The Dog and My Mother In Law

I am entertained.  This is like a Shakespearean play put on by monkeys and directed by a 4 year old.  This is like discovering that your regular old Internet has been replaced by Google Fiber overnight and the first thing you do is illegally download every crap movie you ever wanted to watch including the directors cuts of movies that you know have great boob shots.  I would pay Broadway prices to get this level of entertainment too.  But I don't have to.  I am in my living room.  I am sitting back with Bacon Hoss laying on my chest.  I am not watching TV.  I am not reading a book.  I am not even surfing for porn.

I'm watching my mother in law argue with the dog.  Again.

My mother in law has been in town the last couple of days to help with the new baby, something that I very much appreciate.  I have been able to sleep through a whole night now and once, I got to sleep in too.  I would murder anyone of you just for that right there.  No offense, but with new kid comes no sleep so when my mother in law offered to help, I nearly cried.

Everything has gone pretty smooth so far and I am happy.  But I am getting much happier as my mother law argues with the dog.  Seriously, this is gold.

"Khan!" she yells.  "Get down!"

The dog, of course, does nothing.  He's a fucking dog.

"Down I said!"

I think she thinks if she points out that she said it that he will somehow understand it.  He does not.  He eats poo when I let him outside and licks the pee off our other dog.  He's gross and I think gay, but we love him.

"Khan!  You are in my spot!"  my mother in law informs him.  I'm not sure she understands how this works.

She wants to sit on the couch with my wife.  When eventually she gets there my wife and her will get a blanket and snuggle in for the night.  I will pass over the new kid and happily head to bed.  But not before this show is over, I'm hoping for an encore.

There are several things that make this extremely funny to me.  First off, this is the same argument that she has had with the dog yesterday, the day before yesterday, the evening of yesterday.  She will have the same argument tomorrow morning, the day after tomorrow and probably in her dreams when she is back at her house.

In her first argument I pointed out that all of my dogs come equipped with a handle.  It's a harness collar that I keep on both my dogs, the fat one and the pretty gay one.  Now Khan is 60 pounds of muscle but he's a big wuss.  I love him for that.  Looks great, scared of his own shadow.  So I informed my mother in law that all she had to do was grab his harness and pull him off where ever she wants to sit.  In fact, I have told her this in the first 5 arguments that she has had with the dog.  I don't think she believes me.  I could help, but to be honest, I'm enjoying this.  I did try to help  Just grab the harness, that's it.  Grab and a small tug and he'll do all the rest.  It's the same advice I give my wife.  That has meanings and multiple levels.

I don't know why she hasn't listened to me but thus is life and sometimes you just need to sit and watch life.  I enjoy it.

"Khan!  Down!  Down! Down!"   He still doesn't move.  I'm about to start laughing but that would be rude and probably ruin my fun.  "That's my spot Khan!  Down!"

This is another mistake.  She thinks that this is her spot.  I hate to disappoint her, but it's not, at least not to the dog.  The dog lives here everyday and he goes to 2 spots, either the couch or my chair.  His decision is based on which one I'm not sitting in.  He's knows that I am the alpha in the pack so he will kindly take second fiddle.  The only time he doesn't is when we all snuggle up together and I do enjoy that.  Three kids and a dog makes for a happy life.  This makes for an entertaining one.  My mother in law doesn't seem to realize that to the dog, this is his spot.  That he was here before her and will be here after she leaves.  In his mind, and no disrespect here, she is below him on the pack food chain.  I would tell her that but then she may not let me sleep anymore and I like my sleep.

"Rouse!" she says and points at him.  "Rouse!"

This almost breaks me.  You see, when my wife was younger and had dogs, my mother in law taught them the word "Rouse."  It means down or go, I'm not sure which.  Somewhere along the way she has assumed that all dogs must know this magic word even though I have never, ever taught them what this word means.  I thought with their behavior she would figure out that they don't speak English much less German.  Most of our communication with the dog is not verbal.  I snap my fingers and point alot.  They promptly ignore me.  It's a relationship that works well for us.  However, my mother in law continues with "rouse!"  The dog stares at her some more, because again, he's a fucking dog.

