The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Monday, February 26, 2007

He's Everywhere

I started writing this post a few weeks ago, but with everything else that's gone on I'm only getting around to posting it now.


We took a huge parenting step the other weekend - our first multi-night trip without The Boy. Four whole nights without him. We were apprehensive, but excited at the opportunity for a little break.

But despite the freedom of doing what we wanted, when we wanted, where we wanted.

Despite being able to slip of the room while P was showering to buy a bag of microwave popcorn and a porno magazine, and not worry about bringing The Boy with me; although he does have impeccable taste in microwave popcorn.

Despite being able to lie in bed, balance a bowl of popcorn on my stomach, watch wrestling on TV and utter the phrase "Bring on the pain" without The Boy taking it literally and bringing his heel down on my Adam's Apple.

Despite P and I being able to stay out late, tilt a few beverages, and stumble back to the hotel at a 45 degree angle.

Despite all that freedom, we thought about The Boy constantly.

  • A kid learning to ski on the Bunny hill, "Oh that will be him one day."

  • A baby being pulled through the village on a sled, "The Boy would love that."

  • A little girl two tables over who has obviously crapped her pants, "Awwww."

  • A burl formed on the side of a tree, "That looks like the time he came into our room and hid my watch but we were late so we grabbed everything in a hurry and got in the car and drove off only to discover I wasn't wearing the right pants so we turned around and drove home and I got changed which made us really late and by the time we got there our friends had left so we went and had ice cream."
Everything reminded us of him.

Before The Boy, P and I would take off at a moment's notice. Fill the cat food bowl, clean the litter box and away we go. Now of course it's not that simple, and when we do finally get a break, he's there at every turn.

And forget about any topic/movie/newspaper story/TV show that deals with child abuse/abduction/injury/death. Before being a parent, I found those sort of stories tragic, but thanks to mass media I was pretty desensitized to it. Now I can't even be in the same room if the subject comes up; it cuts too close to the bone for me.

The curse of being a parent I guess; you can get away, but you never really "get away".

Glad I Don't Live in the 50's

Check out these comics used to raise funds for a Children's Hospital. Cool as they are creepy.

1949 Children's Hospital Fundraising Comics.

Although I love comics, if I got this in the mail I'd think twice before having kids. Brrrr...

Friday, February 23, 2007

I'm in the Minority

Apparently fewer than 10% of Vasectomy patients have complications. Sadly, I belong to that small group. I always knew I was special, but this sort of recognition I could have done without.

The first seven days went by without much trouble, the usual ache of ball-trauma, but that's about it. On day eight, that's when I started to notice some swelling. By the end of that day, when the swelling began to dwarf the size of my dick, that's when I thought, "Okay, this isn't going to get better by itself" and went to see the doctor.

Yesterday I started a treatment of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. It's been less than 24-hours, so there's no sign of improvement yet, but at least it's not getting worse.

And despite it all, I still don't have any regrets getting the V. I wish it didn't get infected, but once this passes I can begin my new life as a unproductive member of society. That's a little vasectomy humour for you.

Saturday update: Today it's gotten a lot better. The nuts aren't out of the woods yet, but at least they're on the right path.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hello Again

Just one week after recovering from a particularly nasty bug, The Boy caught another cold. Last time it was the flu. This time an ear infection and bronchitis.

Either way it has meant several hours at the Children's Hospital emergency ward, and passing the bug onto P and me. I know it's cold and flu season, but this is just unfair. And these two incidents are just the tip of the iceberg, to me it feels like The Boy has been sick since last September, and so have P and I. Last winter we made it through with barely a sneeze, this year... it's one I'd rather forget.

P's decided that The Boy isn't going to go group drop-in until he's fully recovered, but germs lurk everywhere. I guess we could keep him in a plastic bubble until he's 16, but we all know what happened when John Travolta did that - it ruined his career.

I guess dealing with your sick child is part of being a parent, and I know we're not alone.
Carter of 220, 221 is dealing with the same thing.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

V Day Post-Op Review

It's been a few of days since my vasectomy, recovery seems to be fine. A few notes for those who might be considering getting one.

  • I probably shouldn't have taken public transit home, the freezing wore off halfway through the commute and I pretty much squirmed the rest the way.

  • After the procedure, the doctor packed about 50 gauze pads into my underwear to cushion the 'boys' and prevent them from getting knocked around. Had I known he was going to do that I would have wore baggier pants. All that gauze made it look like I was packing something seriously lethal in my pants, not to mention made it tough to walk. I finally have a reason to swagger, and it's for all the wrong reasons.

  • If any of you are considering a vasectomy, get a No Scalpel Vasectomy. I've witnessed my brother, co-workers and friends hobble around in track pants for a couple weeks. Today is day four of the new me, and aside from a dull ache, there's actually very little pain. I expected to be crippled for a week, but I'm getting around just fine.

  • Yesterday I auditioned for the band Dead Film Stars. I never thought about this before, but sitting behind a drum kit for three hour puts a lot of pressure down in that region. I kept having to stand up and adjust myself. Eventually I called a washroom break. "Yeah, it looks like you're squirming back there." one of them said. This was the first time I had met these guys, so I decided not to get into vasectomy details. Now forever in their eyes, I'm the drummer with the acorn-sized bladder

  • The doctor did his best to kept the mood light, he was positively chatty. Understandably, I wasn't really in the right frame of mind for conversation. "So, what do you do for a living?" "Me? Oh I don't usually get my nut-sack cut into." "...?"

