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.