Tag Archives: Aunts

A Baby Is Born . . . via Text Message

The first text came in around 9 pm.

The grandpa-to-be needed to update the family on what was going on.

K is in hospital waiting fur the baby to come. She has been there since one this morning. They are about to give her an epidural and then try to speed things along. Will try to keep you all up to date if I can keep my eyes open. 

This was grandpa-to-be’s first blood grandchild and to say he was elated would be an understatement akin to saying Mount St. Helen’s got a little burpy back in the 1980’s.

I’m sure that this is nothing new to the older relatives of children being born these days, but the sense of immediacy and connectedness that this engendered was amazing to me.

Way back in the old days when I first blessed this world with the spawn of my loins, things were a bit different. And I don’t say that just because of all the dinosaurs roaming around.

My dad was the only grandparent who lived out of the state and so we had to call him in advance and let him know we’d be inducing our first born on a certain day. That way, he could plan ahead and be there when his first grandchild came into the world. Everyone else we delayed because we didn’t want our entire family in the delivery room.

We had to plan. Then, once the proto-Sarcasmo was born, the only people who knew what he looked like were those who came to look at him directly in the face and be blinded by his astonishingly good looks.

Non-immediate-family had to wait until we had taken the first of approximately 7 gillion pictures of the boy, had said pictures developed at a local photograph store, picked up said pictures and then mailed them out to interested parties. It was weeks before everyone we cared about knew that we were parents, much less had seen the little dude.

This time, though, it was like we were in the delivery room with the AlmostMom is smiling because the epidural has kicked in real nice and she's feeling no pain in the delivery room as she works to birth her first baby.beautiful mother, older sister, smiling dad, amazing aunts and gobsmacked grandparents.

We received pictures via text message and then e-mails with more pictures and even a video or two. It was a connected birth the likes of which I’ve never experienced before.

Say what you want about the intrusiveness of modern communication, how cellphones and computers and the internet are forcing us apart from each other and into hiding behind screens of glass, but there are definite upsides to this.

Not only did I know that Scarlet Jane (also christened Baby Jake by her grandpa) was born, I was able to look into her adorable little baby eyes and see her mother smiling back at me, the same adorable face I’ve known since she wasn’t even a teenager.

Thanks, Grandpa and Grandma, Auntie L and all the rest for your great updates. Thanks for showing us how it’s done here in the 21st century. And welcome, Scarlet Jane.

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Put A Little Love In Your Life

Yes, dudes, it’s Valentine’s Day. I sure hope you have already purchased/made/found the right gift for your loved one, the gift that says exactly how you feel and will be accurately understood as such.

And, yes, I also know that Valentine’s Day is a creepily commercial holiday designed to force people to spend unFSMly amounts of money on chocolate and flowers and cards and gifts and all that stuff just so they can say they love/like/don’t actively plot to kill someone.

So, yes, I did go out and buy stuff for She Who Must Be Made Aware Of My Undimmed Ardor. Yes, we did purchase cards to send to children, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, parents, step-parents and all like that.

Sure there should  be a boycott of the whole silly thing, but, brother, I ain’t the dude to lead that futile bit of fluff which will, ultimately, only make its leaders look like idiots.

Even with the commercial aspect of all this. . . You know what? I really don’t mind it.

You can and should tell your loved ones every single day that you do love them, that they mean the world to you and you would hardly be able to go on without them. Or words to that effect. That’s something that every right-thinking individual should do on a more-than-daily basis.

But that sometimes doesn’t happen. I think it’s nice that there’s a day set aside for love. A day designed (in theory) explicitly to make it easier to express the love we feel toward another person.

That and I love getting chocolates. So there’s that.

Of course, I think the whole thing has become overblown to an appalling extent, but that’s what happens with most things in America that stand a small chance of actually making some company somewhere some amount of money. More hoopla, more money. It’s the way it goes.

Which doesn’t mean it’s all wrong.

So, whether or not you’ve bought into the prevailing zeitgeist and purchased something big and expensive or simply took the time to walk up behind your loved one and wrap an arm around his/her shoulders and whisper that she/he is loved, enjoy it.

Realize that love, however and wherever you find it, is a rare and precious thing that should always be celebrated. Even if it means you have to dress in silk underwear with red hearts printed on it.

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The Guide: Intro III

by Richard and Barry

Ladies and gentlemen, boy and ghouls, here is that for which you’ve all been waiting with a worm on your tongue (baited breath): the last little bit of the introduction to the one, true unpublished (as of yet) book, A Dude’s Guide to Babies. And, even better, it’s the bit directly from me.

Unlike Barry, I had plenty of time to sweat the small stuff. And the big stuff. And all the medium stuff and all the stuff in between. My wife, Alyse, and I had been intending to get pregnant and, believe me, it was a joint pregnancy. More on that later.

We found out we were pregnant about two weeks into the pregnancy, which left us, as it turned out, forty more weeks to worry and fret about what was bearing down on us with all the subtlety of a runaway freight train driven by a caffeine-crazed chimpanzee. And, Lordy, I did worry.

My wife, known to me as then as She Who Must Be Catered To, seemed to go through the pregnancy with a sublime (look it up) worldliness that defied description. Me, I started breaking down by bits and pieces once I heard the little dude’s heartbeat and realized that there really, truly was something growing inside my wife’s belly and it wasn’t all just a figment of our imagination.

When I was growing up, I never wanted to get married and if, by some wild coincidence I did get married, I was never going to have kids. I never liked them, never wanted them. But something changed when I finally did get married. I actually wanted to have kids, which was a bit of a shock to me and the rest of my family. It was a good idea. In theory. But when the reality of it hit me, well that blew the theory away.

I needed help and I needed it fast. Both my mother and my sister just laughed at me, as did all my aunts. My dad and my uncles all told me that everything would work out fine, but really no specifics. Losing it? Dude, I’d already lost it and then forgotten that I ever even knew where it was.

What I fixated on was giving a bath. I was worried. What if we had a girl? I mean, how was I supposed to wash it? A dude’s tackle, sure, I’ve been cleaning that sort of thing every day since I was five. But a girl? Dude, I just didn’t know.

Eventually, of course, I figured it all out (and had a boy so that helped) and my entire family got a good laugh out of the whole experience. Even though I didn’t have a girl, I found out how to wash a girl by looking at one of those books written by the well-educated professionals. Of course, I had to search through some 500 pages of stuff before I finally found what I needed. And even then, well, let’s just say that the cutesy cover didn’t exactly inspire me to extended reading.

A lot of the stuff I picked up, I had to have slapped into me by Alyse. Over the pregnancy and the first couple of months after our first boy was born, my wife perfected the dad/dope slap up the backside of the head. Remember: dope slap — a powerful learning tool for most dudes.

A lot of stuff I did learn on my own, but those learning experiences were normally a bit dirtier and involved a lot more clean-up supplies. There’s a lot that I wish someone had told me. For instance, gravity. Gravity is not your friend, dude. Things can fall down on you like you wouldn’t believe and sometimes it’s not all that funny.

Like Barry said, though, if someone had just provided me with some of the building blocks of fatherhood, the experience would have been a whole lot easier. That’s what we’re hoping to do here.

We don’t want to leave you with the impression that being a dad is all work and fear and fright. It’s not. There’s also the purest feeling of love and joy you’ve ever experienced. Holding your son or daughter in your hands for the first time will change you forever and we’re not exaggerating. Hopefully, this little book here will give you the head start you need to get the basics of fatherhood.

After that, it’s up to you, dude.

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