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love Day

This morning I woke up with a knot of dread in my stomach. It's Valentine's Day today, a Hallmark holiday, but a holiday women seem take very seriously.

The first Valentine's day P and I celebrated together, she gave me a card and kissed me on the cheek. I forgot to buy her anything. I had just been grocery shopping and, desperate to hide the fact I didn't buy her a gift, pulled out two chicken breasts. "It's for dinner" I offered, "Special Valentine's Day dinner."

That night, over Shake & Bake chicken and cans of beer, I opened her card. The words "I Love You" were scribbled out. To this day I'm not sure if she scribbled out the words before or after I wooed her with poultry, but it seemed significant.

Now every year in the days leading up February 14, P reminds me of this. "But I love you all year long" I say, "Why should we let a card company tell us when to celebrate love?"

"Yeah, you're right" is her usual response. And each year she gets progressively larger and larger bouquets.

But this year I haven't bought her anything. No flowers. No candy. Not even chicken. No this year is going to be different. You see, this year V not only stands for Valentine's Day, it also stands for Vasectomy Day. In just a few hours from now I'll walk into my doctor's office a man, and come out a eunuch.

Personally I think it's one of the most romantic, if not the most ironic, Valentine's gift I've ever given her. Fortunately P thinks so too.

Monday, February 12, 2007

18 Months

The Boy is now 18 months old. 548 days. 13252 hours. Or more eloquently, a year and a half. This is the time when we can stop aging him in months, and start using years like the big kids do. Our friends Guy and Liz were very excited when their son reached this milestone, the day the numbers 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24 ceased to exist. "We can just tell people he's a year and a half." they enthused. My feelings, on the other hand, are mixed.

Firstly I don't think it takes that much more effort to say ## months versus "a year and a half", the extra calories burned could be made up sucking a Jolly Rancher. Secondly an awful lot happens in the six months between a year and a half and two years, so I just don't think "a year and a half" accurately summarizes The Boy's development.

Me: He's a year and a half.

Total Stranger: Wow, he's really advanced for his age.

Me: Actually he's closer to 22 months.

TS: Why didn't you just say 22 months you lying bastard?

Me: Because "a year and a half" is easier to say. And don't you think it sounds nicer?

TS: You're selling your son short because "a year and a half" sounds nicer? Book the therapist now, your son's going to need it. (I have to pick better people to strike up conversations with)

Seems like a lot more work to me. I think I'm going to stick with months.

Other happenings the last little while, in no particular order:

Just when we thought we were going to get a break from teething pains, tooth #17, a molar, has started to erupt. 17 appears to be particularly painful. The Boy has been waking up in the middle of the night screaming in pain, which is heartbreaking to listen to. Equally disturbing, but even more perplexing; he also wakes up in the middle of the night saying "Thank You". Either way, I lie in bed awake, wondering.

Last month The Boy caught a nasty cold, resulting in a trip to the emergency room when his fever topped 104. P and I weren't freaked out, but with a temperature of 104 it was suggested we go to the hospital as a precaution. The doctor at the hospital took our concerns seriously, and prescribed a series of tests just to be on the safe side. We felt assured we made the right decision in coming. That is until the tests started.

Blood test - The blood technician had trouble finding The Boy's vein, and ended up jabbing him nine times. He looked up at me (I was the lucky parent that had to hold him down) and wailed. P had to leave the room. It's been three weeks and I still don't think he's completely forgiven me. The bruise on his arm is still there too.

X-ray - To stop the baby from moving during an x-ray, they're strapped into a chair with their arms over their heads. It looked more like a 18th century torture device than a piece of medical equipment. He cried the whole time.

Mucus culture - The lab was closed that night, so this test was skipped. It would have involved a long tube up the nose, The Boy would have hated it.

Rectal thermometer - self-explanatory.

I managed to hold it off, but it was inevitable, The Boy's cold made it past my immune system and into my sinuses. I spent the better part of Friday under the covers curled in a fetal position. P was sick, I was sick, The Boy was sick. When I did make it downstairs, we had no energy for play, so the entire family sat on the couch and watched Treehouse on TV. That Corduroy Bear is really whiny.

The words are starting to flow now, although grunting is still his favourite way to communicate. While not as quick to speak as some of his contemporaries, I think it's because The Boy has got two languages to figure out. What he's saying at the moment.

Thank you
I don't know
Good Night

Gay dahn - Egg
Bow bow - Full, as in I'm full
Moaw - Cat, or he's mimicking Meow

I'm chalking the last one into the Cantonese column, because as you can see, English is winning hands down. Easy to see why, he hears English 75% of the time. It's not a competition I know, but I have to admit, I feel slightly burned when he chooses an English word over its Chinese equivalent.

We've bought a potty. We're going to start potty training him soon. We've tried it on and off for the past few months. His poo is fairly predictable, pee is going to be a challenge. More updates on this as they unfold.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

It's Alive!


As Otis Redding once sang, "You don't miss your water till your well runs dry." I never realized how much I used my little Powerbook until it died the other week. On the flip side, I also realized I don't have to keep three years worth of email "just in case", and hey there is a life beyond Homestarrunner.

We'll catch up later. In the meantime, here are a few pictures of The Boy eating an apple.