Fatherhood My Experiences as a Father...
January 5 to February 4, 2003 (45th month)

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Tuesday, February 4, 2003
Last night we saw a doctor show about a woman who had twins prematurely by C-section, and one had to stay in the hospital a little longer because he wasn't healthy enough to go home.  Today Maeve played doctor with Jill, and Jill had the same thing happen to her.  Maeve even used a refrigerator magnet like an ultrasound, and said we had to watch the babies on the TV.  She would move the magnet around and say, "That one is healthy.  This one is a little sick..."  I told Maeve that Jill was lucky to have as good a doctor as Maeve.

Monday, February 3, 2003
I took Maeve to preschool a few weeks ago and didn't know that I was supposed to make sure she got her lunch and coat in her cubby.  Whenever I picked her up, she got her own coat and lunch out of her cubby, so I figured she could put everything in.  I signed her in and left.  Her teachers were talking about how I just walked in and "threw her down".  Maeve asked why I just "threw her down".

Today I took her again.  I told Maeve that I was going to just throw her down.  I walked in the door, carried her horizontally, pretended to drop her, laid her flat on the floor right inside the door, and then I went to hang her lunch up in her cubby.  Now her teachers would be almost right if they said I "threw her down".

Thursday, January 30, 2003
At lunch today we were discussing how many children is a good number for a family.  My group mostly thought that four would be too many for parents to keep up with.  Someone suggested that one would be good.  I said the problem with one is that they don't have someone that they have to share with, so there is a greater chance of them growing up without enough consideration of others or understanding that lack of consideration can have negative repercussions for them.

I said two kids are a good minimum because they keep each other in line.  I said that I sometimes call Hilde "The Equalizer".  Sometimes Hilde will retaliate when Maeve hurts her.  Sometimes Hilde will treat Maeve just like Maeve treats Hilde.  If Maeve complains, we ask Maeve where Hilde learned to treat people like that.  I also said that adults could get arrested for doing things like handcuffing children to a radiator to punish them.  If one kid does that to another, adults say things like, "Don't do that.  That isn't nice." and that's the end of it.  That comment prompted a stunned silence.  The silence was broken when someone said, "The scary thing is that he has two kids already."

Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Hilde went for her 18 month check up today.  She got another shot, and again there was no crying.  She was 33.25 inches tall and weighed 23 lb 10 oz.

Sunday, January 26, 2003
Jill cleaned the playroom last night so it would be ready for company this afternoon.  When Jill was still in bed, she told Maeve to not mess up the playroom, because Jill had cleaned it.  Maeve went in the playroom and said, "This isn't clean.  Why does Mom say this is clean?"  That set off Jill, and she said, "Where does she get off saying it isn't clean?"  Maeve yelled back about a few things she found on the floor, and Jill said something about how most of the area was clean.  This back and forth discussion lasted for about 10 minutes.

Saturday, January 25, 2003
I talked to Maeve again about taking her belly button.  She told me that I couldn't because I only had room for one.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Maeve saw the picture of Hilde's baptism and said, "That is the day that Hilde got Baptist".

Sunday, January 19, 2003
We were all watching a TV show today where a father has left for work, and the rest of the family finds a squirrel in the house.  Everyone is screaming, and the mother asks the son, "What would your father be doing right now if he were here?"  The son replied, "Laughing at you."  We discussed with Maeve that a squirrel probably wouldn't be too big a problem, but that Jill would have trouble dealing with a bird in the house, because of Jill's bird phobia.  Maeve pretended to be a bird flying around the house, and then she said, "OK, Dad, now laugh at Mom."

Friday, January 17, 2003
Maeve cleaned up her own room.  I had to tell Hilde to stop dumping books off Maeve's bookshelf on the floor.

Thursday, January 16, 2003
Maeve and Hilde helped me make the drain hole bigger for the new bathroom vanity that we are putting in.  I had to chip out some floor tile before sawing through the subfloor.  We found some pretty white and blue speckled tile below the ugly brown tile that is on top now.  I told Maeve and Hilde that Mom would be mad when she saw that.  Jill was ticked, and she said, "What were they thinking, to replace that pretty tile with the ugly brown?"

Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Hilde had her eye surgery today.  Jill and I dropped Maeve off at preschool early and we both went to Children's Hospital.  After waiting, I got to take Hilde into the operating room.  They used some gas to put her to sleep, and then they kicked me out.  The started the IV after she was asleep, and the whole operation took about 5 minutes.  They just had to put a probe into her tear duct to clear it out, and then irrigate it well.  We sat with Hilde for an hour in the recovery room, and then we went home.  Hilde was a little sluggish and clingy all day, but it still went very well.  Other than me not getting to watch the procedure, we had no complaints.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Jill told Hilde that she could wean any time that she wanted to. Hilde just laughed.

