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10 Things This Baby Should Know About His Family

By John Cave Osborne |

Soon enough we'll need another stool.

Now that Caroline has crossed over the halfway point of her pregnancy, we’re starting to creep ever closer to the actuality of adding this little guy to our crazy mix. As such, we’re going through what few baby clothes we didn’t give away (since we thought we were done) as well as tinkering around with different sleeping arrangements. We’re also making note of everything we’ll need — from bouncy seats to gliders to receiving blankets to outlet covers.

And just last night, something occurred to me. We’re making all these preparations based on the fact that a little boy is about to join the fray. So in fairness to Grand Finale (as I’ve taken to calling him), I thought I’d let him know 10 things about his family that he ought to be aware of. You know, in case he wanted to make any adjustments of his own.

  • 1. Sleep is a factor: I never thought I’d be in bed each and every night by 10. But I also never thought that I’d consider 6:15 sleeping in. Our brood is a an early-to-bed, early-to-rise kinda group. Deal with it. Your old man had to. (Not to mention the fact that you’ll be responsible for plenty of sleep deprivation in the not-so-distant future.)
  • 2. Earplugs optional: One thing you’ll notice as soon as you wake up is that we’re an extremely loud crew. So if you happen to have a set of earplugs lurking around somewhere in your womb, you may wanna bring ‘em along.
  • 3. We’re down with the Lord: We believe, little man. In fact, we think that God has sent us something special with you, especially considering you were unexpected.
  • 4. We’re all Vol, y’all: I’m not saying you have to be all into sports. Your mom’s not into sports. Neither is your older sister. And sports have yet to hit the triplets’ collective radar. Even so, they’re always for the Vols. Because that’s how we do it in Knoxville. Oh. And get used to the color orange.
  • 5. Our “Dumbass Dog”: You may occasionally hear your mom refer to our Chocolate Lab, Briggs, as “the dumbass dog.” She’s wrong, son. He’s no dumbass. But he’s not exactly a Rhodes Scholar, either. As such, he engages in escapades which can be…frustrating. Two of which will pertain to you: First, he’ll probably eat your diapers. Your soiled diapers. No matter what lengths we go to in preventing him from doing so. Then he’ll throw up. Don’t worry. That one’s our problem. But thing number two will be your problem: it’s overwhelmingly likely that at some point, he’ll hump you. (And, with his diaper capers in mind, as long as he doesn’t try to kiss you, we can live with that. Hope you can, too.)
  • 6. The beach: We like the beach. We like it a lot. Which means you’ll be going a lot. We usually go down to Hilton Head twice a year. While there, we abandon most of what we consider to be our “normal schedule” and let chaos take over. But once we get home? Back to our normal schedule, kiddo.
  • 7. Neat freak alert: Son, your mom’s a neat freak. Period. Paragraph. End of story. At an extremely early age, you’ll be asked to clean up after yourself via the “Clean Up” song. It’s best if you just do as you’re told. Our house is always pretty clean despite our diaper-eating dog and four children. We like it that way. We genuinely believe that you will, too.
  • 8. Toilets can be tricky: At least once a week, one of our toilets will be clogged. One time, the boys tried to flush Kirby’s pink pants down the commode. (a) It didn’t work. (b) When the plumber retrieved them? They weren’t pink anymore. But it’s not usually the clothing that clogs the toilets. It’s the legendary amount of toilet paper your siblings use. Remember this tidbit. We’ll be talking about it early and often.
  • 9. Daddy sings: I’m constantly belting out pop tunes with words I alter on the spot. Annoying? Maybe. But I practically potty trained your siblings that way. You know Lady Gaga’s song Paparazzi? I sing it like this: Listen to your dad, it’s time for you to use the potty. I’m the Potty Nazi.
  • 10. Fussing, fighting and crying: At any given point in time, one of your siblings will be fussing, fighting, or crying. It’s awfully hard to deal with. So remember this — there’s magic in the melodrama, son. Although it’s tempting to complain about it, and while we’ll occasionally do just that, we try to remember that the noise makes us who we are. And that this chapter is among the most precious ones of our entire lives. Therefore, it’s best to not wish that noise away. For one day, it’ll be quiet. Then we’ll wonder where it all went and long to hear it once again, if only for an instant.

