Sunday, November 21, 2004

Fatherhood
Hell, I've got no real complaints. Roof over my head in a nice 'hood. Never lacking for food or the means to make ridiculous impulse purchases (witness the Garmin I picked up a few weeks ago). Still, some days you wonder what karmic debt you're repaying.

First, this morning Niko leaves a cup of water on the stairs. I step on the cup, go flying headlong to the first floor two steps below and, approximately horizontal, bash the top of my head into the hard frame of the doorway between the foyer and the kitchen. Huge gash, blood, dizziness, blurry vision. The works.

However, I can boast of nothing if I cannot boast of a hard head. I was pretty much OK within an hour. We go out, because we MUST get out.

Wildly breezy bright day. Leaves wooshing down off the ginkos in torrents, racing along, gathering on the other side of the street. Yes, that was a good thing that happened today: the other side of the street. Meanwhile, we're off to the northern outskirts of Calistoga to see the Old Faithful geyser. We see the geyser and it's cool -- we especially like the way the wind carries the water onto the folks standing west of the big belch -- but Niko is looking very uncomfortable and complaining of a tummy ache. I thought he just needed to take a dump. It is his policy to hold it until the very last moment, which sometimes leads to generalized agony. After the geyser, we hit the Palisades Deli in town, with me eating a sandwich and Niko downing a pint of chocolate whole milk and the white of a hardboiled egg. Twenty minutes later on the winding Silverado Trail, his lunch all comes up and out, on himself, on the seatbelt, on his kid seat, on the car seat. We finish the drive with the windows wide open but the stench is still enough to … make you hurl.

Home.

Niko races to the toilet for a liquid poop.

Vomiting + diarrhea. This does not add up to anything good (or good-smelling).

I give him one of those electrolyte drinks, knowing that the only real worry here is dehydration. He sips it carefully. And over the course of the next two hours, he does nothing but perk up. I take his temperature. It's 37.5C, which I think is around 98F.

As I attempt to install a new printer for our old Mac, the lad continues his perkage. Now it's 8 p.m. and he should be in bed but he's feeling so chipper, I'm blogging and he's watching Food Network.

OK, so it wasn't all bad. It actually wasn't that bad at all. I've been thinking a lot about how much I let shit get to me, especially hiccups in the day with Niko. I want it all to go smoothly, trouble-free. I'm beginning to understand that, yo, he's five. It may happen, but if it does it's strictly by accident. Chill. Pill. Take.

Much easier that way.

So, OK. No big deal. Typical day.

As you were.

2 comments:

dan said...

Jeez, Pete, what a day. I'll bet you're going to check the stairs a lot more carefully from now on. You're right about the prescription for dealing with stress; I've always found that it's a lot easier said than done.

Anyway, hope everything's OK today.

Pete said...

Thanks, friend.

Something happened the other day that made me stop and think about anxiety and anger, which I think are closely related. I was running, crossing Imola at Jefferson, and my presence forced a guy in an SUV who was approaching my path and was going to blast his right-turn right through the red to actually stop. After I passed by he floored it and flipped me off! I hadn't said anything or gestured at all. I was crossing the street on a green, in a crosswalk. The dude was just fucking pissed off at the world and anything that got in the way of events unfolding EXACTLY as he wanted them was going to draw his ire.

I'm tired of being pissed off at the world. Yeah, it's done me wrong here or there. I didn't get perfect love when I was a kid. People made mistakes, people failed, people had their issues. And all of that needs to be considered, pondered, worked through. But in the end the question becomes, do you want to hold onto anger? To you want to go through life just waiting for the world to fuck you over again? Whether it's your kid not being perfect or your spouse or even yourself? Or somebody forcing you to stop at a red?

Anyway, I think I'm way off on a tangent here, and if I actually stopped to contemplate this deeply rather than zipping off a comment in two minutes it might be coherent. But maybe you get my drift, as they used to say.