Now I know that my mother in law will think that I should teach them the word rouse.  And I should teach them not to get on the furniture, or jump on people, or not to drink out of the toilet.  She probably considers me a very weak dog owner and she would be right.  However, I am completely ok with this.  I love my dogs.  I think they are awesome.  I love the rough housing.  I love the snuggle time.  I love that every night when I go to bed he jumps up there with me and gets right on my side, right where he belongs.  I love that he knows when I need a lick, that he knows steak is hands down the best food ever.  He loves me, unconditionally, all the time.  He's earned his spot on the couch and I am ok with him there.  He's my dog and I love my dog.

"Down, rouse, out, off, get, dog!"  She continues.  I wake up Bacon Hoss just so he can see the reenactment of Hamlet going on over here.

Eventually, the dog decides that he has had enough of this person screaming random things at him.  He jumps down and gets on the floor.  My mother in law sits on the couch and grabs her Ipad, finally victorious.

Soon she realizes that she has forgotten her glasses and gets up to retrieve them.

The dog quickly jumps back on the couch.

I smile.  I am entertained.  I wish I had a bic that I could now light and hold in to the air.   


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. 


Noise, Noise, Noise

I want to write.  It is my intention to write.  I sat down with the plan to write.  I have taken some time off over the last 6 months.  I haven't written much.  It's not that I didn't have much to say, I had plenty to say.  But I had to go into the fox hole my brothers.  I had to hunker down and concentrate on life.  I had to find a way to make it through some obstacles, jump some land mines and keep my head down.  Sometimes I took shots, sometimes I dodged.  Mostly, I just tried to keep my wits and come out the other side.  I did.  And I feel good.  I've got everyone here.  I've got every one safe and happy.  I am ready to write again. 

Except it's not quiet.  It's  very loud.  It's always loud.  It will never be quiet again.  I have sacrificed quiet.  I have given it up.  Coming out of the fox hole I discovered a land riddled with noise.  It begs the question, was it like that before and did I get used to it or is this something new?  I don't know but that fox hole is looking pretty good.

I am in my chair.  It's 12:30 at night.  I have something that I think will be funny, a nice little story that ends with me being awesome.  Those are my favorite type of stories, the ones where if enough ladies read them I'm sure I will start getting panties mailed to me.  I am the blogging version of Mick Jagger, if I can only get this one funny story out. 

Bacon Hoss decides that this is the time to start crying.  No big deal, this is third time around for me.  I was ready for it.  And for some reason, he doesn't seem too loud to me.  It seems that Little Hoss was way louder when she was a baby or maybe I was just a parenting noob getting owned by my daughter.  That's possible. 

I pick Bacon Hoss up.  He likes to be held and I like doing it.  No worries.  He's still a bit fussy but I can still write while I bounce him at 12:30 am.  I've got mad parenting skills.  I may juggle cats next, I'm that good. 

The TV is on though and I am starting to notice it.  It bothers me a little bit.  Not much, but just a little bit.  It's reruns of The West Wing.  My mother in law and wife have been watching them this first week home.  Hossmom can't really do much so TV has become her friend.  She feeds Bacon Hoss, she watches TV, feeds Bacon Hoss, watches TV.  But combined with my son crying the TV is starting to be a distraction.  There were no distractions in the fox hole.  I look at what I'm writing and apparently Iran is working on a hard water reactor.  This is used in the making of plutonium, very bad.  I do not know why I wrote this as I don't do much with nuclear reactors but it's in there.  It's in there because Josh Lymon has been talking about it on the West Wing. 

The TV is on because my mother in law is in town giving some much appreciated assistance this week.  However, she can't go to sleep unless the TV is on in the background like it is back at her house.  I believe that she has a sleep timer on her TV.  I don't have one on here.  I curse my stupidity.  My good looks often get in the way of my brain.  That and my extreme narcissism.  She is sleeping on the couch because that is the only place we have a TV.  Hossmom has some principle about no TVs in bedrooms.  I almost divorced her because of this. 

