Thursday, February 06, 2014

Kylie Arrives

Then the realization hit me. My numbskull kids having babies? Oh the horror. I remembered every knuckle headed thing they ever did then transposed that over a childrearing responsibility landscape. Right off the bat, everyone of my kids started fires in the house and I’m only here to tell the stories today because…well I can’t say really. Dumb luck most likely? There was my son Matt at around five years olds built a campfire - in my bedroom on the carpet. He didn’t figure it would leave a permanent mark on the rug then threw more newspapers on it to hide the spot but also fortunately smothering the fire. In those days I still subscribed to the Washington Post though I was also getting the Washington Times as well so there was plenty of kindling around that Woodbridge townhouse. I learned of the inferno while downstairs in the kitchen. I hear the older sister early warning system. That being my ten year-old daughter using the term “aw.” Aw in and of itself may not be a bad thing, as things go in life. If my daughter saw a puppy or a kitten she might very well use aw to describe how she felt about the varmints. But that aw would be a long steady tone like aaaaaaaaaaaaaaw - isn’t that cute? The aw that echoed from upstairs was a warning aw that began with a low toned aw rising slowing but steadily to a higher tone. Generally, a parent can tell the seriousness of a tattling situation by how many octaves the aw’s travel. In this instance Tiree began with a baritone aw then rose to a aw that had the dogs barking in the neighborhood. At that instance I smelled smoke and rushed up the stairs to my bedroom. I found Matt standing there innocently enough over a smoldering pile of papers. There are times to discipline your children. Then there are times when they get you so mad it’s best to have them leave for a spell. That was one of those times. I said to Matt, “GO!” He obliged trotting down the stair wondering why he didn’t get a spanking.

Mind you, as numbskulls go, my daughter was the least of the quadrupled of siblings being blessed with x chromosomes or at least not cursed with y’s. Even so she was the last one that attempted to burn us out. That was in the house we rented in Davidsonville. For now, due to the statute of limitations the story may be told without fear of landlord repercusions. Hell, I’d only been to bed a couple hour after getting home from the Post. Then at four o’clock in the morning the smoke alarm starts going off. I open my door and look up at the smoke alarm. There is no smoke so I begin pushing the button to shut it off but it won’t shut off. I keep jamming the broom handle harder and harder into the button but nothing! Normally I have to have a couple expressos before doing anything complex after first waking and this would be no exception. The more I probed with the broomstick the angrier I became at not meeting with success shutting the damn noise off. Finally, in a fit of rage I turned the broom around and whacked the alarm off the ceiling. It crashed to the floor but to my amazement the siren continued like some demon force. So I stomped on the alarm crushing it into numerous pieces. When the siren kept howling, I was finally conscious enough from being jarred from my bed to realize it was another alarm ringing in the house. I yelled out in desperate confusion, “Dammit! There’s no fire!” At that very moment my son Matt opened the basement door and said, “Oh yes there is!” The smell of smoke at that very instance filled my nostrels. I raced down the two flights stairs into the smoke filled basement. There I found Tiree’s TV with a candle she’d left lit burning atop the set which had burned down setting the set itself to smoldering. No actual fire had broken out yet and it was even conveniently drizzling outside a bit. I ordered a couple of the boys to grab the bottom of the set and carry it outside dropping it onto the patio deck in the rain. I looked around and there was no damage aside from Tiree’s destroyed TV. Finally, one of the knuckleheads was being punished for their crimes instead of me for a change. I bid them all a good night and went to bed content having feared the worst then being punished the least. I still had to replace the alarm I destroyed.

Though my daughter was heads above the boys for which there are amply genetic reasons for survival of the species, that this is the case having boys manipulated later in life into adulthood by the girls. Even so I was surprised Tiree would even have a baby the way she railed against the concept as a youth. She didn’t like getting shots either and watched her mom getting loads of needles having her older brothers. Having said that the reality of having the ultimate puppy, a child, proved too alluring for her to resist. So she put aside her fears and had a baby. Deni woke me up and said Tiree and Will were at the hospital as Tiree was in labor. There were some complications that the hospital staff handled professionally. If I recall my wife was around during the actual delivery process as she’s a nurse. By the time I final got to the hospital all dangers had passed and mother and new daughter were doing fine. Will stood there like a proud father. I looked at Tiree holding my granddaughter then sat down. In a minute my wife grabbed the baby and laid her in my arms. I held her and marveled at how much she looked like her sonogram picture. She was a good fit laying there and into my life as well. Her parents had to provide for her but it’s grandparents’ job to watch over the grandkids and keep them safe. We have the time. I still remember my grandfather Hoppy telling me to walk facing the traffic so I didn’t get run over. Kylie laid there sleeping quietly on my lap. This would be how she’d spend the first few years of her life with me holding her rocking in the chair.

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