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4:52 a.m. - 2001-12-17

THE JOYS OF A SICK BABY

For those of you who only check this page out during the week, the good news is that I finally got a digital camera and have added some pictures to Andrew's picture page. The first nine or so were taken this weekend with our new camera. My favorite is the second one called "Hungover and Sick" because I was trying to get a picture of Andrew after his bath last night and I snapped the photo RIGHT as his face was all goofy and contorted. It's my son's first REALLY bad picture.

This also means that I will finally be adding pictures on a regular basis to the internet. So ... go me.

Andrew's been sick all weekend, as we all have been. Right now, I'm doing mouth breathing exercises in order to stay alive, because if I don't breathe through my mouth, I don't breathe at all. So I'm walking around the house like a caveman. At least I've got the insatiable urge to knock my wife over the head with a club until she's unconscious.


Saturday night we went to my office's Christmas party held at one of the girls' homes.

I knew we weren't going to be staying long because neither Andrew or I felt very good. Andrew was being whiny and fussy all day and I was probably pretty whiny and fussy in my own right.

We got to the party and Andrew actually let a total stranger hold him. Then we put him on the floor in the living room and he kept playing this new game where he lays face down on the floor perfectly still like he's dead. Maybe it's amusing to him, but I just don't get it.

So then he just starts crawling back and forth, making a little path from the front door to his mother. This kinda debunked my whole "The kid's not feeling well, we can't stay" excuse. We had just left a restaurant ten minutes earlier where he was in tears.

It dawned on me that he was having a good time at the party because he wasn't in a shopping cart, in our arms, in a high chair or in his car seat, which he had been for the last couple of hours. He was on the floor and allowed to roam for a while. So he was happy.

Anyway, we stayed there for about 30 minutes. The whole time I thought "Two years ago, this would be my scene. I'd be on my way to a rambunctious drunkfest with no child to drive home afterwards."

Now it's "Can't drink...don't want the hangover...kid's sick...gotta go."


Saturday night before bed, I took some Nyquil to help me sleep.

Sunday morning, I almost didn't wake up. I was elected the Mayor of Groggyville and as acting Mayor, I decided that it was in everyone's best interest to let me sleep until Wednesday.

However, when you have a sick little boy, those laws don't apply. You sleep when he LETS you sleep.

So I was up by 7 a.m., which is the latest I've slept in many months. Got up and dealt with the boy and his coughing mother.

"I'm not going to church today," I said as I poked myself in the eye because I had lost any and all motor skills.

"I'll take Andrew to Sunday School," Susie said. "You just stay at home and rest."

So a few hours later, my coughing wife and my crying son left for church.

I immediately felt bad.

Why, I don't know. Apparently Nyquil plays with your hormones and emotions as well as your head.

So I showered and got dressed for church.

I remember putting my shoes on. The next thing I knew, I was in the parking lot at church.

One of the elders of the church was standing outside, shook my hand and asked how I was doing.

"I'm soooo fucked up," I slurred, walking past him into the church.

I couldn't find Susie in the church because I was convinced she was wearing a red shirt when she was actually wearing a blue shirt. I had to ask Rev. Brian if he had seen her.

"Yeah, she's about 5'5"...blonde...wears glasses...," he said.

Very funny, God Boy. I'm about to hack up a lung here and you wanna get all Laurel and Hardy on my ass. Send in the clowns, don't bother ... they're here.

I stumble to Susie and sit down, hoping the room quits rotating once I sit down.

"What are you doing here?" she asked.

"Hallucinating," I replied.

About halfway through the service, we have a prayer request time where people ask for prayers for themselves, friends, family members or bums they passed on the street. It's my favorite part of church because it's almost like gossip hour.

"Please say a prayer for Jake Smith. He's drinking again and beat his kids up pretty bad with a rake the other day."

"Please say a prayer for my son-in-law, Ted who lost his job because he's a raging ass."

"Please say a prayer for Uncle Bob because judging from his demeanor, he's back on the white horse."

