Tagged: finger sucking

Thunderstruck Thumb-Suck

Desert Lightning

I awoke suddenly to sheets of rain tap-dancing on the roof, werewolf-howl wind gusts, and the white-noise hiss of our baby monitor, my wife’s intent yet exhausted face lit by the screen.

“Hey,” she whispered.

“What up,” I yawned.

“He’s awake.” She turned the monitor to display my son in his crib, tossing restlessly. I glanced at the clock. 3:20 am.

“How’s she?”

“Still out,” she replied, just as the monitor toggled to our daughter, fast asleep.  My wife dubiously shook her head. “How are you just now waking up? How can you sleep through this?”

“Through what?”

A bright flash lit the room momentarily, followed by thunderclap that literally rattled the house.

Arizona LightningShe shot me a the-deafening-storm-you’ve-been-sleeping-through-you-lucky-bastard kind of look. My wife is a light sleeper, so she wakes up often at night and sometimes gets jealous of my hibernation-grade slumber intensity, particularly during nights like this.

“Oh,” I answered. “Talent?”

We are in the midst of what Arizonans call “Monsoon Season,” a time during which we are graced not only with three-digit heat, but also higher-than-usual humidity and a wave of tropical thunderstorms, including the most massive dust storm Phoenix has seen in years–or as I learned the day after the storm, the proper term is haboob. (Yes, really. How exciting is that?!) So, with that in mind, check out these pictures of this enormous, mind-blowing, spectacular haboob, from TWO angles!

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While it was incredibly cool to experience (at one point we couldn’t see anything further than five feet out the windows as the tannish fog enveloped the house), the timing was not ideal. The storm hit just as we were putting the Twins down for bed, so despite the soothing simulated-heartbeat jams of their Sound Machines (which I believe are from Miami), the rattling windows, moaning gusts, and our yapping watchdog kept them awake, which allowed them the opportunity to complement the clamor outside with alternating cries akin to dueling guitar solos.

ACDC

Luckily, neither the storm nor the solos Shook Us All Night Long.

I remembered the haboob experience as the sky paparazzi flashed another photo.

My first thought was: Huh-huh. Huh-huh. Haboob. My second was: Huh-huh. Huh-huh. But my third was: Get ready to hold crying progeny for an hour.

Not that I was hoping for it, but I definitely had to accept it as a possibility. But then, my selfish heart melted when I actually thought of the Twinfants, alone in their beds, waking with a start, never having heard or experienced such a loud, sensory-overloading thing. Recalling my own childhood and how terrified I’d get of lightning storms, I became totally okay with soothing them and letting them know everything would be okay.

Jim Halpert looking at the camera

I don't know if he's saying "hi" or mocking me.

My son flipped from his side to his back, his eyes wide open, looking up at the camera. I swear he already knows what it is and what it does because all the time I catch him half-smirking directly at it like Dunder-Mifflin’s Jim Halpert.

After a few minutes of silently willing him back to sleep, my wife and I gently high-fived as he found his thumb and sucked it all the way back to Sleepy Town.

“Okay,” I murmured, leaning over to kiss my wife. “Good ni–”

FLASH! (Yes, that is an onomatopoeia that doesn’t actually make a sound.) BANG!

“She’s waking up.”

“No she isn’t.”

“She is.”

Sure enough, there my daughter was, exhaling loudly, whipping what little hair she has back and forth. Now, she worried me even more. She’s a little more high-strung and observant than my son. Her eyes like dinner plates, she has a thirst for life in general and passionately takes in everything she encounters. This curiosity will serve her well, but it also causes her to get easily overwhelmed by situations that overload her senses. Such as bright flashes of light and loud booms.

Warwick Davies as Willow

The whipping-back-and-forth-of-hair phenomenon is credited to Willow Ufgood, who heroically did so while saving a baby from the evil queen Bavmorda.

The back-and-forth hair-whipping slowed to an alert halt at another flash and bang. Her eyes widened.

Oh no. Here it comes.

And then something incredible happened.

She just lost her mind laughing.

And then, in utter shock, so did we.

Each crash intensified her hysterics to a higher, more jubilant octave, rolling mirthfully back and forth as the storm raged on, while my wife and I tried to stifle belly laughs so the three of us wouldn’t wake my son.

Eventually, she tired herself out, found a tasty finger, and collapsed.

My wife and I, on the other hand, were now fully awake from laughing until we cried.

In fact, we listened to the sky explode for another hour, returning fire with overdramatic sighs and obscenities.

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If not, maybe you just need to think of the word “haboob.” Huh-huh. Haboob.

