Was I Just Visited By A Spirit?

My wife and son went out around lunchtime today to run some errands leaving me at home with our daughter and the two dogs. About halfway through lunch A started in on something cute that got creepy real quick. We were in the kitchen and I was standing at the sink while she was working on her lunch:

A: Daaaaaaaaddyyyy, look beehiiiiiiiinnnnddd yuuuuuuuuuuuuuo!

Me: What should I see?

A: There’s someone standing there.

Me: Where?

A: In the door (points to opening between kitchen and dining room).

Me: (waving at the empty doorway) Hello. (To A:) Is it a man or a woman?

A: Man

Me: Is he friendly or angry?

A: He’s fwendwey, daddy.

Me: (Phew!) Does he look like me or like Papa?

A: He looks like you, daddy!

Me: Does he look happy?

A: Noooooooo. He’s sad.

Me: Why is he sad?

A: He says he wants to wake up.

Me: I bet he does. (Turning to man) I can’t see who you are, but I miss all of my relatives who have died. I loved each and every one of you, and I need your help, still, to be a good man, husband, father, mentor, and teacher. If you can’t tell, I think of you all very often. Please tell any others I love and miss them, too.

I don’t spend a lot of time and thought on the spirit world. I don’t know if it exists. I’d like to think it does so I can stay connected to my relatives after they’ve passed.

Of course I did some googling about toddlers seeing spirits and dead relatives contacting the living, etc. Much of it was what I expected from watching a few ghost and paranormal shows: the spirit could be caught in the earth plane, is confused, or has important news for me. A lot of it seemed like crap.

I don’t know what to believe. So, if you’re a spirit trying to contact me, please leave your message in the comments.

Parenting kids in public places is passe

I’m sitting in the customer chairs of my local Bank of America branch on a Saturday waiting to close my accounts, and I get chance to see something that interests me: the real situation when parents let their kids run around.

So far only a few people have come without any kids at all, and most have come with two or three. All were under the age of eight and spanned the world’s major cultures. Regardless of race or national origin, all but one family put limits on their kids behavior.

This doesn’t surprise me. It’s certainly more common than not. But it got me to thinking about my own childhood and the expectations placed on me whenever we went into a store, bank, or restaurant. I wasn’t always an angel, but I knew there were consequences, and I knew I risked angering my mom or grandmother. It was a once-spoken understanding usually before we went in or immediately after I started to act up.

Even when I wasn’t cooperative, though, I knew it was NOT OK to run around shouting and talking loudly. My job was to stand near the person I was with, not hang on things and not whine or yell.

That just isn’t so today, and I’m wondering when this major shift occurred in the parenting paradigm. When did public parenting reach its tipping point? Is this just a pendulum swing? If so, does anyone see it swinging back again?

I don’t have actual answers for these questions on any grand scale. But my answer to this trend, and I hope it is just a trend, is to make sure I parent my children in public places the way I was parented. I know there are plenty of parents who agree with me in principle and practice, and to those I give a big thumbs up. To the rest, I stick up another finger.

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Surgery did the trick

G is doing much better since his surgery. Not only recovering, but eating as well. It’s interesting to see now what he was supposed to be like. He is always much happier now than he was before. He doesn’t appear to be as uncomfortable, and he is showing off more of his cute qualities (though Susan and I are thoroughly biased).

The only drawback is the diaper contents. If it wouldn’t be painful to him the way it was before, I would gladly take his pre-surgery production than what he has now. Of all the advice and cautions fellow parents gave us, no one mentioned the smell. Or, at least we didn’t hear it or didn’t want to believe it.

Other than that, life is much better these days for us and G. Again, thanks to everyone who prayed, sent well-wishes, cards and flowers. All are in our house now as a constant reminder of how much we are blessed.

Out of the woods

Blogging live across the wireless network at Children’s on a laptop borrowed from my father-in-law, Bob.

Life is a bit better for G now that he is about 17 hours of surgery. He appears to be feeling better, and his eating situation is much better. He is holding down food, which the pyloric stenosis was preventing. That’s the good news. The bad news, if it can be considered bad, is that he will not be home tonight. He will be home on Tuesday, assuming he is able to. The doctor said they would like to see him stay for a bit more observation. That means another night of Susan and I sleeping in-room with him. So far, that has meant one gets the chair that folds flat into a padded cot, and the other gets to sleep in a wooden rocking chair we have padded with pillows to make it a bit more comfortable. We have been trading off there, which is good, but the only getting any real sleep is the baby — which is all that really matters to us.

In all, I think I’ve spent about five hours outside G’s hospital room since Saturday. It’s really kind of weird because the rest of the world is going on around us, and yet the only news we care about is whether our boy is going to be better. For now, he will, and that makes us happy.

