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Saturday, October 23, 2004  

Yep, Still a Dad

M. Tiny is over a week and a half old now, and he’s only going to get older.

I find myself spending a lot more time thinking about parenting, now that I am one. I’m ambivalent about what I know is to come. On the one hand I look forward to when he’s old enough to walk around and get himself to school and not have poo scooped out of his pants for him a couple of times a day and be fully cognizant of what a loser I am. And on the other hand, I’m not sure I ever want these days to end, the days when he’s not yet tipping the scales at five pounds and can’t quite lift his own head and is completely dependent upon us for everything.

I do know that if by some horrible fluke the future ends up being a combination of those two situations, somebody’s going to have some ‘splainin’ to do.

Now that I’m a dad, I keep thinking about the other dad I know best, i.e., mine. By the time he was my age, he had three kids. I have memories of him when he was my age. Thank God nobody seems to expect me to have things as together today as he seemed to back then.

I also remember mom when she was my age, and younger. She used to talk kiddingly about growing up in "the olden days," which made me think of a world that looked like Little House on the Prairie, except in black and white, when it was really probably more like Happy Days, although further out in the sticks. In a few years I’ll be talking about growing up in my own "the olden days" that looked like That 70’s Show, and M. Tiny will hear that and visualize, I don’t know, Xena or something. Hard to believe that Happy Days was on closer to the time it was set than the present day. I am old. Not as old as my parents, obviously, but old nonetheless.

One encouraging thing is that up until a week and a half ago, I was constantly getting older than my eventual child. Now that’s stopped. Now I’ll always be thirty-four years and ten months older than my son. The relationship between our ages is fixed. No longer must I wonder whether I’ll still be in my thirties when he goes off to school, or if I’ll be the only septuagenarian at little league games, or if he’ll move out of the house before I’m a hundred. Obviously that last one still depends heavily on where the economy goes from here, but the odds are declining a little more slowly.

I realize this is boring. I’m even boring myself. But it’s inevitable. Parents get boring. Just ask their kids. Why fight it?

Seriously, I’m constantly thinking about how time stretches out before and after me in new ways, now that I’m no longer the youngest generation in my immediate family. When I was lying in the back of the ambulance the other night, waiting to die, I thought, Well, at least the line will continue without me. Except my brain was all fucked up so it ended up coming out more like Shim sham it refrigerator pelican seven and of glow. Which, to be honest, probably translates back as Oh, fuck, I’m going to die. But still.

I don’t know. Maybe I figured that trying to get all philosophical for an entry would be more interesting than what I really want to write about, which is how amazed I am that someone who’s only been on earth for eleven days can already be getting a personality. They change fast at this age, you know. Eleven days ago he was a blob of protoplasm in a Plexiglas tank, his head misshapen from its journey down the birth canal so that from some angles he looked like an H.R. Giger creature. He didn’t object to having his eyes covered because he still wasn’t used to the concept of sight (let alone the concept of objecting to things). And now that same wee human is focusing on our faces, vocalizing to communicate, and spitting formula at us to let us know he’s full. The undifferentiated blob of ten days ago is gone forever.

Again, barring some horrible fluke.

I’ve heard parents say that their kids do something new every day, and I’m starting to believe them.

It’s looking like a couple of more weeks before he gets to come home, and thanks to help from a lot of people, we’re more prepared than we were. But there’s still a lot to do. For instance, now that I’m a dad I have to redesign this page with Family Circus fonts and characters, and I have no idea how long that’s going to take me.

Today’s best search phrase: "Trash Burger King Television Pity." I think they’re actually looking for this.

posted by M. Giant 6:10 PM 5 comments

5 Comments:

Boring? I don't think so.

Thought-provoking and poignant? Much more like it.

Jennifer

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 24, 2004 at 6:42 AM  

Not boring at all, I hope you keep us updated with how the little person is doing and what it'ss like to be a father.

Congratulations!

Dan

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 24, 2004 at 8:04 AM  

I have to confirm that you are most certainly not boring. I LOVE reading about this journey you guys are going through. It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling!

By Blogger DeAnn, at October 24, 2004 at 2:13 PM  

i don't know you or your family, but most days i feel like i have a connection with you, b/c of the way you write. please don't ever think that you are boring. possibly b/c i want a family of my own, but i laugh and cry and worry and have evil grins right along with you.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 24, 2004 at 6:18 PM  

So sorry to hear about the migraine! Keep us posted on M. Tiny's progress. Your Auntie 5280.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 25, 2004 at 8:56 PM  

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