Have you ever done something with the best of intentions, only to realize later that it was probably the stupidest thing you’ve ever done in your entire existence? I have. Just last night, as a matter of fact.
A while back, I banished Sarah’s dad, my father-in-law, from my house because he made Tyler laugh before I could. I’m sure it’s a petty reason, and a pretty harsh punishment, but what has been done cannot be undone. Plus, the banishment only lasted until the next time he visited, so no big deal. It looks as if Sarah’s sister, Jillian, and her two daughters (L- and P- in this post) are going to be added to the list of people banished from my house.
Last Saturday, Sarah volunteered me to entertain L- and P- while her and her sister hung out for a few hours. I was frustrated for only a moment, and that was only because I was given about a 2 second notice that I’d be doing so. I got over it right away, because the girls adore me, and I rather adore them as well. I don’t know why they like me as much as they do though, because I never was much of a kid person, but I’m learning. P- is absolutely enamored with me. And L- just recently realized how fun and awesome I am. I could speculate on why they’ve become so attached to me, but not without being hurtful to someone who may or may not be in their lives. So, we’ll just simply say that I’m an awesome uncle.
I asked the girls if they wanted to watch “Monsters“, and they shrieked with delight. After that, we watched Aladdin, then Tarzan. I say that we “watched” the films, but we basically just had them on in the background. We paid attention to Aladdin because I hadn’t seen it in ages, and was pretty absorbed in it. The rest of the time, we played with toys and tickles. When Sarah came into the room to check on us, there were blankets, pillows, and toys EVERYWHERE.
I did have a scare when P- announced that she had to use the potty. I rushed into the kitchen, told them about the emergency and asked, “what do I do?”
Sarah and her sister thought this was the pinnacle of hilarity, while I failed to find any humor, whatsoever, in the situation. I had high hopes of an “I’ll take care of it, Joe” response, but I didn’t get one. Luckily, the whole ordeal wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be. I basically had to make sure she didn’t fall in, had to wipe her, and button her jeans up. Still, it won’t be making the cut on my “Best of Joe’s Memories” album, should one ever be produced.
You’re probably asking yourself, “Why would Joe possibly want to banish these lovely people from his house? They love him and he loves them. What gives?”
When they got to our house, the first thing L- and P- needed to do was have some dinner. As we were pulling chairs out, P- lets out a deep, mucousy cough and says, very innocently, “I’m sick.”
Need I say more? Wanna take a guess who’s sick now? Yes, Tyler. Wanna guess who else is sick? Yup, Sarah’s sick too. Care to take just one more stab at who else might be sick in our house? That’s right folks, all three of us are sick. Bringing sick into someone’s house should be a felony offense, punishable by death. I won’t be able to make that into a law until I am elected Supreme Chancellor (it’s close now. Very close), so banishment will have to be the acceptable alternative.
Needless to say, Tyler isn’t happy, Sarah isn’t happy, I’m not happy. He’s fussy when he’s eating, and has trouble breathing when we lie him down for sleep. He lets us know this fact by screaming and crying. Last night, Sarah asked me if we could prop his mattress up a bit so that Tyler doesn’t have to lie flat. This sounds like a job for SuperDad! I ran upstairs, grabbed two spare pillows, folded them both in half, and wedged them under the head end of Tyler’s mattress. I love solving problems. I get such a sense of accomplishment from doing so. It was a bit of a chore to get Tyler to fall asleep, but that’s what makes Sarah a wonderful mommy. After he finally dozed off, she put him in his newly modified crib and the boy slept until 7:30 the next morning.
Sarah called me to tell me the great news. I was so proud of my sloping mattress contraption. But then Sarah said, “I think it’s propped up to much.”
That’s when I realized that I had done something very, very stupid. Tyler, over the course of the night, had slid all the way down and was completely covered by his blankets, including his face. That’s how Sarah found him.
Knowing he was fine helped me get over the initial shock pretty quickly, but it’s been on my mind since then.
I can see it now. The headline would read, “Infant dies after father props mattress to near vertical position”. Then there would be a bunch of statistics about SIDS, and the various charges that the county prosecutor was pressing against me.
This really did freak me out. The thing is though: I should know better. If I read an article like that in the paper, I’d be all over the father, calling him an idiot and wondering what he could possibly have been thinking at the time.
I’m not the overprotective type. If Tyler falls down and bumps his head, I’m going to ask him what lessons he’s learned about gravity. If he scrapes his knee in the driveway, I’ll explain that when two substances are rubbed together, creating friction, the harder substance will always win. And when he inevitably follows in his father’s footsteps and falls out of a tree, I’m going to sit him down and ask him two questions.
“Remember when you fell down and bumped your head?”
Through his sobs, Tyler would say, “y-y-y-yes, d-d-daddy.”
“And didn’t I warn you not to f*** with gravity?”
My point is, I don’t think I’m being overprotective in beating myself up for making a stupid mistake. It’s done though, and I’ve learned my lesson.
I’m fairly certain that Tyler slept the entire night BECAUSE of what I did, though. He has a habit of getting his arms and hands out from under his covers every night, and always has chilly fingers in the morning. Before you suggest it, mittens won’t work; he’s a thrasher, and they’d just come off. Being trapped at the end of the bed, covered in blankets to the point of near-suffocation helped him stay snuggly and warm, so he slept soundly. Morbid? Slightly. True? Probably.