I'm a weak and fallible human. I'm not so much so that I can’t admit when I make mistakes. Were it not for my 4 children, I might not have such a good understanding of my failings. However, since I do have 4 children, I have constant reminders of the limitations of my feeble mortal intellect.
As of last Tuesday, all four children have had their tonsils removed. Jesse was last. It is our tradition to take the condemned child shopping the night before their surgery for a private grocery shopping trip to purchase all the requisite post-op treats. I love this tradition--anything that takes the child's mind off the myriad of anxieties is good. Of course, it inspires tremendous jealousy, envy, and goody lust from all the other children.
This predicable behavior brings out my most suspicious tendencies. In demonstrating these suspicious tendencies, I inevitably perform my role as "Daddy Dumbass."
Carter was the first child to undergo the tonsillectomy. He was only 3 and despite being a pretty tough and brave little dude, struggled through his recovery period. After a week or so, I began to feel as though he was playing the sympathy card a wee bit too often. Additionally, he had started talking in the odd high pitched squeak of a voice.
Jill and I have always tended to avoid baby-talk with the children and, with the exception of the idiosyncrasies of our regional and hereditary dialect, we’ve always encouraged the children to speak clearly and avoid, as much as physiology will allow, bad speech habits. So, I began to "encourage" Carter to speak in his "regular" voice. Carter protested that he was.
I was suspicious.
During his two week post-op check up, I learned two things. First, the second week is often most painful period of the recovery process. Secondly, I learned that the squeaky voice is a predicable part of the healing process.
Oh. You don't say. So, Carter isn't speaking in a silly voice and isn't overplaying the sympathy card. Well, shut my mouth.
Daddy Dumbass strikes again.
Last week, when I got home from work after Jesse's first day of recovery, all the children seemed to have some type of mysterious and ill-defined aliments which prevented them from doing something they were supposed to do. I told the children I thought it odd they would all be "sick" on the day our fridge was bursting with Jesse's treats.
I was, of course, suspicious--very suspicious.
Carter, at my not-very-serious suggestion that he go to bed if he felt bad, took my advice and was hard asleep by 6:00 PM. After I noticed his absence around an hour or so later ("Anybody seen Carter?") and discovered him asleep and having developed a 101.5 temperature, I began to suspect I'd been hasty in my judgment. On my way down stairs, I discovered that Zane had fallen asleep during the our newly rented Star Wars movie and also had a verifiable fever.
Oh. So they are sick?
Daddy Dumbass performs another stellar performance.
Turns out everybody but me and Jess had strep throat. So, in some kind of cosmic retribution, I was left to single-handedly care for 4 sick children and 1 sick wife.