My mother in law, who's help is appreciated, is snoring during the West Wing and Bacon Hoss fussing.  Not loud, but enough that it is noticeable.   Maybe I wouldn't have noticed it if things would have been different, but currently I am comparing her snore to my wife's. 

Hossmom went to bed at 9.  She's tired, it takes a lot out of a person creating life.  I wouldn't know, I only supply the genetic material then head to my fox hole where it is safe from criticism and judgement.  And it's quiet.  Since Hossmom isn't to spry after a c-section I have the baby monitor on so that I can hear her upstairs should she need anything.  The last thing I need is her coming back down stairs and popping a stitch because she needed a glass of water.  That would not be good and something that my fox hole cannot protect me from.  

Since the baby monitor is on, I can hear Hossmom's snore.  Although she and her mother might get a little miffed if I call them "snores".  So let's call them the sounds that a gorilla makes while it is being eaten by a crocodile that is being raped by a seal.  I have never heard that but I imagine it is something like what these two beautiful ladies got going on.  It's like whale song just not relaxing, beautiful or awe inspiring.  It's terrifying.  And distracting.  Toby Zieglar has decided to weigh in on the heavy water thing. 

I want to write.  I have things to say.  I have experiences to relate.  I have victories to document.  But at the moment it appears that I am in the worst movie in the world but it has great surround sound. 

I feel like the Grinch when he complains about Whoville because of all the "noise, noise, noise!"  It occurs to me that the Grinch wasn't an old green shitheel.  He was just a blogger trying to get something down on paper.  He's really misunderstood, that's all. 

I could head down to my fox hole. I could find it again, maybe if I looked really hard, like Die Hard.  Maybe I could throw in some movie one liners such as "I'm never coming back!."  Something like that.  But to do so, I would have to leave the serenade of snoring played over a baby fussing backdrop.  Besides, I kind of want to know what Barlett has to say about this water thing.  I'm also starting to think that if I listen to all the noises together at once and for long enough I might be able to get some sort of message that is being transmitted to me. 

I think it's saying to me that the answer is 42, I just don't know the question yet. 

TV Remote

The TV remote doesn't work.  I am on this shit.

After 9 months of basically having nothing to do, now is my time.  I have sat quietly on the sidelines, sometimes wearing underwear, waiting to jump into the game.  Hossmom has carried the ball for 9 long months.  Now it's go time, the big boys have been called up.  The hospital remote for the TV isn't working and I'm about to take control.

Hossmom can't get it to work which is a pretty big deal in the hospital.  There isn't much to do when you are confined to the bed.  You can read which is a bit difficult when you have an 8 pound dependent latched onto your chest 90% of the time.  You can prank call other hospital rooms asking those patients if they left the refrigerator running but honestly that can get old after a few hours.  So it's back to our good old friend the TV and hers doesn't work.

Or I should say that it doesn't really work for her.  For me it would probably work fine.  Hossmom doesn't respect the remote.  She constantly abuses it by making it turn to stations that contain fashion shows or young people arguing.  Sometimes late at night I can hear the remote weeping and I understand.  When I finally get around to turning the channel to football or explosions I can feel it vibrate with delight in my hand.  I'm assuming the hospital remote committed suicide.

The hospital remote isn't like a normal remote.  It weighs in at a healthy 9.8 pounds which a full pound heavier than my son.  It's got about a dozen buttons that do absolutely nothing at all.  I am assuming they are just for show much like a peacocks feathers.  There are 2 buttons that actually do work, they turn the channel up and down.  There are number buttons of course but they never get used as no one knows what stations are on the hospital TV.  I believe that hospitals use no cable or dish network known to man.  There programing comes streaming in live from dimension 9.  That's why ESPN is usually found only in Spanish and right next to the movie channel that is blacked out.  There are no volume buttons because that would be silly.  The volume is controlled by a dial on the side of the remote, kind of like a walkie talkie.  It's so we can adjust the volume on the actual remote itself as the sound comes from there, not the TV.  Niner good buddy type of remote design.

The remote is also not wireless because that technology is beyond us.  I am currently typing in my room where I am not directly connected to the Internet.  I have a cordless phone next to me that I use to surf the net and look at porn.  In my wallet is a card that I use to pay for things, this card knows exactly how much money Hossmom has and how much I can use before she notices it.  It is possible for a man in space to actually read what I am typing at this moment and the NSA probably is.  But the hospital remote cannot be wireless, that is beyond our abilities.

