Today’s post brings us to a genre we haven’t visited since day E: memoir. And as this one focuses on a father’s relationship with his daughter, it is guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings.
And since Dan Alatorre is the author of Savvy Stories, you’re also guaranteed at least a few laughs.
Savvy Stories begins before the baby is born and the father-to-be is stressing about all that is to come. My first laugh-out-loud moment occurred here, when Dan was recounting a babysitting experience.
The girl was about 1 1/2 or 2 at the time I think; not potty trained. To “help” me, her mom changed the diaper before she left for her errand, showing me how to clean all the “girly parts.” I had to look away. I was fully prepared to drop that kid into a Hefty bag and tie it off at the waist if necessary rather than change her diaper.
To be fair, changing your own kid’s diaper is somehow less gross than other kids’. Must be an evolutionary thing.
Shortly after this, Dan and his wife learn that the baby they’re expecting is a girl at their ultrasound.
“Here’s the head, and here’s the spine…” the nurse says, pointing at gray blotches that look like, well, gray blotches.
“Okay, so it looks like you’re having a little girl!”
Crap. I mean, hooray!
Oh, I’m screwed, I’m screwed. HOORAY!
Don’t worry. By the time little Savvy arrives, the parents are prepared, logistically. But they weren’t prepared for their new bundle to spend a week in the NICU. You’ll have to read the book if you want to know more about that. I’m not going to recount any of that section here because it makes me cry.
But on the other side of that, there are more humorous episodes, including a messed up baptism, the effects of lost sleep, and a public temper tantrum (the baby’s, not Dan’s) which Dan affectionately calls The Publix Meltdown.
I grab the box, slide it into the rack under the cart, and start to push the cart away from the bin of bouncy balls
And. She. Lets. Loose.
She is screaming like I am killing her.
I am completely caught off guard. It took me a moment to even figure out what she was screeching about. Then, I apply some ADULT logic: “Honey, you have about SIX of those at home (which is 5 minutes from here)…
HA! What, are you nuts? Trying to use Adult logic and reasoning on a crying baby?
She goes bananas.
Any parent can relate to this. My own child pulled one of these so severe I had to carry him out whilst he held himself stiff and horizontal. That was a fun day.
Anyway, the meltdown story ends well.
At this point my kid is once again on the floor and she has been crying so hard that she is red-faced and coughing. I’m pretty red-faced myself.
I tell the lady, in my best I’m Not A Child Abuser voice: “Ma’am, I will try anything right now.”
So the lady asks my daughter, “Sweetie, would you like a balloon?”
And……..the crying stops.
Instant silence from my daughter.
My kid looks up and asks back: balloon?
The lady hands her a small latex helium balloon on a string. LIKE A WATER FAUCET THE TEARS STOP. THE CRYING STOPS. THE TANTRUM STOPS.
Such are the trenches of parenting.
What S titles are in your Bookbag?