Prior to Ian’s birth, I was a bit…squeamish. Blood would make me shudder, needles would make me cringe, and an unexpected facelift on Discovery Health Channel would find me cowering behind Kelly’s back until she changed the station. Of course until Ian, the most repugnant experience I’d had was cleaning cat vomit from the livingroom carpet.
This all changed on 16 May, 2003.
When your wife is giving birth to your firstborn son, you tend to ignore things like needles and blood. There are more important things happening, and you can’t cower behind anything, let alone your wife’s back. She definately can’t change the channel.
This is a family show, so I’ll spare you the details. But after standing in front of Kelly, both of us straining and pulling on the twisted bedsheet between us – the most bizzare and wonderful round of tug-o-war I’ve ever played – I felt as though I could face anything. I even cut the cord.
Since then, Ian has been a lesson in ‘dealing with it’. Cleaning a little diaper overflow may be unpleasant, but it’s certainly better than week-old diaper overflow. Of course, it didn’t take long before ‘a little’ became ‘a lot’, but our options didn’t change. At my sister’s wedding, we had a baby-carrier full of unpleasantness and nothing to do but clean it.
I also once tried to be sensitive of other people. I still do, but Ian couldn’t care less, and he comes first. Recently at a restaurant in Kansas City, Ian couldn’t have cared less, and there wasn’t a baby-changing table in the restrooms, or even a counter. So we changed him on a couple of seats in the hallway. I breifly thought about the diners just behind us, but what else could we do? Frankly, Ian’s stench wasn’t condusive to eating, anyway.
Lately I’ve started to wonder if the tempering of my stomach hasn’t gone a bit too far. When Ian first began eating solid foods, it was easy to tell if he needed changing. People would ask and we’d reply, “If you’re not sure if he needs to be changed, then he doesn’t.” Now it’s gotten more difficult. I’ve tried to be smooth, surrupticiously smelling around his stroller, wafting with my hand like a Chemistry 101 safety poster. Now I just pick him up and put his behind to my face. Time is a factor, after all.
And shouldn’t my son’s throwing up on my head bother me, just a little? Salon Ian’s latest vomit-yogurt rinse didn’t phase me one bit. I just waited patiently while Kelly found a napkin, and smiled at my fellow Sam’s Club patrons, “Kids, huh?” He thew up on my head!
Oh, well. The least Ian can do when I’m old and gray is wipe the drool from my chin.