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Neo dodges bullets in the only good Matrix film.

We Recycle

Wife: Our son just flung vomit into my mouth.

Me: Yay, another milestone! Where’s his baby book?

I was not present at the Time of Flinging, for I was slaying daughter diaper poo in another room, but legend has it that the tragic trajectory events occurred as follows.

But first…

Our Son's Actual Baby Book (without his picture)--Click to buy from Babies R Us

There wasn't enough room in the book, so I wrote a link to this post instead.

Our son is a loose cannon in the spit-up department. Since his first day outside of his mother, he’s had a flair for reflux. We’ve been told this is more common with boys than girls and that it typically disappears after 12 months. In the meantime, however, my son often needs as many wardrobe changes as you would expect from Lady Gaga live in terrible concert. Bibs are no match for his vomit comets. Sure, they work okay, but ponchos would work better.

As his parents, my wife and I are constantly in the line of fire, enjoying refreshing vomit rinses multiple times daily. I can’t remember a day since I began house-husbanding that I did not need to change my shirt due to battle damage. Now, keep in mind, it’s high summer in the arid, scorching Arizona desert. Wussy, coin-sized spots dry right up and do not necessitate a wardrobe change. In contrast, here is an accurate depiction of the quality of work you can expect from him, as modeled by my lovely Who t-shirt.

My Who Shirt + My Son's Vomit

I thought I'd sufficiently burped him. I Won't Get Fooled Again.

After the day’s last feeding, we always feel we’re walking on eggshells that have already been slightly cracked by someone at the grocery store and that actually burst apart when pulled from the carton in an attempt to assemble them into a walkway, leaving us with egg on our faces and everywhere else. But the egg is vomit.

This is because once he’s had his last bottle, he could blow at any moment, but we need to get him ready for bed and put on his pajamas. So we do, so that he can hose them down, prompting Pajama Change 2: Return of the Reflux. And then he drenches those. and we initiate Pajama Change 3-D: This Time It’s Personal. And so on.

Not only is this process simply annoying, the re-changes often re-invigorate him when he’s just about to drift off, keeping him up later than he should be, depriving himself of much-needed slumber, and most importantly, infiltrating Mommy and Daddy’s only few hours to ourselves. How can I pretend to be interested in my wife’s So You Think You Can Dance commentary while flinging Angry Birds if he doesn’t go to sleep?

So when Old Faithful is about to be faithful, we are perfectly okay with doing anything we can do to keep his pajamas dry, even to the point of taking the bullet ourselves. One method we like to use is the Use My Hand as a Barf Bag Method (UMHAABBM), in which the user cups a hand and, well, you get it.

All right, now that you’ve been briefed, here is how the Great Vomit Fling of 2011 came to pass.

Into my wife’s mouth.

Eyewitnesses claim it began with the groan we have come to identify as “Fire in the hole.” My wife, who was sitting with him on the couch, valiantly administered the UMHAABBM with great success, inheriting a wrist-adjacent pool of formula, breast milk, rice cereal and prune baby food, spilling only a few drops and leaving my son’s PJs unscathed.

As she deftly balanced herself so as to not spill this treasure, my son noticed his hand, and remembering it to be an excellent appendage on which to suck, brought it to his mouth, still dripping upchuck.

He then glimpsed Mommy’s Bangs, another tried-and-true snack with the additional appeal of The Squeaky Sound Mommy Makes When I Pull and Don’t Let Go. His hand shot right for it.

Neo dodges bullets in the only good Matrix film.

Follow the white vomit.

Now, I may get in trouble with our Clan for divulging this, but my wife and I are ninjas. So in a move akin to Neo’s Bullet-Time dodge in the only good Matrix film, she successfully eluded his swipe, but–after a long day at work–did not account for the globule of vomit launched in the strike.

In its wake, not a day goes by since last night when it happened, that I don’t hear people ask, “Where were you when the vomit fell?”

They respond with awe and wonder when I casually remark, “In the next room, changing a diaper. No big deal.”

But it was a big deal.

At least to my wife.

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Author’s Note

A 500-Disc DVD Special Edition Bonus Feature

My wife has observed that Twincidents have tended to feature humor at her expense–sticking her face in my son’s feces for example. She explicitly stated that she does not mind because such experiences happen to all parents. However, she did suggest writing about my own unfortunate twin run-ins, to which I responded, “But I can’t think of one. Can you?”

“Actually, no, not really.”

“See?”

“Wait, what about the time you…?”

…but that’s another story.

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If not, at least try to get it in my cupped hand.