I failed Baby Mama training…
I know I was absent last week but I had a long week. One of the missions of our Church is to do mission work and instead of going all over the world, they have made the strategic decision to focus and go deep into the countries of Moldova, Kenya and Haiti. Before my wife and I were married, she expressed a desire to go on a mission trip at some point in her life. Because life was so hectic in our early married life she couldn’t find the time to go, then kid number one came along and was followed by dash two and she fell into the life of the American mom. Several months ago, a couple of folks at our Church were organizing a medical mission trip to Haiti. I asked her why she shouldn’t go, she said no because the time wasn’t right. Then the trip was pushed back from last fall to the spring. Again, I asked her why she shouldn’t go and some things have changed in our lives so now there was no reason to say no.
The team of almost 20 doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and a minister left early Saturday March 21st for Port Au Prince, Haiti. They stayed in country for just under four hours of a full week and returned home safely very late Friday night. I bet you are thinking the next several hundred words will be about the people of Haiti. How they find the bright side of life while living in absolute poverty. Or maybe you think you will read about the numerous obstacles that the medical team had to work around while seeing almost 500 very sick people in four days. Maybe you want to hear about the woman who had to be pushed to the clinic in a rusty wheel barrel because of complications from a botched surgery and how the doctors worked on her while she was still in the wheel barrel because it was better than putting her on the dirt floor. Or maybe you want to about the smiling school children always ran up to their bus to greet them as the pulled into the location every morning. You might think that I am going to tell you the amazing story of how a man from South Carolina was moved to start an orphanage in Haiti before the earthquake in 2010 and how his Haiti counterpart died in the earthquake. Maybe you think the story gets better when that man flew into the Dominican Republic just hours after the earthquake and made a red cross out of duct tape and put it on a commandeered truck so he could cross the border into Haiti smuggling supplies in and out while searching for his Haitian friend and how all those events were the beginnings of a orphanage called Alex’s House. If you were thinking that I was going to tell you about the mass graves scattered all over the city that hold tens of thousands of bodies with no record of where the dead were laid to rest, or how the medical team had to make sure the shower was cleared of scorpions before they turned it on. You would be wrong on all accounts.
This article isn’t about what my wife and the rest of her team members did under some conditions that made Tabuk look like it was a five star resort. I might get around to interviewing her at some point, but today this is all about me and how I struggled to keep my two kids alive during the week. Quite honestly, by Sunday night I thought being Mr. Baby Mama was pretty easy. Saturday was good, I took the kids and two friends to the movies and then to the local Mexican restaurant. We got home by the early evening, they took a bath and fell asleep in our bed (we call it the big bed) while I watched all of the college basketball games. No worries. Sunday morning we got up and even made it to church early. I knew that people would be watching and I wanted to impress. That afternoon my daughter went to volleyball practice with a neighbor while my son and I threw a baseball in the yard, that night they got their bath and slept in the big bed again while I watched more basketball. I went to bed thinking this Baby Mama gig was easy money.
Monday, we got up and made it to school on time. What could possibly go wrong? Well my son had an English test that we didn’t study for because I had forgotten to look at his folder. Opps, but I figured one bad grade in the 2nd grade wouldn’t be on his permeant record and keep him out of Harvard. Monday night, we went over to a friend’s house for dinner. The reason we were there was to get the breaks on my wife’s van fixed so I watched my friend change the breaks while his wife and daughter cooked dinner and played with my kids. All is well again except that we didn’t get home until well past eight. After the bath and bed, there wasn’t time or energy for homework. Strike two.
Tuesday was more of the same, falling more behind and off the highly disciplined schedule my wife hold the kids too. Mr. Baby Mama had a new schedule, anarchy. Strike three, four, five and six. We are having coco puffs for dinner, not doing any homework and sleeping in the big bed. My son was all in on the new schedule but my daughter spent some time working on her science project for school. I had to yell at her to get her to be a slacker like me. I am starting to wonder who this girl is, she can’t have my DNA.
