Skullet

The little guy is sleeping right now- sleeping off his immunization shots. This round affected him quite a bit. He got feverish and he just wanted to be held by his mama. She held him pretty much all day yesterday, and he just kinda groaned and moaned. He was a sad little bundle.

He had his four month check-up a couple days ago. Unfortunately, the timing fell right in the middle of his nap time. I planned our departure down to the minute to maximize his sleeping so I could show up on time with a happy baby… and it almost worked. I had a snack’s worth of a bottle ready, his outfit laid out, and his diaper bag packed. I woke him up gently, changed him, gave him some bottle. Good to go- I set him down in his carseat and strapped him in. I congratulated myself at being the best dad ever and put my sunglasses on like a boss. And then I heard the rumble. It was soft at first, but then built into a cacophony of squirts and runny bubbles only a dad could love. I looked down at him and our eyes met. I shook my head in disbelief at him and he held his stone cold gaze at me, “That’s for waking me up from my nap, asshole.”

We ended up at the pediatrician’s office about five minutes late- but I didn’t really care- they make us wait around half of the time we spend there anyway. Arlo weighed in at 14lbs, 5oz, and he’s 2ft tall. The doc poked, prodded, pulled on him. As she was doing this I noticed an odd bulge about the size of a golf ball on his shoulder. I panicked and thought to myself maybe I had dislocated his shoulder somehow being too rough with him or picking him up too aggressively. I gently poked it and realized it was just a bump of fat sitting there at a funny angle- an impressive bump of fat mind you. Whew!

The doc said for his age and prematurity he is far ahead of where he could be. He shows up on the charts of full term babies now. She was impressed at how much more social he had become in the two months since she last saw him. She also said he was very strong. At that comment I dug deep and found my thickest Russian accent and proclaimed, “Strong like Bull.” She looked at me quizzically- and Arlo blushed with embarrassment.

StrongLikeBull

The doctor answered my list of first time parenting questions without being annoyed- When can we start feeding him food? When can I take him to a public pool? Do you think his hair looks funny or is it just me? Is okay for him to live his life sounding like a pug? Why does he look Inuit? Should we expect him to roll over soon? Anyway, she was great about it and encouraged me to get in touch (with her nurse) with any more questions. Doc finished up and left and then came the nurse. She’s super nice too but I’m not sure Arlo likes her much anymore. Two shots, one on each fat thigh. When he got his last shots, Arlo was only two months old and his lungs were the size of a two week old. His cries were almost cute then. Not this time though. The kid can howl now. It was sad and hurt me to watch him through the process- but he’ll never remember it, and besides, he resumed his nap before we even left the building.

Arlo is over four months old now. Time has become a warp. The days and weeks since he’s been around seem to go by so fast, and so slow. It seems he is not changing one bit, but then every day there seems to be something new- I don’t know how to describe it. Today I was holding him in my arms while I was feeding him and I imagined him running by me through the kitchen to go out and play in the backyard. Then I imagined him walking back through to leave out the front door- this time he had a deep voice and said he was on his way to school. I looked at the Arlo in my arms as he sucked on his bottle and then glanced at my liquor cabinet and realized it’s probably not too soon to fashion a lock for it.

He has changed a lot though. He loves to smile and play. I pull him up to a sitting position, and then a standing one. He giggles. He’s enthralled by pictures in whatever book I am reading to him- he likes to listen to stories that rhyme. I just realized today that his head is held by it’s own muscles now and I don’t have to worry about it’s fragility too much. I don’t even know when that happened (part of the time warp).  He talks garbled nonsense like a drunk sorority girl not caring if there is an audience or not. I talk back to him and we have pleasant conversations about the state of the White House and I teach him how to enunciate the word anonymous.

We took him camping last week for his first time. WellerHe loved it. He just seems to like being outside. He spent his time looking at the trees and gazing out across the lake watching his mama on the paddle board. His girlfriend Peyton gave him her old lavender fleece onesie that he wore while it was cold. I gave him a bottle of whiskey to carry around so he could camp like his papa. He slept in the back of the truck with us like he was born to do it (and he was).

We also got rid of his scaly cradle cap- but with the disappearance of it we found that it acted as a shadow of hair. I mean, it was Arlo’s version of spray-on hair. Meaning, the kid has lost most of his hair and now he’s bald. We didn’t really notice it until the cradle cap shadow disappeared. He does have some thick hair though, but only from ear to ear swinging around the back of his neck. He’s got a skullet (skull mullet) like an old man, or like those unfortunate photos of Brittany Spears in crisis. britt

(He also has beautiful lashes like her’s)

I texted a photo of him today to his Grandma Coral. She said, “Great smile! Where’s the hair??”

Grandma Coral, you know better…

RockOnArlo!

Cartalk

We had an ultrasound yesterday. Scout is ten ounces- that is the size of a warm can of PBR with a couple sips taken out of it. It was good to see him moving around and touching his face. Everything seems to be normal and in fact he is a couple days ahead of development from what the guys said. Yeah, the guys…

We walked into the ultrasound room and there were two men sitting there. One had a shaved head and a goatee, the other wore a dark beard. I thought they were sitting there to tell me my brake pads were getting thin. I know, I know, it’s a bit sexist of me to assume that our tech was going to be a female- but last time it was- last time it was a nice grandma(y) lady who I imagined might bake a nice apple pie on her off time. It’s hard to confront your own stereotypes I guess when you think you have none.

Anyway, the cartalk guys ended up being super nice. One was training- he had just transplanted to Missoula from California ((damn Californians) I’m from California so I can say that). Apparently the place where he had worked for the last ten years didn’t have the technology that Missoula has so he was learning the new bells and whistles that he wasn’t familiar with. It impressed me that Ol’ Montuckey had something that his little corner of California didn’t.