However, as I examine the remote, I don't think this is truly the issue.  I see the remote is plugged in using a very long cord.  The cord runs the length of the bed and connects to the wall where it's plugged into some sort of extra special outlet that conforms to no other outlet I have ever seen.

The only reason for this is that now the hospital can declare this remote medical equipment and thus charge me double for it's use.  On the itemized bill it will say a "CBC Count x1008" which stands for Changing Bitching Channels 1008 times.  I will be charged for each time we change the channel.  Perhaps this remote can also read my bank account and has discovered that we cannot pay for any more channels.

Working with technology for my whole life has taught me one very important lesson.  If something doesn't work, unplug it.  Deprive it of the life giving energy it needs, make it suffer.  Let it know that you are fully in control and that if doesn't get it's act together, you will take away that energy forever.  It's a cruel game between master and servant but one that must be played.

So in attempting to fix the remote and become once again useful to Hossmom, I unplug the remote from the wall and then plug it back in again after a second or two.

I admit, I expected something to happen but I did not expect what actually did happen.

Within 5 seconds a nurse kicked in the door like she was raiding a meth house.  In one hand was a phone (cordless, interesting) and the other hand contained some medical looking equipment, probably expensive.  She seemed a tad bit out of breath, like she was running.

I stood there with the remote.

"What's wrong?!" she asked.  And she didn't ask this in the normal sweet nurse way that is trying to show you sympathy.  She asked in the way that suggested that I better give answers quickly or be given a shot of arsenic.  I just stood there with the remote.

As I was trying to formulate an answer another nurse barged in.  I would imagine that this is her back-up.  She is probably the one that was told to go around back to make sure none of the perps got out that way and finding that we hadn't, proceeding into the room.  "Whats the matter!" they say again.

I stood there with the remote, I looked at the remote and I looked at them.  I have done something but I'm not entirely sure what.  I have gained the power of summoning through some freak of nature, perhaps through radioactive mutation, and have summoned two very serious looking nurses.

I couldn't not say something, everyone was looking at me.  My wife was looking at me with the look that says, WTF man!  My son was looking at me.  Bacon Hoss doesn't have a whole lot of experience with me yet and I feel that if I continued to just sit there his impression of me would start to dwindle.  I can't have that.

"The remote doesn't work" I say very calmly and like I intended this to happen the whole time.  I have stated the reason why they were summoned and I have said in such a way in that I expect to have answers.

"I unplugged it because it didn't work.  Then I plugged it back in to see if it would work.  It still doesn't work."  I have a told a story now with a strong central character, an obstacle and a climax.  I should charge admission when I summon nurses.

The nurses look at each other but only for a second before the phone rings at both my wife's bedside table and in the nurses hand.  On the hospital itemized bill this will be shown as the "jackass fee".   The nurse answers it.

"We are fine." she says.  "He just unplugged the remote." she tells the phantom judge on the other hand.  Oddly, she sounded kind of smug from where I was sitting.

It turns out, the nurse explains, that the hospital remote also serves as the "Code Blue" button as well.  It's apparently hidden in there somewhere next to the useless channel buttons and volume control.  When the remote is unplugged it also apparently turns this button on which causes any nurse within ear shot or at the control station of dimension 9 to come running.  They then call to further add to your humiliation if you are not having a heart attack.

"The remote doesn't work" was the only thing I could think to say.

The nurses calmly ask me not to unplug anything else and that they will have maintenance come up and take a look at the remote.  Then they leave and I can hear them muttering what I assume are very unflattering things.

I turn to my wife and calmly explain that see, if you unplug it and then plug it back it, eventually it will get fixed.  I stand by my actions. 


