Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: April brings birthdays, birthdays and……

…vomit, lots and lots of vomit.

As some of you know I have a big family and they all live in South Jersey.  Google Atlantic City and then move west four inches and you hit Mays Landing.  They’re all still there or in the vicinity.  I’m the only one who left.  I’m 1 of 8 children; 5 sisters and 2 brothers.  My brothers were born first, then 4 sisters, then me and then my little sister we affectionally call The Warden. I can’t remember if she was elected or self appointed to the position.  Of course once you take control does it really matter how you got there?

Anyway, with that line up it was a given that a lot of birthdays would congregate in one month, the only issue being what month.  Turns out it’s April.  Two of my sisters and both parents celebrate in April.  My mother happens to hit 80 this year.  The Warden decided on a surprise party and took control of the festivities.  Sunday the 21st was designated the big day.  Of course with me living in Knoxville TN, I would have to sneak into town under the cover of darkness and hide out for the weekend until the big moment arrived.

Hey old man, keep that mouth shut!.  Hehehe

Hey old man, keep that mouth shut!. Hehehe

Warning!! Vomit story ahead.  I repeat, incredibly demoralizing vomit story ahead.

So a few days before I’m supposed to leave for Jersey, I’m carrying my daughter up the stairs to get dressed and go out on the town; the mall in this case.  Halfway up she looks at me, opens her mouth and out comes a stream of puke, moving at the speed of sound, as thick as my arm, and aimed right at my face.   Being every minute of 45 years old, my reflexes were not as quick as I would have liked them to be, as I so desperately needed them to be.

My duck, dodge, and parry options were limited as I was on the stairs and holding my sweet, liquid death spewing, 1 year old daughter.  So I had to stand there and take one for the team.

My brain however, was in overdrive and screaming, CLOSE YOUR MOUTH!!! CLOSE YOUR MOUTH!!!.  My mouth was apparently sleeping.  But it got a wake up call in the form of undigested eggs and kid cereal.  The old throat was taking a nap too, cause….. I swallowed it.  Bear in mind it all happened faster than it took you to read that sentence. Never the less I’m not happy about my diminishing cat like quickness.  And just for kicks, the little varmint decided to spray paint the walls two more times before I could get her to the bathroom.  Surprisingly she had almost no vomit on her.  It was either on the floor, the walls, my shirt, and of course in my cake hole.

That story is relevant because it was the precursor for the impending cloud of sickness that would settle over our house.

Flash forward to Friday.  I’m in the starship Frankerprise (our mini-van), haulin the mail to Jersey.  It’s 10-11 hours of driving generally.  It’s pouring freaking rain.  I’m almost to Roanoke VA and I get a call from Mrs Frank’s Place.  It’s a vomit dance party back in Knoxville.  Even Grammy is down for the count.  Only Frank was able to escape the carnage.  Of course that walking petri dish probably infected everyone else.  So I had to turn back.  No surprise birthday party for me.  During the 4-hr ride back to Knoxville I could not help wondering why I wasn’t sick, seeing as how I took, and essentially ate, a direct blast from the bio-weapon that is my 1-yr old daughter just days earlier.

Well guess what, I was sick by the time I pulled into the driveway Friday night.  It’s now Tuesday midnight as I type this, so I guess that means it’s Wednesday, and I just started feeling better earlier today.  Dropped 4.5 lbs since Sunday so it wasn’t all bad.

Happy 80th Birthday Mom!

Birthday girl on the right.  1957.

Birthday girl on the right. 1957.











ODDS and ENDS    

We have a winner!

Jim Havens was the big winner of the Masters Week Contest.  He guessed correctly from the photos provided that Frank has switched from playing golf right handed to his more natural left hand.  Big Jim hails from Columbus, somewhere in middle Tennessee.  It’s a lot like middle earth, but less hobbits. I think.

Anyway I caught up with Jim at a Knights of Columbus charity golf tournament right here in Knoxville.  Here’s a shot of his elation upon receiving his prize, a golf ball commemorating Frank’s birth, with his length and weight (Frank’s, not Jim’s).

Congrats Big Jim!  Hit em straight!

Bet he lost it in a lake already.

Bet he lost it in a lake already.

This season's must have item!

This season’s must have item!