This is a dad blog. My son is almost two. Both Mama and I work and we have a certifiably crazy dog. Do I need to explicitly mention it every time I’m exhausted?
I will say that I’ve reached shark fatigue–I’m so tired that if I stop moving, I’ll collapse. Here’s hoping that I don’t fall to the bottom of the sea to be eaten by bottom feeders, but only fall into a deep, uninterrupted sleep in which I only dream of sleeping.
Let me recap as best I can how I got to this point. I’m going to try to be temporalinear about this, but given my state of mind, it will likely be closer to something Burroughs might have constructed with sharp blade and a paste pot.
Also, there might be lots of cursing.
Which makes me nervous–but seriously, what doesn’t? The odd thing is that I seem to have no problem dropping the bomb at work, but when it comes to cursing here, I vacillate between the vernacular of a choir boy and a choir boy who dropped the baptismal font on his big toe.
But I digress.
As I was saying, at around 3 a.m. on Tuesday, some spatially challenged protosimian trucker with an overheight load ripped out the power and phone lines that stretch across the street at the bottom of our hill and pulled down at least one full utility pole and then drove off into the night.
Not that nobody noticed, however. By 4 a.m., it was hot enough in our place that not just Barky was panting, we all were. By 5 a.m., 3B was up for the day, which means that we were too, and that we needed to find a cool place for all of us to go–quickly. Fortunately, our local coffee shop, which has a play area with lots of toys, was open and had iced coffee ready. Unfortunately, in the five minutes it took us to drive down there, Barky managed to barf in the back seat.
After an hour of muffin tops and Tinkertoys, we went back home to clean up and pack up for our nomadic day. Once there, we realized that the same power outage that had caused us to sweat our tatas off for hours had shut down the hot water circulating pumps, so we only had cold water to shower in. Ice cold. Pumped-straight-from-a-melting-Arctic-ice-shelf-into-our shower-head cold. This crinked up Mama’s neck, preventing her from turning her head for two days. I refused to stand under that water, since I have a rather passionate dislike for cold water. Besides we want to have a second child soon.
We dropped the Barfmaster at doggie daycare, then Mama and 3B dropped me at work before heading to Auntie H’s place, where they spent the day with Auntie H and her son J, who is 3B’s best friend. Of course, since 3B was in a strange place, he slept for an hour.
Since he had refused his nap on Monday and was going to Mrs. K’s the next day, where he only sleeps for an hour in his highchair after lunch, we knew this meant that there’d be no sleep ’til Brooklyn. Or the weekend, whichever came first.
What goes down must come up
That night, I threw out everything in our fridge and then went shopping so Mama could attempt to catch up on the work she missed on insomniac Monday and nomadic Tuesday. While I was looking for pasta sauce, my phone rang.
“Everything’s fine, but how much salt do I give Barky to make him barf?” Mama asked … Plus ca change …
While Mama was in the back room, Barky broke into the food bag Mama took to Auntie H’s and ate a box of raisins and a package of tofu pups.
Mama had to hang up while she got the salt down Barky’s gullet. By the time I called back, the mutt still hadn’t barfed. However, my timing was good, so as I picked out eggs and milk, I got to listen to Barky hork out the contents of his stomach into our bathtub. And then I got to listen to Mama’s description of it and what it felt like to pick up and wipe up and…
I don’t recall what minor, oh-so-slight suggestion I made at this point, but I do remember that Mama replied that what she had just done was “f’ing genius” and that all she wanted to hear from me was “you’re a genius” and “thank you very much for saving us from another night at the vet.”
Have I mentioned that Mama recently pointed out that “f’ing” is her new favorite word? When she said this, I told her that I thought, from my vantage point, that perhaps “m’er-f’er” was. And no, I’m not abbreviating here–that’s exactly how she says them, because, you know, 3B’s all ears now. I can’t wait for him to ask for “some more f’in milk, m’er-f’er.”
So long as it’s grammatically correct and it doesn’t cause Barky to barf when 3B says it, I’ll probably cheer for him.
But I digress.
At least there was no consumption, sword or mildew
The rest of the week was a blur until Friday morning, when it became a fever dream, complete with a head-roasting, silver-bullet sweat inducing fever. Of, course this was the Friday morning that I was on daddy duty for Mama while she hosted her monthly project call.
I rallied myself, my fever, and my swollen, throbbing, burning-like-it-was-a-pilot-light-in-my-throat gland–the left one, thanks for asking…not sure why that one’s always more susceptible, but it is, like a little burning canary in the coal mine that is my throat–and headed off to music class at our local coffee shop with 3B, where we met Auntie H and J.
So, if next week, there’s been a laryngitis outbreak and nobody can sing, I guess that’s on me, but I did try to breathe as little as possible while I was there.
The class is a good time–toddlers clapping, stomping, banging instruments, throwing scarves, parents singing sotto voce, and everyone getting earworms stuck in their heads. Seriously, if you open my grave five years after I’m gone, you’ll hear Old King Cole come rolling up out of my coffin.
On the upside, they do use tracks from one of the They Might Be Giants discs we have, which 3B really connected with in class. Hopefully, he continue to groove on that song and their other songs at home. Those are earworms we can live with.
By the end of class, however, it was pretty difficult to live with my fever, so I brought 3B back to Mama, called in sick and crashed into our bed to sweat and sleep the day away. And that’s pretty much how I spent the weekend. My head felt like it was in a pizza oven and my body felt as if it was encased in a block of ice…and that never turns out well.
It doesn’t help that I’m, like many guys, a drama queen about illness, but I still stand by my initial diagnosis that I had a hemorrhagic fever.
By Sunday morning, I was well enough to get up at 6 with 3B and get his help unwrapping my Father’s Day gift. I can’t show it to you, but I can show you what it does, and through that you can see what we did with our morning, which managed to exhaust me by 11 a.m. After nap time, we went swimming in our pool, which was like bath water.
3B loved the water and loved the lifeguard, who he flirted shamelessly with. His best pickup line so far, delivered all of two feet from the lifeguard, while pointing at her: Want to talk to that woman.
I don’t think it mattered what he said, she was won over immediately, and flirted shamelessly back at 3B, who countered with demonstrations of his jumping prowess and his mastery of Wheels on the Bus and Pop Goes the Weasel. Mama and I both rolled our eyes at him…goes straight for the blond Russian lifeguard. I guess we should cut back on the Beach Boys tracks, eh?
After that, I was exhausted again, but I wasn’t the only one, so we all crashed for a long summer’s nap.
So, now it’s Tuesday of a whole new week, the fever is gone now, and the burning ember that was formerly that gland on the left in my throat is slowly cooling off and shrinking.
After everything that happened, the hardest part of this last week was walking out to go to work on Monday, leaving Mama and 3B behind. 3B now knows enough to say, “Daddy goes to work now.” But he also knows how to express himself well enough to say, “Want Daddy to stay home.”
It sucks to hear that in the morning, but as I trudged up the hill in the rain last night, Mama carried 3B out on to the balcony to wave. The feelings I had hearing 3B call down from the balcony, “Daddy come home” were only surpassed by the feelings I had seeing 3B come running down the hall to greet me as I stepped off the elevator.
What long week? There’s only now.