do play golf you know.”  Right you are Mare.  Even a good friend who knows about these things told me college scholarships for women’s golf go unused, so if she, or they, are any good and the earth is still spinning on it’s axis in 18 years, they have a good shot of going to college for free.  So I got that going for me.

Meghan, hang tight girl.  Help is on the way.

Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: Out of the mouth of babes!

So it turns out kids say the wackiest things.  Well, actually, a lot of the time they are just repeating some of the wacky things they hear.  And let me tell you, Frank hears some wacky things around here.  Wether it’s Tracy yelling unmentionable things at the TV while her beloved Kentucky Wildcats are under-performing, or me just basically talking how I normally talk.  However, every once in a while they uncork a gem of their own.  Below is a mixture of the two instances, with a brief explanation of the context in which Frank made the remark.

“We are missing one mommy.”  This after coming into the kitchen and seeing me and Grammy (Tracy’s mom) talking with no sign of his mother.

“Frank has little tummy, daddy has big belly.”  Note the descriptor change to belly when describing my gut.  We were comparing tummies while putting on his PJ’s.

“Penis! That’s my penis daddy!”  Yes Frank, yes it is.  This occurred first during a diaper change.  I believe Grammy is the guilty party who taught Frank the correct name for his body parts.

“Hungry, Hungry.”  with a short southern pause between the “Hun” and the “gry.”  Got this after he first learned to speak.  It first occurred at 3 in the morning and in fact he was hungry as he ate a banana and a bowl of yogurt then promptly returned to bed.

“Daddy on potty, daddy on potty ha ha ha.  Bye bye Daddy.”   After he learned how to open and close doors on his own, bursting into the throne room that was occupied by me.

“Ta Dah” followed by a bow the most flamboyant broadway actor would envy.  He does this after playing something on his little key board, drum, or guitar, or after he’s knowingly done something he should not have and is attempting to avoid a spanking.

“Nose broken!”  After a stuffed nose woke him up in the middle of the night.

“I’m going to big bed.”  Dragging his blanket, his binker, and Lenny the Lamb down the hall to our bedroom at 3:00am after I asked him where he was going.  Why does this always happen in the 2 to 4 am hours?

“Missed the potty daddy, missed the potty.”  By several yards Frank, considering you are standing in the bath tub.

“I put a steamer in bath mommy.”  After his mother asked him what all the fuss was about up stairs.  I have referred to the contents of his diaper as a steamer* once, maybe twice.

It strikes me that I’m going to be talking to a lot of teachers and principals during Frank’s early school career.  Just have to figure out who I’m going to blame for a lot of what he says.

* The “Steamer” derives it’s name from the steam emanating from a #2 left in the snow or freezing cold by a dog.  I think it was a dog.  Some of my northeastern friends will have to weigh in on this.  I imagine the Urban Dictionary might have several definitions, most of which probably can’t be printed here.

Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: He’s still asleep?

So as most of you are well aware babies don’t generally sleep through the night after they breath the free air for the first time.  Now I know some of you have been blessed with children who start clicking off anywhere from 8-12 hours of sleep almost immediately.   One thing I have learned, and I’m guilty as well, is when little Johnny defies the odds, and all the rules laid out in all the baby books, by doing something like sleep through the night at 2 or 3 weeks old, everyone in that parents immediate circle will know about it.  Now thanks to social media like Twitter and Face Book even people outside the parents hemisphere will know that little Gertrud slept 10 hours last night.  Nothing wrong with that, you should trumpet it.  It’s like a small victory in the war against the sleep deprivers, or as some people call them, children.

Sacked out in the big bed. Wonder where daddy is sleeping?

Well, according to the baby books Frank was in the normal range when it came to sleep in the first 12 weeks he was free of the womb.  Which is another way of saying he was waking up a couple times a night.  I think it was literally the start of week 13 when he finally slept through the night.  We had gone to Grammy’s house in August.  We deployed with the normal equipment, including the pack-n-play.  I think it was our first deployment to Lexington since Frank was born.  We weren’t sure where to put his pack-n-play so he ended up in the bedroom with us.

Turned out to be a bad move.  I was pretty stuffed up and knocking the paint off the walls with my snoring.  I ended up sleeping on the couch in the living room.  Tracy can sleep through anything but Frank had never been in the room with us from the day he came home so I was not sure what his noise tolerance was yet.  Frank decided that would be the night to sleep 12 hours straight.  I woke up  around 8:30am feeling a little guilty about making Tracy get up with Frank during the night while I had slept the night away.  At least that’s what I thought had happened because no one woke me up in the wee hours.

After dragging myself off the couch I go into the bedroom to check on Tracy and Frank.  Frank is asleep and Tracy is passed out.  I figure she must have been up with him a few times during the night since that was the norm.  Tracy starts to wake up and almost at the same time we ask each other, “what time did you get up with him?”  Yeah that can’t be good.  I quick like, but quiet like, hop over to the pack-n-play and Frank’s just lying there.  I’m thinking he must be dead.  What other possible explanation could there be.  Great, we’ve had him three months and we fell asleep on the job and he bit the dust.

Then I saw his little tummy move.  Whew, that was close.  Prison orange just ain’t my color.  We both have a small fit of nervous but joyful giggles that Frank is in fact still alive and must have slept through the night.  Now some of you all have to back me up here.  After 3 months of not sleeping for even 6 hours in a row, when you get 8 or 10 as we did that night, you have no way of comprehending how it happened.  We had just resigned ourselves to the fact that we would not get 6 hours of sleep in a row ever again.  So we were a bit befuddled the first time it happened.

Scared the crap out of me bro!

Thinking about it now, I can’t imagine how I would have reacted had he slept through the night at 2 or 3 weeks old as some of our friends have reported with their kids.  I probably would have started thinking of ways to hide the body.  As it turns out, he did it again the next night and the night after that.  In fact after 2 and 1/2 years he’s still clicking off 12 hours a night and getting in a 3 hour nap in the afternoon.  Ooh.. I should post that to Face Book.

Clocking a few hours with pop.