The guys were fine, very professional. One small random thing happened that I can only attribute to gender though. Scout’s hand was shielding his head when they were trying to take a picture of his face. One would think, well, I would think, that if Scout doesn’t want a picture of his face taken then so be it, he takes after his father- leave him alone and we just won’t get a picture. But the tech, the trainer, thought otherwise. He decided to dig in a little and press into the belly with his ultrasound tool like a car mechanic reaching for an oily bolt that he couldn’t see. He said he was trying to get Scout to move his arm. Well, Scout never moved his arm- he’s about as stubborn as me when it comes to getting his picture taken. But it made me wonder if grandma tech would have done the same, or if she would have talked nice to Scout and agreed he didn’t need his picture taken today.

We saw his four chamber heart, his spine, hands and feet with the proper amount of digits. I was told we saw some kidneys, an aorta and parts of the brain. Ulnas and radii were there, as were the tibs and fibs. We even saw his peener. No doubt, it’s a boy. Seeing Scout didn’t necessarily further concrete the fact I have a baby on the way- I think I’ve been concreted down for a while now. But hearing that everything is looking good eases my mind for sure.

Everything on the homefront is beginning to take shape too. Scout’s room is slowly becoming real. My dresser got kicked out of it and Kylie asked me where my cluttered desk was going to go. I said hold on woman I still have twenty weeks! No, I didn’t say that. I said how about the living room? I think we all know how that conversation ended.

I started painting a mural in Scout’s room a couple days ago. I’ve painted a few kids’ room murals before- Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, a floating Big Bird and Snuffleupagus, princess castles, and Shrek and Fiona. This one is for my own kid though so it’s gonna be a little more out there… Like Dr. Suessy out there. And this wasn’t even my idea- Kylie suggested it early on and how can one argue with the wonderful weird world of Dr. Suess. I already painted some green hills and flowing water. I have lots to add- The Lorax, some truffula trees, Things one and two, the Cat, Horton, some Sneetches and I’ll probably hide a Wasket somewhere. Don’t worry landlords, it can all be painted over.

So that’s where we are at right now. Kylie is doing fantastic. She has a bump, a beautiful baby bump. She is feeling great and in the midst of a nesting stage. She’s moving stuff around and throwing stuff out and starting registries and getting out for walks in the sunshine as often as she can.

On Friday Scout will be twenty weeks in the belly. There is so much to do because that is halfway!

I can’t wait to meet him that day!

He’ll be squirmy and wormy

Looking bloody and blotchy!

He’ll be singing and swinging

Gripping a throbbing wet cord!

Pointing my way the OB will say,

“HEY YOU CUT THIS!”

But I’ll faint and be floored.

 

 

Sorry, I had to do that. Okay, I gotta go- I got a Lorax to draw!

 

Papa, you are such a nerd.  -Scout

Cliché

Scout!

What’s going on in there little thing? You are eleven weeks, three days today. Congratulations, you are the size of a fig. Your great grand-nana loved figs. She had a tree in her back yard in Chula Vista. I used to watch her pick them off the tree and eat them- I thought it was disgusting- I think I just don’t like seedy things. Anyhoo, she died over a year ago. I would have loved for you to meet her- mostly because I would have loved to watch her scare the shit out of you. She was an absolutely loving grandmother, but she also like to yell at us as kids. “IF YOU KIDS DON’T LISTEN TO ME I’M GOING TO BEAT YOUR BRAINS IN!!” On occasion she followed it up with, “IF YOU HAVE ANY!”  We, as children, would scream, scatter, and run away. The adults in the room would laugh out loud. As an adult, I got to watch her yell at my younger cousins- I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it. Her husband, on the other hand, your great grandpa, was the polar opposite. He would sit quietly in his chair and just observe everything. Every once in a while he’d quip a joke out and everyone would laugh. He died about six years ago while your mama and I were living in a shitty apartment in Flagstaff.

You have one great grandparent left right now- Red. Red is your grandpa Jared’s dad who lives in New York. You’d like him- I had the pleasure of meeting him this year in June. He’s quite the character with stories galore. He reminded me a lot of your late great grandpa Harvey from West Virginia. In fact, both of them had messed up a couple of their own fingers by the time I came around. Your great grandpa Red mangled a couple of his with a chainsaw (they are still there though). Your great grandpa Harvey lost one at the knuckle while working at a sawmill. He used to draw a face on it and move it around to entertain us.

But let’s stop talking about your late Greats. Let’s talk about your balls! Or your vagina! That’s right, I went there. By now you are forming one or the other- and quite honestly, I don’t care which! As long as you are healthy- I know, how cliché of me. But it’s true. I will let you know right now, if you are a girl I’m going to try like hell to raise you like a tomboy- and if you are a boy I’m going to try like hell to raise you into the most sensitive and caring man I can. And if you end up being gay, I’ll be absolutely happy and supportive with that too.

If you can help it though, please don’t be racist, sexist, homophobic, or a bully, or a football player, or in a fraternity or sorority… This will be a longer and more defined list some day, but this is all I can come up with right now on the fly. Actually, if you follow this list of don’ts then you should have a good foundation for being a good person.

Okay, I am about finished with my cappuccino, so I will bid you adieu. I hope you are warm and well inside your mama’s belly. I might put a stethoscope to your world tonight even though the internet says that it is pointless this early in the pregnancy. I wish I could come in and hang out with you for a bit but you’d probably freak me the fuck out with your creepy underdevelopedness at this stage- so I am perfectly happy to wait till June. Hugs and kisses little one.