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6:06 a.m. - 2001-11-28

I AM THE WORST DADDY IN THE WORLD

So last night, Susie gets home with the baby. She nurses him, he gobbles for about five minutes and acts like he's done.

"Can I go to a meeting?" she asks.

"Is this another crack whore meeting?" I respond.

She has no idea what I'm talking about because the whole "crack whore" thing is an in-joke that I only use here in this journal that she doesn't read because she's too busy out whoring for crack.

I remind her that she didn't come home until 9:45 on Monday. She was going to be out tonight and Friday night. Whenever she's spends a week of rushing around to meetings, study sessions and crack whore seminars...she gets sick.

She assured me she wouldn't get sick if she could go to this meeting. I told her to make sure she mopped up the excess semen before she got home and gave her my blessing.

Which meant another evening with me and the boy. Yes, it's becoming par for the course.

So as soon as Susie leaves...he gets all whiny.

I try holding him. Whine, whine, whine.

I try feeding him. Whine, whine, whine.

I try playing with him. Whine, whine, whine.

I change his diaper. It's what we in the biz call a "stinky".

At least he stops whining.

So I change it and take him back out to the den.

For some reason, his "stinky" lingers.

I can't figure it out. But the boy smells like shit.

I check his legs, his feet, I cram my hand down the back of his diaper. I find nothing that would continue to make him stink.

We play a bit and he whines.

The one thing...the ONE THING that makes him happy is standing on the sofa, facing the wall behind it.

He stands up and hugs the sofa where your back would normally be. He walks the length of the sofa and then walks back.

He's having fun. More importantly, he's stopped whining.

I take the opportunity to put his toys in his toy box. While he's preoccupied, I'm going to do some quick cleaning.

Naturally, he's standing on the sofa and is only one year old. So I don't get too far from him and don't take my eyes off him.

For safety's sake.

I pick up one of his baseball caps. Rather than put it in the toybox, I decide to throw it in a nearby basket.

I turn my head for TWO SECONDS.

At the most.

It was probably just one second. But time stopped at that moment.

The next thing I knew, there was a thud.

And my baby boy was lying on his back on the floor.

I thought to myself "He's not crying. He's okay."

Then...the scream came.

I scooped him up, patted his back and told him I was sorry about 1,815 times.

We paced the house together as he cried and cried and cried. I kept thinking "concussion". My little sister had a concussion when she was a toddler. She fell into the corner of the TV set and had to be rushed to the hospital.

He was lifting his head up, kicking and didn't seem to be sensitive to the touch when I stroked the back of his head.

I told him that he would never fall off the couch again because I wouldn't allow it. He already knows how to get off the couch by himself if he wants to get off the couch. But he's never fallen backwards off of it.

So I let him cry for about 15 minutes. Then I sat down in the recliner and rocked him to sleep.

I debated telling Susie that it had happened. Her whole reasoning for going to see my parents with me is that she doesn't think I can take care of the kid.

I think I can.

I mean...I thought I could.

Now I'm not so sure.

She finally came home and I told her we'd had a "bad night". I told her what happened.

She was cool with it. It's like I told her "He just wouldn't quit playing with his toys all night long." She acted like I hadn't even said anything.

I've gotta give her major props. If I came home one night and found out the baby had fallen off the couch and landed on his back while in her care...she'd have about a hundred questions to answer.

Maybe the fact that the den was cleaned up overruled the fact that our baby had to suffer pain in order to achieve cleanliness. I dunno.

But I felt like shit.

He's cool with it though. After his bath last night (the stinky had gotten on his shirt, which explains the lingering smell. Not a large glob, but just enough to make him stink all night), he wanted Daddy to hold him. So I held him and kept apologizing for the fall of 2001. Which apparently he had already forgotten about.

Maybe it was the three shots of Baby Tylenol I gave him right after the fall.

The world may never know.

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