Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Guilt and the Modern Woman

Part of the reason I married the Wife is she lacks some of the stereotypical female traits that I find annoying.

Some women need a man. The Wife does not. She is very independent. We met in our 30's and I know she married me, not because she had to, but because she wanted to. Even the ticking of the biological clock is not a factor in her case, as I was the one who wanted to have kids, while she was a bit ambivalent about it.

However, there are some stereotypical biological imperatives that even she cannot overcome.


The wife has her thing once a week. In addition, one of us often goes out to shop or run errands while the other stays home with the kids. We used to try taking them both, but having twins is a license for anyone to come up to you and say "Twins! How cute. My friend/sister/relative has twins." I estimate anything we do with the girls takes at least 10% longer from people coming up to talk to you.

Although the Wife may not have had a strong biological drive to have kids, some of those drives kicked in after. Most strongly was guilt.

Once a week, when she goes out for the evening, she comes back feeling guilty that she has "abandoned" them, despite the fact that I also go out one evening a week. We both have personal things to do, and I often tell her to take some extra time for herself when she is picking up groceries to get her hair done, whatever she wants. She always comes back feeling guilty for leaving the kids for so long, despite the fact that it was my idea and it was only 2 hours. Believe me, I do not feel any guilt when I am away for a few hours and browsing through Best Buy.

I am not proud of it, but sometimes I will use this to my advantage and overstate how things were while she was gone. “This one wouldn’t stop crying, the other one wouldn’t settle down, I have a headache” etc. This is usually good for at least a clean up of the kitchen.

I expect this will become a high payoff strategy when the Wife goes back to work and I have them all day.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Day with a Social Workers is Like a Day Without Sunshine

I don't like social workers.

No offense to good social workers out there, but our experience has not been very positive.

About a day and a half after Jocelyn was born, she started to have seizures and had to go on medication. This was the first sign that something more was wrong than could be explained away by birth stress. The doc was very honest with us about it, and the Wife broke down and started to cry. There was a social worker hovering in the background who just about pounced on her with "How do you feel? Do you want to talk about it?" I have just found out that the chance of my daughter surviving has gone down significantly, how do you think I feel about it? And why would I want to share that with I person I have not even met before?

Needless to say, with the exception of one, throughout this whole process I have not met a good social worker. They seem to hover around waiting for you to have an emotional breakdown so they can swoop in and save the day. And they expect that I can't wait to share my innermost feelings with a total stranger whom I will never see again. Or they are spies looking to see if you can't deal with your baby so the heavy hand of the state can snatch it away. Perhaps I am a bit paranoid, but it isn't paranoia if they are out to get you.

The one we did like was very unassuming, gave us her card and said to call if we needed anything. We are not going to call, but I appreciated her low key approach.

I see the Social Worker like the Grim Reaper. You know it's bad if the social worker shows up. It's a cue that the news is going to be bad and you will be upset. In fact, if they do show up, you probably should get upset, otherwise they might think you are some non-feeling monster and start looking into you more closely.

In these cases, it is the job of the Wife to be emotional while I play the strong, supportive husband.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


A week ago we went in for a consult for a gastro intestinal (GI) tube for our daughter. She has been feeding through an NG tube for the past nine months. We were not keen on a G tube, but NG tubes are supposed to be temporary and it is not realistic at this point to think that we will ever be able to feed her enough orally to keep her alive, so this is the only option.

There are two ways to do this procedure. One is surgically, where they actually cut you open and muck about. The second and less intrusive way is to go in with a scope, inflate the stomach with air and find a place between the stomach and skin where there are no big organs or blood vessels and push a needle through to make a hole for the tube.

The scope procedure did not work, as the doc could not find a location where he was 100% certain that he would not pierce something vital. It's better to be safe than sorry. Unfortunately, this means we spent a day in the hospital and put our daughter through an IV and being knocked out for nothing. We have a consult with the surgeon on Friday.

At least we did not have to see a Social Worker.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Back to Posting

It has been some time since I posted, but I think I am ready to update this blog.

Stay tuned for regular updates.