Have you ever been in the middle of a situation and wondered if you could have handled things differently? Like when you are sitting on the wrong side of a locked door with your two year old on the other side laughing at you; or when you are holding your kid with one hand and in the other hand is a handful of recently expelled vomit.... really could have handled these incidents differently...
I have mentioned in my previous blogs that my two year old recently became quite busy. Like someone threw a switch the day he turned two and now he is non-stop go go go. Along with this new level of energy comes new abilities. For instance, I found out the hard way that he can lock doors...
With all of the crazy weather we've been experiencing lately we have tried to enjoy every nice day that comes our way. One of these nice days David and I were playing in the back yard. We are lucky to have a really large back yard and thanks to the help of a few of my friends (MW, MD, BP) we have a nice deck too (quite a large deck). David loves to go outside and play in his fort and throw the ball to Jake. When we were done with all of this "fun in the sun" fun we decided to head in. Unfortunately for me, I was a few steps behind David. I went to open the door to the house and it was locked. David was laughing at me from the other side of the glass. I didn't have a key on me nor was April home to let me in. I tried in vain to instruct David on how to unlock the door but turning the nob the other way was not in David's repertoire. Luckily, I was able to go through the garage and get in the house. My other option was to call a neighbor that has a key. April found this story quite funny when I told her later that day.
Lucky for April there was another incident that she was able to witness. Same scenario as before except this time April was home and a few steps ahead of David. So it was just Daddy and Jake that were locked out in the cold when the door locking bandit struck again. Before April would let me in, she took the time to find her phone, take a picture and post it to facebook telling the world that I had once again been outwitted by a two year old... In my defense, he's really advanced.
Looking back, I could have handled that situation a little differently.
April and I have really been blessed with an easy child. He's really relaxed and from six weeks old he has slept through the night. We all have friends who have a child that won't sleep or won't stop crying... That is not our experience. So when David has that one night out of the blue that he wakes up crying in the middle of the night it usually means something is wrong. Two weeks ago April and I were woken up by a fussing baby. After a few minutes I decided (in reality my mind was made up for me by someone who is to remain nameless) to go upstairs in check on him. When I opened the door I knew something was wrong. Poor little guy was having a stomach situation and had thrown up in his sleep. So I picked him up to love on him and get him cleaned up when he started heaving. In my sleepy hazy mind I ran through my options and settled on a bad one. I could have let him throw up in his already soiled bed (just lean him over the side) or even on the floor. We have a rug that could be thrown in the washer pretty easily. But no. I settled on letting him throw up in my free hand. So here I am standing in my son's room in the middle of the night, baby in one hand and fresh vomit in the other. Fortunately for me there were two closed doors and an unreasonably high baby gate between me and a bathroom. I have to say, I felt pretty smooth when I got to said bathroom without spilling or putting David down.
David slept in my bed the rest of the night and I slept fitfully on the couch. You would think that I learned my lesson that night about using my hand to catch vomit... Not exactly. Once again, it seemed like the most logical place to put vomit the very next morning when David started at it again. For the record, hands are never the best place to put baby vomit. There are a few logistical problems, not the least of which is that your hands are generally not capable of handling a stomach full of vomit. There tend to be overflow problems.
So I wish after all of this I could say that I would do things differently, but the reality is I would still offer my hand as a vomit catch (really more like a vomit colander) to my son. In a heart beat. No questions asked. This doesn't make me special, just a Dad. It does not advance my standings in the "dad of the year" awards. It is just what dads do. And if my older brother ever reads this he would understand completely. Not because he has kids because he doesn't; but, because he one time offered a trash can to my oldest brother in the bunk above him to yak in, only to have him miss the trash can completely and cover him with vomit. I only wish I could remember the sight. Ever since then throw up never bothered him. Weird, right?