The Oompa Loompa Suit

I ripped the fucking suit.  I didn't just rip it, I destroyed it.  Hulk smash type of damage here.  It's not intentional but it's sometimes what I do.  It's where my daughter gets it from.  We don't mean to break it.  We just do.  Wicker anything is not allowed in my house anymore.  I tell my wife that and she keeps bringing it in.  There is a wicker graveyard in my basement of all the brave chairs, baskets or ornamental wicker things.  However, ripping the suit should not fall completely on my shoulders.  It appears to have been made for a small child not a grown man about to walk into a delivery room to witness the birth of his child. 

 I have been told that when you give birth naturally, no c-section, you don't have to wear the oompa loompa suit.  I have been told that the magic of childbirth is all rainbows and unicorns.  That it is a beautiful thing, an act of creation.  I'm pretty sure that is bullshit because after going through three births, none of it contains the beauty that some people like for us to believe.  Those people are either lying through their teeth or are hitting some pretty hardcore mushrooms.  I want mushrooms.  I have never tried them but perhaps it would make child birth a beautiful thing.

In reality though, child birth is hardcore.  It's blood, screaming and bodily fluids.  It's a pain contest with the grand prize of more pain.  Don't get me wrong, I understand that giving birth to a child is indeed a miracle, the creation of life and the very act itself showing the resiliency of the human body, all miraculous.  But it's dirty and it hurts.  Perhaps seeing 3 c-sections has skewed my view and I fully accept that criticism.  Every time I've done it I've been advised to "not look over the curtain" and every time I have.  I can't help myself, I do want to see the miracle, I want to see my child come into this world, welcome them with a triumphant yell.  I do not however want to see my wife cut up with her placenta being inspected like a piece of steak at the market. 

And the only thing protecting Dad is an oompa loompa suit that I have currently ripped because I am fat.

It's a suit that I imagine painters wear.  A one piece majesty of paper construction with a zipper in the middle.  I find that I get a nice case of moose knuckle when I've worn it, something for the nurses to stare at and get destructed.  Yes, that is my package ladies, that is what has caused all this gore and mess.  I can't imagine the man who can actually fit in this thing nor can I understand the designers who said "Let's make it out of paper!"  Someone is having a good laugh.

But it's the only thing I got and right now it's a good distraction for what I'm about to walk into.

I should be good at this but I'm not. I'm never good at seeing my wife in pain.  Her labor started on a Friday night and went for a good 2 hours before she finally got a spinal block and went into the operating room.  For those two hours she screamed and yelled.  She squeezed my hand harder than I thought she could.  It's rare that my wife can cause me any physical pain but by the end of it I was asking for some Oxycontin and an x-ray.

People may also say that Dad's role is important, that we are there for emotional support, solidarity for team birth.  I again call bullshit.  I feel completely useless when we go into labor.  I am the guy in the corner.  I am the guy that is pacing back and forth.  I am the guy that is full with worry because there is absolutely nothing I can do to ease my wife's suffering.  I want to punch someone.  I want to find the cause of her pain and show them real pain.  I want to put someone in a headlock and hammer away like I'm Nolan Ryan wailing on Robin Ventura.

But the only guy to hit is me, it's my fault, I have done this and I have done this out of love.  If I had any sense I would be the guy sitting in the corner punching my own junk repeatedly while singing ballads of love for my wife.  That's about the best you can do as a father in this situation.

That and gladly take any abuse that your wife throws out at you.  Halfway through Hossmom yelled "Give me your fucking hand!"  My had was right there, it was always there, never more than an inch from her own.  But in her pain she couldn't find it and it was my fault.  I completely accept this and I have no complaint because she is right, this is all my fault.  One of the hardest things I have ever had to do is watch my wife in so much pain and not be able to do anything about it.  There is no one to threaten, no one to intimidate, no one to put the hurt on.  There is only the oompa loompa suit that you wear in the shame that you deserve.

My suit ripped at the crotch and the zipper is busted.  I can imagine it's from my impressive muscular frame and I'm going with that image because I have a very misguided high opinion of myself.  Once the bottom of the zipper busted the top decided that it didn't need to strain anymore either.  So it busted.

Now I have something external to focus on, something to attack, a problem that needs to be solved.  I am going into that operating room regardless, I would like to see anyone stop me.  I am a father, I will be there for the birth of my child.  I am Conan, I am the creator, I am the unmovable object.  I stride forward three steps before I am stopped by 5 foot nurse.

