Breaking Point

Hossmom was screaming as she held onto my neck.  I was afraid she was going to pass out on the way to the couch.  This would not be good because she had her guts cut out 3 days before.  Walking when in pain, it turns out, is very difficult.  I wouldn't know of course as pain is something that is to be defeated and shunned.  I may have cried a bit when I had my kidney stone.

Hossmom has been through more than I ever have in the last week and that does include 2 kidney stones and playing 1/2 season of highschool football with a broken hand.  I think I know pain but what I know may not measure up.  The initial guy reaction to me is to take off my belt and tell her to bite down, to take it like a man.  I have tried little cliche's like this on her in the past and it does not work to well.  I usually end up cussed at and water bottles are thrown at my head.  I want to say "walk it off" but I know better.  Where as boys have grown up hearing this from their fathers, including mine, women have not.  They are told to express themselves and on the way to the couch Hossmom is very certainly expressing herself.

I am a bit worried because I don't know what exactly is causing her pain although I may have a good idea.  The wonderful world of child birth leaves you with many marks and bruises that don't heal over night, including a c-section scar.  I tell Hossmom that we have to make it the couch though because if she falls here it's going to hurt a lot more with me picking her up.

While Hossmom hangs onto my neck, Bacon Hoss is in my other arm.  I carry him like a football in my previously stated broken hand, long since healed.  He, it turns out, is not happy.  He is hungry and like any newborn, hunger equals mad.  I find that holds true into adulthood as well.  I'm not sure which is being louder at the moment, Hossmom or my son.

Little Hoss and Bubba Hoss have to be in the action as well.  They are very concerned and show that concern by asking lots of questions.  I am normally ok with this.  Answers counter fear, the unknown breeds it.  It's just hard to hear them over the other two.  Together, as a family, we are about as quiet and subtle as a herd of elephants moving through a downtown traffic.  For grins and giggles and because life is funny, I do hear something fall and break in the kitchen.  I figure it's my perfect ordered world that has shattered.  The good times are over, it's time to hunker down and bite on that belt.

I get Hossmom to the couch.  I tell her that I am going to give her 10 minutes before calling the doctor.  She protests but Little Hoss's questions drown her out.  Yes, momma is going to be ok honey.  Dad is here and Dad owns this.

I take Bacon Hoss upstairs.  He needs a new sleep sack as he appears to have puked over his current one.  He also needs a new diaper for I'm pretty sure he dropped a load for me on the way to the couch.  I tell Hossmom that if she is not feeling better by the time I get down, it's hospital time.  We head upstairs and the two other kids go with me.

I put Bacon down to change him.  I take off his diaper and discover yup, poop city.  I have had a lot of experience changing diapers.  I consider myself an expert.  If there was a contest for fastest wrapping of poo holes, I'm pretty sure I would be nationally ranked.  I do it with flair and style as well as I usually smack talk my children while I do it.  I am Conan, conqueror of the dirty diaper.  Your wailing of terror will not send me fleeing little one for I am to change your diaper and so I shall!  Prepare yourself, justice is coming.  I amuse myself a lot during the day.

As I am cleaning up Bacon, Little Hoss is asking me questions again, lots of them.  Why is the baby crying.  Is that poop?  Poop looks gross.  I can still hear mom.  I assure her that her mom is going to be ok and that poop is indeed pretty gross.  I'm still in high spirits.  I am Conan.

I see blood on the side of my sons leg.

As a man, we are taught that any blood coming out of anything in the underwear region is bad.  It's very bad.  It's syphilis bad.  Blindness and a very painful erectile test is sure to follow.  As you can imagine, I am concerned.  I need to find the source.  We have been home for only about 2 days at this point.  The circus has started.

I tell my daughter to go check on her mother and as I do I look over at Bubba Hoss who seems unfazed by the little excitement we have going on.  This is not unusual because there are bright lights on and he loves him some bright lights.  It's not that he doesn't love his family it's just that he may love his Skylander toys more.  I accept this, I love my son no matter who he loves.

But what I notice more is not that he seems unconcerned with all the yelling but that his entire upper lip and lower jaw is covered with blood.  It's looks like he is preparing himself to have a dinner date with Hanibal Lector.  The Skylanders are of course invited.

My son gets the random nose bleed from time to time.  When they do come they gush and he rarely knows when they happen.  It's good times when you are at the store and he's walking on and you look down at him and see a monstrosity staring back at you.  At first you think he must have killed an entire sorority before you realize that it's just another nose bleed.  The other people in the store think you have just broken his nose.  Those looks are priceless.  I'm sure they would vote for me as dad of the year.

