Did I ever tell you about the time my wife called me an MFer? Well, the most recent time, that is? You see, since we’ve added child number five, there’s been an ongoing debate. And my wife and I are on different sides of that debate. Each, initially, equally assured that we were in the right. Yet this is a very binary matter and as time has gone on, the truth has gradually revealed itself. And sometimes people don’t like the white hot spotlight of that which cannot be contested.
Or at least so I gathered when my wife finally gave in and spit forth the shocking moniker.
Yet before we jump right into the debate, the table must be set, so please allow me to do just that. Given that I’m the biological father of triplets, it should surprise no one that I’m no stranger to holding a baby. And since my wife could not breastfeed the wee trio, it should surprise no one that I’m no stranger to the bottle, either.
Not that bottle, friends. Though truth be known, I’m not afraid. Still, the other bottle. The one with formula in it. And since Caroline is once again unable to breastfeed, I’ve once again found myself upon plenty of occasion with a bottle (of formula) in my hand.
So rewind a bit — back to the part of me being no stranger to holding a baby. Although I’ve not held our newborn (a little boy we like to call Grand Finale Osborne) any longer than I held the triplets, it should be noted that there is only one newborn. Not three. As such, compared to each of his triplet siblings, Grand Finale has enjoyed the ride in Daddy’s arms three times longer than the others. Possibly even four times, given that the triplets, at three-and-a-half, are going through a pretty intense Mommy phase, thus leaving me to be on “baby duty” more often than not.
And that means that my bond with the little fellow is greater than any bond I’ve ever enjoyed with any infant. It’s almost like we’re a little club, you see. And membership has it’s privileges. And one of those privileges is that I’ve developed a certain prowess as it pertains to all things formula. A prowess I contended that my wife, good as she may be, was unable to touch.
And she refuted.
So I pointed to the “scoreboard” — aka the spreadsheet that resides on the kitchen island. The one that records every once of formula ever consumed, as well as who administered those ounces. And on that scoreboard, two things were of note. Number one: I’ve actually fed Grand Finale more than Caroline has. And number two, the average ounce-per-feed is decidedly in my favor.
“Yet if we discounted for spit up, I’d have the lead,” Caroline protested.
“What’s that Guns ‘N Roses song, honey?”
“What are you talking about?” she asked in a confused tone. “Which one?”
“You’re F#&king Crazy, I think it’s called.”
“I most certainly am not. He definitely spits up more after you feed him as opposed to when I feed him.”
“Granted, upon occasion he has, indeed, spit up a bit after my feed, but only because I go in aggressively, which, by the way, accounts for my proclivity in getting him to finish his bottle.”
“The only proclivity you have is getting him to puke.”
“Nutritional transfers don’t just happen, Caroline. You gotta make ‘em happen. Besides, one of the times he spit up was when I was using that bottle with the nipple that kinda leaks.”
“What are you saying?”
“That the nipple malfunction led to a quicker-than-normal feed which led to his spit up. And that the aforementioned spit up shouldn’t count against the ounce per feed count.”
“Nipple malfunction, huh? Like Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl?”
“That was a wardrobe malfunction, Caroline. By all indications, Janet’s nipples were working just fine.”
It was at this point when we both realized that our argument was going nowhere. In the following week, however, I continued to get Grand Finale to finish his bottle virtually every single time. And what’s more, not a single spit up. Which is when the white hot spotlight of that which cannot be contested must have burned Caroline. Or so I gathered when she spit forth her profane moniker.
“You win,” she began upon yet another successful feed. “You MFer.”
“Hey,” I said defensively. “No need to throw ugly acronyms at me.”
“What’s ugly about Master Feeder?” she asked coyly.
“Ah. Nothing, my dear. Nothing at all. Thought you were going with something else. Sorry about that.”
“No apology necessary,” she said as she gave my knee a friendly tap. “You MFin’ MFer.”
She’s just jealous.
Shhh, y’all. The MFin’ MFer is doin’ his thang.