Monday, January 13, 2003
Jill left Maeve playing downstairs today.  Maeve typed her own name on the computer, printed it, and got the printout to show Jill, all by herself.

Later Jill was working on the computer and Maeve said she needed to work on the computer and do some typing.  Jill asked Maeve if she had to use the real computer, hoping that Maeve would just type on her keyboards.  Maeve chose the real computer, saying, "Where else would I do my typing?"

Sunday, January 12, 2003
Jill asked me to go to Walmart to get some tissue paper.  On the way, Maeve said we should leave the tissue paper in the bag and tell Jill that we didn't buy any.  That sounded like something I would do, so I asked Maeve who she got that idea from.  She said she got it from Hilde.  Since Hilde isn't talking yet, I don't think that's right.

Saturday, January 11, 2003
I shaved my beard today.   It was nice to not shave for a month and a half, but Jill and I decided it was time for the beard to go.  Maeve and Hilde came in the bathroom to watch.

Friday, January 10, 2003
Maeve and Hilde went to Hasbro Children's Hospital today for Hilde's pre-op visit.  They both got a lollipop and a beanie baby teddy bear.

Thursday, January 9, 2003
Today Maeve said we were going back to Texas in the spring.  She said that Baby Isaiah was also going to visit us in the spring.

Wednesday, January 8, 2003 - Flight to Providence
Maeve told Mama Pat that she can sleep on our couch when she comes to visit. April and Isaiah can sleep on the floor. Mr. Jim can either sleep on the smaller couch, or on the floor with April and Isaiah.

We went to HEB today to buy lots of Texas salsa and similar souvenirs before we left for the airport. Security wasn't as stringent as in Providence, and there were no problems getting checked in. It was almost 7 hours from our arrival at the airport until we got to Providence, but there were no incidents, and Maeve and Hilde both enjoyed the whole thing.

April did a great job planning the whole schedule. Jill said this was the first vacation that I had been on with her that I didn't have anything to grumble about. My favorite part of the whole trip was scaring the lady in the Houston Space Center museum shop.

Tuesday, January 7, 2003
This morning Jill slept a little later, and I took Maeve and Hilde to the playground.  We pushed Hilde down the slides.  She didn't want to go down herself, even on the short regular slide.

We went to the Houston Children's Museum before lunch.  On the way we got behind some old people driving too slowly and taking forever to change lanes.  Mama Pat said her father used to drive way too fast, just so people wouldn't complain about him being an old driver.

Maeve's favorite part of the museum was a section on motion.  She got to send golf balls down all sorts of slides and loops.  There was a special "toddler" area for Hilde.  There was some fun stuff there that Maeve wanted to play with, but she was too old.

On the way out to the car, we saw a trash truck that had an arm which reached out, picked up a trash can on the side of the street, dumped it in the truck, and put the can back.  They didn't need anyone hanging on the outside of the truck.

Maeve said that Mama Pat has very soft toilet paper. She also said, "If we had this at our house, I would put it in bed and lay against it."

Maeve wanted to run around naked tonight.  She ran around the family room, and got stuck between Mr. Jim and Mama Pat, who were both trying to catch her.

Monday, January 6, 2003
We were going to go to the Houston Space Center this morning, but it was almost lunch time before we got there.  We went to a boardwalk park called Kemah for lunch, and then went back to the Houston Space Center museum.  It was almost time to go home by the time we got there, so we quickly went through some exhibits, and spent more time at the gift shop.

Maeve had just gone to the bathroom at the restaurant, so I was surprised when Maeve said she needed to go again.  I picked her up, carried her horizontally, asked why she needed to go again, jiggled her, and growled.  When a woman who was restocking t-shirts looked up to see this,  her mouth dropped and she gasped.  It must have been Maeve's laughter that clued her in to the fact that I was just playing with Maeve.

Sunday, January 5, 2003
We went to church today with Jim and April.  It's a pretty neat church.  It gave them a lot of opportunities to show off.

Jill and Hilde took a nap in the afternoon.  I took Maeve to a different playground.  April gave me directions, but I didn't follow them.  Maeve and I walked an extra 45 minutes before I called April for directions.  Jill overheard April and thought I might be going to yesterday's jewelry store to buy a ring. Instead, Maeve and I got to see new homes being built and talk about pouring concrete, roofing, and other fun things.

Jim and April took us out to dinner while Mama Pat watched Maeve and Hilde.

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