Grade B Effort

Grade: B

A Latin teacher once told me I was probably smart enough to do well in almost anything if I put an honest effort in to mastering it. However, she also said I was probably not smart enough to be great. If that were true, it would seem the key would be finding something extraordinary to be good at. After all, being good at counting to ten is rather underwhelming. However, a good family man or a good manager is one of those things for which we all hope. I never took offense at what my teacher said. I just figured I had to find something worthwhile at which to be good. I hope being a good parent for a sick child (or any child) is good enough.

In that vein, I recently had the honor of being left alone with A. for the weekend. I won’t lie and say I wasn’t a little scared, and I can’t even attribute all of the fear to my sinus infection making my sight blurry (though that didn’t help). It’s funny how before any big test or event, I find myself trying to picture how it will go and what I’ll need to know: how to change a diaper, how and what meds to give, how much food to give and how fast, etc. All of that knowledge was in fact needed, but thankfully I had a cheat sheet provided for me by my wife before she left.

Even with the cheat sheet, not everything went as I had seen it in my mind when I thought about how the weekend would go. A. had a cold and diaheria which definitely made her life a little harder. I still feel a little guilty for the gasping cries as I changed her diaper making her bottom bleed for the umpteenth time. I think that cry will forever get to me every time I have to incur it. I guess I still get the better in that unfortunate trade though so I shouldn’t complain: me a catch in the throat vs. her in pain.

Still, when I thought about the weekend beforehand, I was looking forward to her little squeals as she sees the mouse in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I had thought I could keep her happy reading to her and then we’d head out to hang with friends on Friday and Saturday where she would get lots of attention. We made it out Friday, which was great because my friend C. made her belly laugh for the first time I have heard. Awesome. But I couldn’t go out again the next day as my eyes kept getting worse. Of course with the eyes making driving less appealing, they also made reading to A. impossible. I guess in hindsight, I should have just made it up. We’ve read the books enough, and I suspect she would have been happy regardless. Well, I live and learn. Speaking of living and learning, life got a bit easier when I was carrying A downstairs and she inadvertently covered my right eye. I can see! I just have to remember to keep an eye closed. I really wish my eyes would just get better.

Still, I can’t help but think that overall, the weekend was pretty good. That’s why I grade my parenting job for one weekend as good (a B grade). I think of the things I could have done better, and there are definitely some. I also think one of the best parts about this parenting thing is that I’ll get to do it again. I’m no where near as fast as my wife giving meds or changing diapers, but thankfully when I get to do it again at least the test will still be the same. Practice makes perfect right? I wish I could have taken the same test over and over in high school or college.

Since it’s been a while sine I posted (eyes still messed up), there have been some cool things that have happened. Some of my favorites were A. meeting two of her great grandmas. There is something awesome about watching a young kid bring happiness to a great grandparent. It just feels instantly special and rare.

My wife and I also took A. out of state for the first time to head up to NY State on a long weekend. All I can say there is that I’m impressed with both with how good A. is in the car and how much my wife can do over a weekend. I was pathetically little help, and with the meds for the sinus infection all I want to do is sleep. Still, A. had a great time meeting some of the young kids of my wife’s friends, and I think she had a great time at the NY state fair. All in all, that was a great weekend.

A is doing great when it comes to sitting up when she gets help to get to sitting up. She can sit up and watch Sesame Street for about a half hour before she gets tired and falls back. She’s also starting to examine her toys and try to figure out the different ways to interact with them. We no longer have to show her to push this or twist that. She’s trying to figure it out herself which is great. Now we’re just working on getting her to clap and hold two different toys (one in each hand). In any event, I’ll post pictures as soon as I can. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to post them the last few times I have tried.

I’ll post again when I get back from heading down the Grand Canyon next week.