Just a quick note of thanks to everyone who has prayed for G. They certainly helped for a problem-free and quick surgery. His recovery is going very well. Also, it has really lifted our spirits to know that everyone outside has been pulling for us. The worst is behind us, and it helped us get through it to know so many were concerned for G and us. We are very blessed.

A wee bit of surgery

Well, G’s reflux turns out to not be reflux, but a very common physiological problem called pyloric stenosis. It is very common in babies. It is very common at Children’s Hospital, where G will have his surgery later today. In fact, it is very common in first-born boys, strangely enough.

The doctors expect him to make a full recovery very quickly because of his age, health and the fact that surgery isn’t very extreme. Also, the surgeon doing the procedure does dozens of these a year.

Both Susan and I are doing fine. The three of us are in great spirits, under the circumstances. Just keep G in your prayers over the next few days and we will post as we have the chance to update his status.

One Month (by Sue)

Well we have survived the first month and life as many told us will never be the same. My little munchkin has been diagnosed with acid reflux and is taking zantac. Of course the reflux burns his throat and now he is taking Mylanta– yes, my little tyke is high maintenance, but he is so worth it. He is growing and changing everyday, and Tim and I are constantly amazed. He is beginning to develop his own personality too. He is cooing more, and definitely recognizing our voices. He is gaining weight and finally growing into his clothes. We are sleeping longer and going longer between bottles. Last night he was only up once during the night–yes, I consider myself very lucky if I get 3 hours of straight sleep!

The first Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day was great for me, but I’m not the mother. We relaxed and just had a quiet day. I stayed up late with G so Susan could sleep most of Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Later in the day, we took G to visit both of his grandmothers. My mom was handing out meds to the residents in the nursing home where she works. I went in to see her and have to her come out to the car to see G and Susan. Before she came out, she stopped in one resident’s room to give her some graham crackers and milk. The woman was apparently named Stella. My mom tried to get her attention by calling the woman’s name.


No answer. Apparently the woman, who rolled along in her wheelchair unaware my mother was calling her, is hard of hearing.

“Stella!” my mother said louder. “Stella! Stella!”

I had to stand back and laugh. My mother seemed to be doing a very bad Marlon Brando in “Streetcar Named Desire” without even knowing it. I’ve never seen the movie, but now I think I will add it to my Blockbuster queue to get the full enjoyment of that moment with my mother.

State investigates Walgreens

The state Department of Public Health is now investigating the expired formula Susan and I purchased from Walgreen’s last week because G got sick from it. We’re excited about DPH’s response because we have received lackluster responses from both Walgreen’s and MeadJohnson, the makers of Enfamil. In fact, Walgreen’s has yet to respond to an e-mail I sent them the day we bought it, save for the typical auto-generated response. In it’s response, MeadJohnson hid behind the fact that there’s an expiration date on the packaging. They did offer us some coupons, though.

I spoke with a very helpful and knowledgeable woman from DPH today about the situation. For the record, DPH responded to an e-mail, by phone, within an hour of receiving it, and the representative has been nothing short of excellent. I contacted them on Friday, and within hours, they sent out people from the local health department to clear out the expired formula from the Walgreen’s. It should be noted they did this on Friday night, about 36 hours after we first bought it, and at least 24 hours after Susan gave the manager an earful and showed him the expired formula on their shelves. Apparently Walgreen’s employees didn’t give a damn that they were selling expired products.

DPH will also notify the federal Food and Drug Administration because MeadJohnson isn’t a Massachusetts-based company, and the Indiana health department where MeadJohnson
is headquartered.

We’re so happy someone is taking this seriously, because there obviously isn’t a sense of corporate responsibility here. Most of all we’re happy G is feeling better. It took him about 48 hours to get better. Even now, it’s hard to know if he’s completely better. He seems so.

Life has changed…. (by Sue)

Well life has certainly changed since the last time I posted to the blog. Since then, I have had the baby and life as I know it will always be different. My previous worries and priorities don’t seem so worrisome or important anymore. These days I worry about whether my son has had enough wet diapers, whether he is eating enough, warm enough and overall just happy. I am somewhat surprised to be honest as I never anticipated I would feel like this. These days the only thing that I seem to worry about is him…. I don’t care whether I have showered, my clothes are ironed and my car is nice and clean.. my life truly has changed. During my entire pregnancy several people told me that life would never be the same, and I didn’t believe them. Although only two weeks old, it is true that my son has changed my life forever. It is weird to think of myself as someone’s mother, but something that I am getting use to. I am now someone else’s advocate–someone who is responsible for someone else. And although it can feel like a lot at times and very overwhelming, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Although the pregnancy was long and frustrating at times, when I look at that little face nothing seems to matter. He was totally worth it and everything else–I’m not rushing to do it again soon, but I will have another one. Yes, me who said one and done is now realizing that my son will need a sibling someday. For the meantime I am content with just him and adjusting to our new life.