I would never describe myself as “optimistic,” “naive,” or “trusting.” On a good day I am pragmatic, jaded, and wary. On a bad day I am pessimistic, burned out, and paranoid. Today’s prevailing emotional state lands me somewhere between a good day and a bad day, a perfect neutral on the scale.
Admittedly, in my ongoing effort to maintain some semblance of mental health, I overlook quite a few realities. I am pleased that Steve-o is gainfully employed and I hope and pray he stays that way. Even so, I am worried about the upcoming birth of his offspring. The whole grandmother thing doesn’t bother me too much- I am old- and far younger women than I have been first time grandmothers. What does tug at me is the fact that the two of them aren’t married, and that fathers of children have precious few rights in such a situation. Fathers don’t have much say in their children’s lives even if they are married to the children’s mothers. If they decide not to get along, Steve-o will have to a.) pay support out the wazoo, and b.) fight for what little rights the state does accord fathers.
Maybe some of my worry is actually my bad habit of guilt tripping just a wee bit. Then again, the male contributor of Steve-o’s DNA wasn’t particularly interested in him, (or any other child, unless- like his current wife’s children, it came with a monthly government check) and I think it was the happiest day of my ex’s life when he learned he could sign off his parental rights and never pay child support again. Perhaps I am just cynical- or my ex was not normal, or a combination of both- but I had always been under the impression that most guys deep down really don’t care that much about their kids.
I have to admit that one of my fears is that I will be cut out of my grandchild’s life in much the same way that I rescued Steve-o from enduring weekends and holidays from hell with my evil ex mother-in-law. Granted, I know better than to give a 20 month old an entire box of graham crackers . I have more sense than to collect highly breakable crystal figurines and display them within the reach of a toddler (I have large dogs…my house is Sheena-proof-duh), and I’m just not cruel enough to make a three year old sleep alone in the basement, but, should the baby’s mother decide to give Steve-o the heave-ho, I might never get to see my grandchild.
The difference might just be that I don’t think Steve-o will give up on his offspring without a fight.
I am astonished by how much he really seems to care. He’s been to the Dr. appointments and the ultrasound. He makes sure she pays attention to her diet and health and he doesn’t smoke around her. He even bought a four door car and is trolling about for super safe car seats. Again, I am not prone to mushy sentimentality, but for a guy who didn’t plan to become a father any time soon he is getting with the program and on top of that, I honestly think he is looking forward to the impending birth. I don’t think she is going to allow him to record any video, but I know he’s going to be right in there watching every gory detail.
Believe it or not, I’ve actually observed “natural” childbirth. As far as my own personal experience, there is absolutely nothing natural about childbirth, but some women are able to give birth without surgical intervention. When my sister had her first two kids, both times my poor brother-in-law couldn’t handle the sight of blood, and he passed out pretty early on in the proceedings. I went in with her for lack of another warm body, and partially out of my own morbid curiosity. Thankfully, she always had her kids quickly and with very little trouble, most unlike me. It’s not that terrible to observe the birth process, but then I have had automotive technicians call me “iron guts.” Once I had to retrieve a finger that one of the guys got chopped off in a fan blade, ice it down, and then drive his sorry ass to the ER, while the rest of the guys stood around freaking out because there was blood. Pussies. At least they were able to reattach the poor guy’s finger, although his hand looked pretty nasty for a long time.
I don’t know if Steve-o has gotten the “iron guts” tendencies from me or not, but I get to find out soon enough. I get to do one of my favorite things, which is to be a fly on the wall and observe from a distance. In the matter of giving birth I far prefer being an observer versus being a participant any day.
The medical profession has its share of tantalizing, technical words that baffle outsiders. I know quite a few medical terms (especially the more gross ones) so I can catch a few snippets here and there that most people won’t get. I’ve probably spent more time in doctor’s offices and hospitals than the average person too, although camping out in medical facilities is one of my least favorite activities.
Here are a few of my favorite medical terms:
eviscerate: to rip the guts out of
co-morbid: along with, as relating to diseases that like to travel together
gynecomastia: man-boobs (really, you can look it up!)
exsanguination: bleeding to death
pruritus ani: butt itch
It’s not necessarily a medical term, but, piles: old time word for hemorrhoids.
I’m a veritable fountain of scatological information today!