So there you go, son. Ten things about your family. OH. And here’s the 11th — Daddy can’t wait to hold you. Mommy can’t either. We love you.

Image: Hilton Head Island — bellying up at the Salty Dog. August 2010.

John Cave Osborne’s personal blog.
John Cave Osborne’s book website.

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About John Cave Osborne


John Cave Osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as Babble, TLC, YahooShine, and the Huffington Post. John went from carefree bachelor to father of four in just 13 months after marrying a single mom, then quickly conceived triplets. Since then, they have added one more to the mix, a little boy they named Grand Finale. Read bio and latest posts → Read John's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “10 Things This Baby Should Know About His Family

  1. DC Urban Dad says:

    Great post John. We are down with the beach and the G, but will pass on the Vols – Heels all the way. Not born, not bred, but when I die I will be a Tarheel dead.

    1. johncaveosborne says:

      @DCUD — i like the heels, too. appreciate your reading. you guys are about due, aren’t you?
      @Helen — you’re absolutely lovely for leaving such a nice comment. not sure about Grand Finale being lucky, though… HA
      @Maureen — i love lurkers. i’m a lurker, myself. come hang out w/ us for 72 hours and i bet you’d be able to think of someone who wouldn’t wanna join my family. (YOU!) so glad you left a comment, today. hope you leave another one, soon…
      @Patrick — no banning is ever justified. unless you don’t shape up, that is.
      @Otter — i think you should do one. i, for one, would love to read it. just like i love reading all your posts.
      @adrienne — you know what? i think i will print that one off and give it to him one day. i’ve got stuff like that for my other four. what a great idea!
      @meredith — as long as he doesn’t french kiss the dog, he’s probably all set!

  2. Helen Palmer says:

    This is an absolutely lovely post :-) Sounds like he’s a lucky little guy to be joining your family!

  3. Maureen Salamon says:

    John, I’m a frequent lurker but I just had to comment on this post. Who wouldn’t want to join your family after you describe them so poignantly? And I love how clearly you defined the things that makes your family what it is, with all the personalities and quirks involved. Can’t wait to see what you name the little guy.

  4. Patrick (yeah, that one) says:

    #12: All the things Patrick told you about your daddy (before mommy banned Patrick from the house and your lives forever) were true, in a manner of speaking. Because perception drives reality, kiddo, and Patrick is a master at altering perception.

    Oh, and mommy banning Patrick from your lives forever? Sadly, that was probably justified. :-p

  5. Otter says:

    I love this idea. I may have to steal it if I don’t forget before I get around to it. My list would absolutely include 3 and a altered version of 4. We do it in Arkansas a lot like you do in Knoxville. Before Braden was born some people asked me what I would do if he didn’t like the Hogs. I said then he can find somwhere else to sleep at night. They seemed taken aback by my seriousness. Some people just don’t understand this is not a choice. It is required. And the last one was pure wisdom. I need to remember to cherish the noise and chaos as well.

  6. Adrienne May says:

    Love this. I hope you save it for little baby to read when he is early too, future funny story.

  7. Meredith Carroll says:

    Best of luck to Cinco. Sounds like he’ll need it. ;)

  8. Chase McFadden says:

    Reading this was a great way to start the day, John.

    The name Grand Finale has some pop. Our second Grand Finale will be two in a couple of days…

    #1 and #2 on your list are spot-on in our house, as well. No matter what the night looks like (late bedtime, illness, bed shifting), our kids roll out at the same early hour. And it’s immediately go-time on runnning, diving, body-checking, singing, crying, fighting – there is no easing in to the day.

    And as for the dry-humping diaper-eating dog? As Cousin Eddie says, “Once he starts in, it’s just best to let him finish.” (Tennessee leg hound?)

    1. johncaveosborne says:

      @Chase — thank you, chase. and yes, perhaps Briggs does have a touch of TLH in him…

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