Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Head Trauma

"I'm innocent!"

One of the unexamined hazards of co-sleeping with your infant is what happens when the child wakes up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 5:30 a.m. while you are still struggling with higher cognitive functions, such as how to blink. I can tell you, the result isn't pretty.

Case in point, on J's very first Father's Day, LO woke up smiley and excited to greet the day. He pushed himself up on all fours and scuttled over to his Daddy, hoping to share his lovely mood at being awake on a beautiful day. J was still asleep. LO reached up toward J's face, presumably to give him a gentle pat. Instead, LO grabbed J's septum and squeezed, using the pincer grip he has perfected on myriad hapless blueberries. J, who is prone to them, immediately erupted into a nosebleed. I then showed off my incredible compassion and remembrance of the importance of Father's Day by shouting "Don't bleed on my quilt!" ("My quilt" being the handmade wedding quilt I made for both of us, although it still only gets the singular possessive in moments of high stress).

We were able to staunch the bleeding with no lasting harm to quilt or Daddy. J went back to sleep while I took LO downstairs to start on the Father's Day breakfast of blueberry pancakes. (LO's pincer grip was quite useful there).

I am of two minds about LO's very first Father's Day gift to his dad. On the one hand, head trauma is never a laughing matter, unless it is happening to someone else. Then, of course, the next question is how LO can possibly top this gift next year. A black eye? A head butt? When you've drawn blood the first year, it's very difficult to match that level of gift intensity without starting to bring in weapons, which of course LO will not be allowed to play with for at least another couple of years.

Then, there is a tiny little part of me that is jealous. For Mother's Day, LO gurgled adorably and went with me and J to pick out my new running shoes. I received no head trauma, no bites, not even mild bruising. Why does Daddy get the special treatment? Will I get a loving kick for Hannukah, at least?

Father's Day was rather low key at the B house this year, nosebleed notwithstanding. J only asked for beer, a great steak, and some time to play with his big boy toys in the garage. So after a long, lazy Sunday, J, LO and I sat down at our picnic table under the pergola with a T-bone that was grilled to perfection. Halfway through the meal, LO gripped the tray of his high chair and started grunting.

"The kid's taking a dump at the dinner table!" J exclaimed.

LO finished his business and gave us what can only be described as a shit-eating grin.

"How else was he going to top the bloody nose?" I asked J.

After I cleaned up our little subversive and brought him back outside, J and I realized that LO's gifts to J this Father's Day would be considered pretty rebellious in 20 years. And in 15 years. And in 10 years.

5 years from now, we'd still probably consider it relatively reasonable for the child to draw his father's blood and poo himself at a family dinner.

So LO, get your jollies in while you can. It's a limited amount of time before you're responsible for your actions, and then what will you do for Father's Day?

I hear that neckties make for nice gifts.

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