Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day

I've been incredibly busy for the past week and then some. One article is due tomorrow, necessitating many phone calls to sources, and one of my regular clients needed three large proposals edited. One of those proposals somehow made it to a near-final phase (at the client's end) without showing my changes, so I volunteered to go through and add the changes from a previous version to the near-final version before the whole thing was printed. I'm all about shooting for perfection where editing is concerned, and it would have bothered me more than I'd like to admit to let the document go while knowing it contained all of the original errors. Besides, I'll get paid for it. A friend also sent one of her clients my way, and I wrote her a bang-up press release. Tons of work. I am blessed.

On Thursday, as I was working away and taking breaks to hang out with the kiddo, he came to me and said his belly wasn't feeling good. I asked him if he wanted to lie down on my bed, but when he did so, his face told me that was a big mistake. Thinking I could pick him up and whisk him off to the bathroom, I asked him if he thought he was going to throw up. "What's throwing up?" he asked, right before he vomited all over my bed and the floor...oh, and himself.

I grabbed a towel and picked him up, carrying him daintily, yet swiftly, to the tub. He felt better, but insisted he didn't want to touch his own clothes. I couldn't blame him; they were gross. (I'm kindly sparing you from a graphic description of the contents here.) I got him all cleaned up, got the bed and floor all cleaned up (carpet cleaner is great for mattresses, it turns out), and the kiddo decided to rest on the couch downstairs while I took a quick shower and called my son's dad to give him a heads-up about the barfing episode. "I believe it was because he was overly full of milk and the rest of his lunch," I told him. "He asked for so much milk and I think he didn't realize how full he'd feel. I think we should just let some time pass before giving him seconds on anything and let him realize he's getting full."

"Really?" my son's dad said. "I was wondering if it might be a blockage." I swear, that guy always imagines there's a blockage or major illness. "No," I told him, "kids just throw up sometimes. Look, it's been about two years since he last threw up -- he didn't even know what 'throwing up' meant."

About three hours later, at about 8:00 p.m., I was wondering whether or not I should wake the kiddo so we could shop for a Father's Day gift for his dad, who was coming in the morning to pick him up for the weekend. (We hadn't been able to take care of this earlier due to my busy workweek.) If I had another adult here, I would've entrusted my son to that person and gone shopping myself. As it was, I knew I'd have to wake up the kid and go shopping, or help him make some kind of craft in them morning. When I considered the thought of beans and glitter and wet glue in the morning, I figured it would be simpler to just drag him to the store. Of course, I often find I define "simple" in relative terms.

I struggled to wake up my son, struggled to keep him happy while we carried out a surgical strike on the mall, picked up some food on the way home (no way was I cooking after the day we'd had) and although we had a few tears (his, not mine) along the way, wound up with a happy kid who was excited about giving his dad the simple gifts he'd picked out all by himself.

The next morning we put the gifts in a gift bag (my son had picked a hot-pink bag, telling me, "Daddy looooves pink!") with red tissue paper and an orange construction paper card that my son decorated with hearts and smiley faces. I told him the letters to write to spell "Happy Father's Day," and he wrote them himself. Daddy arrived a little before 9:00 a.m. and we were ready. As my little guy and his dad walked down the stairs, his dad said, "Wow! We'll open this on Father's Day, okay?" and my son told him, "No, we'll open it today, because I made a decision that you could open it today!"

Whatever they decided, I hope they're having a happy day today.