I imagine this is the Cosmos testing me.  I have a screaming wife, a worried daughter, one son with blood in the diaper and one son that is gushing rivers of blood.  If I considered myself normal, I wouldn't be laughing right now.  I would be on the floor in the fetal position wondering what the fuck.  Then I would calmly cover myself in peanut butter and go lay out naked in the front yard.  On a side note here, this is my long term plan for when I do crack.  I do not know why peanut butter and the nakedness but I enjoy the visualization of it.  It does strike me is funny which is why I"m probably laughing now.

Well that and there was a time when I almost did crack, seven years ago.  Little Hoss had just come into our world and it was late at night. Hossmom was in pain and turns out she needed her gallbladder removed.  The kitchen was a mess, we had no bottles and I'm pretty sure the dog took a shit on the floor.  At that moment, I came as close as I ever have.  I went outside and took a pacifier and chunked it as far as I could and yelled "fuck" very loudly.  I'm sure my neighbors appreciated me very much then as it was around midnight.  But I gave myself a pep talk, much like I did when I broke my hand.

Pain isn't an option, quitting isn't an option, bitching about it isn't an option.  There is no one else.  There is you.  You are Dad, this is your world and in your world you are the only thing that is between destruction and chaos.  He are the pillar that must stand against the crashing waves.  In short, don't be a pussy.  Nut up.  Take that belt, bite down hard and take it like a man.  And as corny as all that sounds, it's something that has gotten me through every difficult time since then.  My football coach would be proud.

I didn't crack tonight.  I have been here before.  I know this, I own it.  I'm not going to crack, I'm going to man up.  I'm not going to become Chester the deadbeat, I'm fucking Patton, time to take control.

With one foot I kick a towel that was on the floor to my son.  Where did the towel come from?  Anyone with small messy children can tell you that a towel is always on the floor, always, somewhere.  You usually get your boots caught up in it while carting laundry and wonder how you missed it in the first place.  In short, I was not surprised that there was a towel on the floor at my feet.  I tell him that he's got a bloody nose.  I tell him to lay down and wipe his face then put the towel on his nose.  He does it on the first try.  He doesn't complain, he doesn't ask questions.  He comes through, I am very proud of my son.

I tell my daughter to go ask mom how she is feeling and then to report back.  She is my recon.  I am giving orders and they are being followed.

I go back to my other son on the changing table, my hand on his little chest.  I look at the blood on his leg.  There are no marks, scratches or puncture wounds.  I check the appropriate orifices.  All good.  I check his junk.  I see a small red smear and realize that the blood is from his recent circumcision.  It appears that the diaper stuck to it a little bit where the Vaseline was rubbed off.  He appears fine although he is still screaming.  But to his credit, I don't know a man alive that would scream if his dick was bleeding.  He should be screaming louder.  I am proud of him as well.  I gooped him up, put a diaper on and do a Bacon wrap.  He's good to go.

Little Hoss reports back.  Mom is feeling better.  She says she burped.  My girl is on her game, a fine first lieutenant.

I scoop up Bacon and tell Bubba Hoss to stand.  I scoop him up in my other arm.  We head downstairs with Little Hoss clearing the way of any dogs and Charlie.  We go to the kitchen, and I put my son in a chair with instructions to lean his head back.  The bleeding seems to have stopped and he is smiling and laughing.  He always laughs and I love it about him.  I grab a bottle and shove it in Bacon's mouth, he stops crying.  I hold it with my chin as I grab a wash cloth to wipe up my other sons face.

We go to see Hossmom who is now smiling and feeling better.  We would find out later (I did call the doctor) that gas pain is not unusual right after pregnancy even though it's our first time experiencing this to this degree.  Easy fix to, stop drinking out of straws.  Sucks for Hossmom as she does this all the time but the burp that wouldn't come has convinced her.

Little Hoss is now watching a cartoon.  Bubba Hoss is next to her and looking fine, just a little red tint on his jaw.  I let him keep some of the blood on his face like war paint, a reminder of the war we just walked through.  Hossmom is reading about some celebrities doing celebrity type things.  Bacon is asleep after his little snack.

And me.  I'm just fine.  I didn't crack.  A younger me may have, most surely would have.  But younger me was at least smart enough to realize that I am the one that must stand up when no one else can.  It's a hard lesson that may take you to some dark places, but it's the truth.  I am calm in my chair, my family is fine and I think to myself "I'm going write about this and it's going to be epic."  This helps feed my over inflated ego.  But in the dark times, I need that ego.  He's the one that bites the belt and takes it like a man.  I'm proud of him too. 

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