Fatherhood My Experiences as a Father...
January 5 to February 4, 2004 (57th month)

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Friday, January 30, 2004
Last night we were watching Paramedics on the Discovery Health channel.† Most nights at 7 PM we watch at least part of the show.† We recently saw two episodes that we hadn't seen, but most of them are repeats.† One patient was a four year old boy who had just been discharged from the hospital after bilateral hip surgery.†† He was having trouble breathing.† I asked Maeve if she remembered that part.† She said, "He's the one who spit up blood."† I remembered the cast and his difficulty breathing, but sure enough, before he got to the hospital he spit up a lot of blood.

Today at work I mentioned how nice it is to be able to share that with my kids, and be able to hopefully make all kinds of medical conditions and procedures more familiar, so they won't be so scary or confusing.† Maeve's first choice of shows to watch without me are cartoons like Maggie and the Ferocious Beast, Arthur, Angelina Ballerina, etc.† If she's watching with me, her first choice is the "doctor channel", and then Animal Planet.† The people to whom I was speaking said they would have problems not getting sick to their stomachs watching Paramedics, much less have their kids not have issues.† Jill is sometimes bothered by some more graphic scenes, but Maeve and Hilde have never seemed to mind.

While we are watching, I explain what's happening in a clinical way, and explain why the paramedics have to do what they are doing to help the patients.† Even for scary situations, I try to explain it in a matter-of-fact way, and explain what needs to happen to correct the problems.† It would be nice if Maeve and Hilde would feel empowered to think through problems logically and take effective corrective actions, instead of going right to worthless panicking or running around screaming like most people.† It's along the same lines as "crying doesn't get you anything".† Panicking doesn't get you anything, either.

I asked Maeve tonight if she thought it was scary.† I pointed out that it is scary for a lot of the patients, and some people get scared when they watch the show.† Maeve said she didn't think it was scary.† I believe her.† Hopefully I won't find out later that it was a really bad idea to start watching this with her and Hilde when they were two years old, but right now, it looks like it's going well.† If the mechanical engineering career doesn't work out for them, they will always have this medical stuff to fall back on.

Sunday, January 25, 2004
We went to a hockey game tonight between the CVS AllStar Hockey Team and the Boston Bruin Legends.  The best we could figure was that there were a number of former Boston Bruin players, and some other older gentlemen who liked to play hockey.

There was one "referee" who was trying to be funny.  He would pretend to skate right into the boards and hurt his face.  At one point, a player threw down his gloves and started to fight with the referee.  Later the referee had a hockey stick that looked like it went through his abdomen, like a trick arrow through the head.  He also came out with a toilet seat strapped to his backside.

The final score was 10-13.  My guess would be that they didn't have former Boston Bruins playing the goalie position.  That seems like a pretty high score.

We asked Maeve after the game if she wanted to learn to play hockey.  She said she didn't, because they wear toilet seats on their backsides.  We explained that he was a little different.  We also said that if she was going to live in New England and not have Rs, that she would have to learn to play hockey.

Friday, January 16, 2004
We have been having some very cold weather here.  It has gotten down to -10 at night.  With the 15 MPH winds, the weathermen said there hasn't been weather this cold here since Christmas day, 1980.

With people using electricity for some of their heat, there were calls for energy conservation today.  I was going around the house turning out the extra lights.  Maeve got her exasperated tone and said, "Dad, we still need to see."

When it is this cold, it's hard for kids to go outside and stay warm.  They either have to put on so many clothes that they can't move, or they end up with cold toes, fingers and faces.  This is making me think that moving to Canada might not be such a good idea.  Maeve likes Texas, but I think that might be going a little too far the other way.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Iíve had a runny nose for about two weeks.  Over the weekend Hilde and I started having gunky eyes.  Hilde went to the doctor yesterday and got diagnosed with conjunctivitis and a probable sinus infection.  She got two prescriptions.  I called my doctor and got similar prescriptions for me.

Today Maeve went to preschool and Hilde stayed home sick with me.  We watched an Animal Planet show about a man who has a large crocodile as a pet.  I tried to convince Hilde that a crocodile was a better pet than a cat.  I donít think she was convinced, but at least I laid the groundwork for future discussion.  I tried to rest on the couch, but she kept having me read her books while she sat on my stomach.  We played with Play-doh and played with her doll house.

Until now Hilde has been very resistant to taking any medicine.  She would cover her mouth and struggle when we tried to give any to her.  With her new medicine, she has been entirely different.  Jill fills up a special medicine measuring spoon and Hilde has been taking it herself.  With the eye ointment, Jill was applying it.  Now Hilde does that, too.

Wednesday, January 7, 2004
Nanny doesn't have mail service on her road, so she has a post office box.† Jill went to get her mail on Monday when they visited, but she accidentally kept the keys.† Jill was talking to Maeve about it today.† Jill said she should mail the keys back to Nanny.† Clever Maeve said, "If you mail the keys to her post office box, how will she get them?"

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