Wednesday morning my daughter was wrapping her hand up to her elbow with an ace bandage, I asked her what was wrong and she said her hand was hurting. I had forgotten that the night prior she burned the palm of her hand with a glue gun that she was using to do a school project. I asked her if she put ice on her hand last night, she said no. The ice was too cold so she put her hand in the freezer for a minute. I’m was suddenly frightened when I thought about the blisters, boils and scar tissue that had formed over night on her formerly perfect hands. I went upstairs looking for aloe to put on her hand. Of course I can’t find it. Desperate, I sent out a flash text to other Baby Mamas asking what would substitute for aloe. The only replies were from the Baby Daddies making fun of me for letting my ten year old daughter play with a glue gun.
I imagined how this conversation with my wife is going to go.
“We had a minor accident with a glue gun, don’t worry your daughter is going to live and will probably have the use of her hand in the future…”
“How bad is the burn?”
“Well I don’t really know because I didn’t take the time to look at it. I was watching WWE with my son and it was a great match by the way. Triple H clocked Randy Orton with a chair in the head. I told her to ice it down. It isn’t my fault.” That isn’t quite the conversation I envisioned when the wife left Saturday morning.
Twenty minutes later, I come back downstairs to find the ice I gave her was lying on the counter making a mess of the previous night’s homework sheets that were still undone. She was laying on the couch watching TV. “Why isn’t the ice on your hand?”
“Because it is too cold.”
Finally, I looked at her hand and guess what. There was no mark at all on the hand. Not a blister, no scar and not even a tiny red mark. I even got my reading glasses and the magnifying glasses out to make sure. We were late for school because of my mini-pseudo crisis. My son’s teacher was very gracious and didn’t give us a tardy but she did get a laugh out of my lateness. She tried to make it better. Three days and only one late arrival. I laughed because I graduated from college with a 66% average, I am right on track.
That night was laundry night so I attacked it with my usual reckless attitude. I decided early in the week that the kids should re-wear their clothes (just like I do) to cut down on the amount of laundry. Before you people start thinking I am a dummy. I put all the colored clothes in first so they would be on the bottom of the washer. Then the whites went on top. I know you’re thinking everything will turn pink, but honestly have you ever seen water run up a wall? No, the theory of gravity is still in effect even if my wife is 2,000 miles away. But there was still room in the washer, so I put my wife’s wedding dress in the washer too. She wanted it dry cleaned while she was gone. I thought that it had to get wet first before I hung it up to dry after it was clean. It is a tied dye wedding dress now; actually it is kind of cool.
Thursday, we had a line of thunderstorms roll through and the power went out about noon. By the time, the kids came home from school it was still out. We tried to do homework but who needs to be smart if the world is going to end? Seriously, as far as I knew, it was the zombie apocalypse and it we were in survival mode. I taught them how to make clothing from the microfiber leather on the couch. We fashioned spears from tree limbs and started a fire in the living room. Lucky for the cat that the power came back on because “fluffy” was going to be dinner. My daughter was protesting the fact that we were going to eat the cat because there were still left over pizza, break sticks and wings because they talked me into it as their after school snack. Eventually the power did come back on and then they got to learn how to sew leather back onto the couch.
Friday, the book fair was being held at the school. Being a Baby Mama, I was enlisted to help. They put me in charge of the case register, probably because last year I was in charge of cookies and I ate half of them before the fair started. My plan was to skim a little off the top, Goodfellas style to supplement our income. But the lady in charge is really smart and she assigned another cashier to keep an eye on me. After it was over, the kids and I went home for a couple of hours until about ten. Then we were out the door to collect my wife from the airport. She walked into the house well after midnight and saw the chaos from the week, she said that it looked better than Haiti. Another mission accomplished.
I don’t think you will get an article next week. It is spring break for the kids so we will be out of pocket for a while. I will tell you all about it in two weeks. Until then, keep on rockin.