She commands me with the ease of a woman who has authority and has done this a million times.  She sees my false sense of myself, understands that it's the only emotion that I can latch onto while my wife is in pain.  She tells me that I can't go in with a ripped suit.  Suddenly I can't move and I don't know why.  All my strength leaves me.  My wife is in there.  My child.  I am made helpless with worry.  I realize that I am wearing a child sized suit because I have the emotional control at the moment of a child.  I accept it very quickly.  I'm scared and I'm helpless and I don't like it.  I am rarely scared for myself, it's for my family and my inability to help them that terrifies me.

Quickly and like magic she pulls out the man sized suit that she has had hidden in some other dimension.  She puts it on me with the practiced skill of a thousand dressings.  She ties me up and sends me into the delivery room.

There is my wife, no longer screaming.  She is smiling, she is crying.  I smile although she can't see it through my mask.  I am relieved that I am with her.  She is my world, without her I am nothing.  We talk.  I try not to look over the curtain where my child will soon be coming.  I am trying to reassure her, I am making corny jokes to ease the pressure on both of us.  I tell her I ripped my suit, that it was made for a dog sized duck, not a tough man like me.  She smiles.

At 1:44 am, we both hear a cry, a yell of triumph from my child.  The nurses poke a head over the curtain, we both look up.  We both see my son.

Covered in white chalky goop he is there.  He is yelling, he is announcing his self to the is world.  And as tough as I think I am, as I pretend to be, I lose it.  I try to hold the tears but they will not be held back.  I tell Hossmom again that my suit is ripped.  He is healthy, he is gorgeous, he is mine.

The act of childbirth is hard.  It's bloody and it's messy.  A child is taken and introduced to a world that for all he knows is cold and hard.  And for the most part, I am inclined to agree with him.  But then you see your son for the first time, you hold him, you look at your wife that showed you what true strength is.  And you realize that the act of child birth may contain no beauty, that the coldness of the world is immediate.  But it's a family's love that covers it with warmth, immediate and unconditionally.  That is the beauty of it.

I now know people will want to know what we named our son, the conqueror of the uterus.  We didn't know if we were going to have a boy or a girl.  It was a mystery to us until the moment of birth.  Hossmom had been reluctant to pick a boys name.  About 5 seconds before he was born, I asked my wife if perhaps we should go ahead and pick out a boys name, just in case.  She actually agreed.  Maybe it was the drugs.  So we did, we named our son 5 seconds before he was born.

As you can imagine, he will be a part of this blog which has turned out over the last 6 years to be a family diary.  I am pleased to introduce everyone to Bacon Hoss.  May he cause me many gray hairs and be a constant reminder to me about where my strength comes from.  It comes from them and it always has.  Hossom, Little Hoss, Bubba Hoss and Bacon Hoss.  Daddy loves you all more than I'll ever be able to say.    


I Don't Know Why

Please don't take this the wrong way but I would gladly mow you over in my car.  And as you careened off my hood and your face stuck to my windshield like a bug you would not see the deranged smile of a lunatic who has gone off his meds.  Instead, you would see just a man who's eyes communicate his panic, his desperation.  You would then understand that it is nothing against you.  That you just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, that you were an unseen obstacle, a complication not considered. 

You would forgive and if you ever heard my story you would do the same thing should our positions be reversed. 

At the dinner table, Hossmom says nothing, she is silent.  Her face betrays her sadness as much as she tries to hide it.  Her fingers trace the outline of her plate, her fork tilts as she passes it.  Her glass is empty as she gazes at the light that comes through it.  Complicated patterns that seem divine, that seem to match her complicated mood. 

She looks up and stares at me.  She sees a man and notices that he has the cold sweats brought on by the unknown and the yet to come.  She sees the seeds of panic behind his eyes.  She sees the concern and also the terror in his face, his sweet stupid face.  Her anger rises but she cannot yet give it voice. 

Timidly, I ask her "What is wrong?"

She hesitates, almost embarrassed by her answer but she is compelled by an unknown force to give it. 

