Saturday, August 13, 2005

stories worth a thousand words #32



CJ aged 1 day, with his old man

Written: December 20, 2004

Everything was much more relaxed coming up to the birth of our second child, in fact, this time MyX decided to schedule an induction, so rather than have a bag ready-packed beside the front door, we could have everything in order and be prepared for a day in The Coombe Hospital that suited our schedule.

I was even able to book two weeks off from work to be there for the event. Now, when I said relaxed, I meant every stage right up to the arrival in Delivery Room 4 of a woman who can only be described as The Man-Hating Midwife Bitch From Hell.

“Ok, you can leave now if you want”, she barked, as she stormed past me upon first entering the room. By the time the birth was imminent, I was tempted to end a life in conjunction with the one that was beginning, hoping noone would mind! I do not know what this woman had against the fathers being present, but whatever it was, I wasn’t about to let her take it all out on me at this important time!

The culmination of my dealings with this weirdo came immediately after the birth when I looked down and proclaimed “It’s a boy” to which she declared that this was a fact the required some sort of confirmation on her part! I know they had some kind of special training and all, but for God’s sake my humble abilities as a male surely at least stretch to being able to tell the gender of a baby!!!

And so CJ was born around 1:30pm on July 21st, 1997. We already had the name picked out for a boy, since with my uncle and MyX’s father (both deceased) having it made the choice a natural one. Our first challenge was how to introduce him to his big sister, and this was achieved by ensuring he was in his cot and not in his mother’s arms when she first laid eyes on him. Of course, we were to later find that this was not a sure fire way of preventing sibling jealousy!

A couple of days ago I spent the entire afternoon with my son, as his sister was spending a day with some of her school buddies to celebrate her birthday which is later this week. I had promised CJ a lads day out which was to comprise a movie, watching some football on TV and finally watching the movie Star Wars.

Although it was a wet and windy day, he seemed to enjoy it all, though his main focus seemed to be on having evidence of his good times to be able to show off to his sister! He insisted on keeping the ticket and even the bag of popcorn from the film, and when he had the privilege of pressing the button for the pedestrian lights crossing the road, a task he would normally cede to his sibling, he would declare “Eat my shorts, RA!”

If the above suggests a dislike for his immediate elder, nothing could be further from the truth, for he absolutely worships her in every respect. This fact is borne out in his choice of Christmas presents this year – she has conned him into wanting “Bratz” dolls (albeit the male ones) so he can participate in her own various games!

It struck me early in his life that I was to be not only his principal male role model, but his only one. When I wasn’t around, he was spending the bulk of his time with his mother, his gran, his sister, his aunts, his female teachers. Being the cute big-eyed baby he was, he was smothered in attention from all of the above.

We had a classic example of his sensitive nature last Sunday, when Sandra the kids and I were in McDonalds for lunch. I went with him to the toilet, and as we left he hesitated at the door for a brief moment, at which time someone came through the entrance, banging the door into his poor little head. I knew he wanted to cry, and I could see his face as he tried to hold back the tears, since he knew he’d get a hard time from his sister if she saw him blubbing. I have said it to him as well for smaller things, but this time it was quite a blow the poor guy took, and tears were understandable. The whole thing just looked a little suspect to the woman watching us emerge from the restroom, with him crying holding his head and me, big bulky daddy towering over him!

He does his best to fight his corner with his strong-willed older sister, but more often than not gives in to her wishes. It can’t be easy for either of them being carted back and forth between their mum & BikerBoy, their gran, school, and me & my gran all the time, and RA is the only constant companion he has.

Overall it has to be said that my son has a heart of gold, and always tries to do the right thing. He is an extremely bright, caring little boy, and I would only have two worries about his future, depending on which way things go in the next year or so. I will either find myself having to threaten a fellow schoolboy’s dad for his son stealing CJ’s pocket money, or threaten my boy himself for smoking behind the bike sheds!

As we walked home from our travels on Saturday, I asked him the age-old question for the first time. “So, CJ, what do you wanna be when you grow up?” No hesitation, the 7½ year old replied, “A singer, just like Robbie Williams”. That response could be taken in SO many different ways, so I chose not to analyse it too much; instead I patted him on the head and looked forward to the rest of our “lad’s day”.

© JL Pagano 2004


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