Hey! Wait a second here! I was never on the white horse to begin with, you gossip hounds!

Anyway, after everyone's aired their dirty laundry and gossip, we have a silent prayer for anyone who wasn't ballsy enough to admit that their family is full of screw-ups as well. So we sit there in stone cold silence for 60 seconds.

At second number one, I had the sudden urge to cough until my stomach came out my throat.

After ten seconds of suppressing this cough, I thought I'd lose control of my bowels if I didn't hurry up and cough.

At the twenty second mark, my eyes were watering like Tammy Faye Bakker watching "Bambi" and my face had turned beet red.

By forty seconds, I was making noises that sounded like a cross between a duck call and James Earl Jones farting.

At fifty-five seconds I nearly blacked out. My cheeks looked like I had stuffed several chipmunks in my mouth.

But dammit, I had managed to stay silent during the silent prayer.

At the 60 second mark, Brian says something along the lines of "We offers these prayers to you o' Lord" and then everyone says "Hear our prayers". Then the choir sings some real quiet song "Hear Our Prayers O' Lord".

NOBODY heard the choir singing, I guarantee it. I was sputtering and spewing and convulsing and hacking up internal organs I never even knew I had. I coughed so hard my lungs were bleeding. At one point, I saw several angels overhead, with handkerchiefs over their face saying "Jesus Man...knock it off already!"

But I got it all out.

After the service, we made a beeline to the nursery to see how Andrew was doing.

He was MISERABLE.

Why?

Because he had made a stinky. And the college girl in charge of watching him had NEVER EVER EVER dealt with a diaper quite like Andrew's.

"He's got diarrhea," she said as she pointed to shit EVERYWHERE.

I could tell it wasn't diarrhea. When you wipe your kid's ass every day for a year, you learn what is considered diarrhea and what is considered a soft shit.

This was a soft shit.

"Oh goodness, he does!" I said, trying to make this poor soul feel better about her amateur diagnosis.

Of course, Andrew's crying. First off, he hates to have his diaper changed. Second, he hates to take a long time to get his diaper changed. And third, he felt like ass.

It was almost amusing, had it not been my son. But the college girl had done her best job of changing him and there was still shit EVERYWHERE.

On the back of his new diaper...shit.

On his leg...shit everywhere.

On his clothes...shit.

On his hands...shit.

Rule number one...when you have a full diaper, remove it and get it AWAY FROM THE BABY.

Don't leave it on the table while you try to keep changing him. Babies flop and flail. They WILL manage to somehow find the diaper and roll around in it. This is what babies do. This is what pediatricians refer to as "The Challenge of Parenting". Parenting is a simple thing to do, just as long as you keep the kid away from his shit.

This is where the college girl screwed up. She allowed him to stay near an open diaper full of about six pounds of feces. Of COURSE he's going to wallow in it like a pig.

So Andrew's crying because he's now the Amazing Shit Baby. College Girl's about to cry because she has shit all over her hands.

And then the snot bubbles started.

As if a shit-covered baby isn't gross enough...when they turn on the Snot Factory, it's enough to turn your stomach.

Andrew's on his back, three people are now wiping him down, finding more and more shit on him and the biggest, nastiest snot bubble forms on his upper lip.

It's a shame I didn't have my digital camera. Because I'm sure the people at Guinness Book of World Records would have been interested in Andrew's feat.

I casually went to pop the thing with my finger before anyone else saw it and thought my kid was possessed.

I reached up there to flick the bubble away.

It popped.

COVERING the boy's face in snot.

Shit and Snot.

Shit and Snot.

My baby's covered

In Shit and Snot.

The majority of the shit and snot was wiped off of his body, I went to scoop him up and thought better of it. I held him at arm's length and we left the church in a hurry.

It was an interesting day.

May not sound like it.

But you take enough Nyquil to the point where you're seeing donkeys in tutus dancing jigs with your pastor and then try to make sense on why your baby's covered in mucus and feces.

Very interesting indeed.

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