"I thought we were having hamburgers, I want a hamburger" she says, her voice getting stronger as each word passes her lips. 

Me, the man, realizes that he may have unwittingly doomed us all.  I'm so sorry, so very sorry. 

Tonight's dinner was supposed to be hamburgers.  A Hossman original recipe flavored with steak sauce and just a hint of dill.  They are quite good.  However, at the last minute, I changed the menu that my wife was expecting and apparently craving all day.  Instead, we are having chicken kabobs, another original recipe.  Apparently, it was the wrong one. 

Hossmom seems close to tears, I am close to being out of my mind.  I have ridden the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy for nine months.  We are at the end, so very close.  I have weathered every storm and apologized more than a politician on a Appalachian trail hike.  I have leapt over landmines, I have dodged thrown dishes, I have gladly taken the blame for everything that ails the world.  And yet, it's not enough.  There is still more to do.  I can hold it together for one more week, sweet Jesus just one more week. 

A burger, I will go get her a burger.  I tell her this but it does not seem to make her feel better, it makes her even more angry.  She asks why I changed the menu, how could I be so thoughtless and cruel?  I explained that we had to cook the chicken before it went bad.  She does not hear my reply and I don't know why I say it anyway, it does not matter.  My pregnant wife wants a burger, I must obey or we are all doomed. 

I tell her it's not a problem but now she says she feels bad, the last thing I want. She says that she will just eat what I cooked but then she looks at the dog.  In her head, she thinks the dog looks sad and I know that any minute crying may start.  I can make no sense of any of this but when could a man explain the emotions of a pregnant wife?  I plead with her.  I tell her corny jokes.  Hell, I even do a goofy dance just to see if I can get one smile from her while I gather my car keys.  I have debased myself to one liners and humiliation just to stay the tsunami that I fear is about to breach my walls. 

This is why I would mow you over in my car.  You understand, it's nothing persona right?  It's just that my pregnant wife is about to murder me in my sleep.  And god help you I am the last thing that stands between you and her weird cravings.  You are expendable, I am necessary for the good of us all. 

I try not to understand any of this anymore.  I just know that if it doesn't get done then my night is in for a world of shit.  She will sit on the couch after dinner and silently plot my destruction.  She will start finding reasons to correct me.  I missed a piece of paper that's on the garage floor when I picked up, how could I be so cruel?  I didn't wipe the soles of my shoes off after coming in the house, how could I be so cruel.  I didn't dust the back of the entertainment center, the kids aren't kid enough, the dogs nails aren't painted, how could I be so cruel?  Remember that time in college, 15 years ago, how could I be so cruel?

So to avoid this I run to my car and I may have to run you over.  I get the hamburger, exactly like she wants it and I hand it to her with trembling hands.  I fear that the slightest misstep and I will accidentally hit the launch button of her nuclear moods.  She takes it quickly and has dinner.  I sit silently at the table with her awaiting the outcome.  I pray. 

"Thank you honey" she says and she smiles.  A worldwide collective sigh can be heard.  Disaster averted.  I am not hero I'm just a man who wants peace. 

Hossmom goes to bed at 8pm, she says she is tired.  She kisses me on the head, I cringe expecting her to blame me for being so very very bald.   She goes to bed. 

Later that night, I am enjoying my well earned peace.  Perhaps I am thinking about the poor guy that I had to run down.  I am watching South Park.  I admit, it's immature and childish.  It's stupid and dumb but this is what I need.  I need mindless, I need not to think.  I need to zone out and relax.  I hear Hossmom coming down stairs. 

"I can hear that stupid show."

I laugh.  I am an idiot.  I should be better at this now.  "Sorry hun, I will turn it down." 

"No!"  she says.  "Turn it off."

I don't know why she is bothered by me watching TV.  I don't know why she is bothered by the what I am watching when she is not around.  I don't know why I couldn't just put in headphones.  I don't know why she couldn't close the door.  I don't know why this seems important to her.  I don't know why me watching TV by myself has anything to do with her.  I don't know why..................       I suppose I don't need to know why, perhaps the only smart decision I have made today.

One more week.  One more week.  Just one more week.  I can keep it together for one more week.