Just Don't Let Dad Dress the Baby Boy...Just Don't (another old column post)
I can't believe it happened again. You would've thought I'd learned something a year ago. The sad thing is, my son is the victim, yet again. Let's get a quick recap of what happened last year as I attempted to dress Jack for an important event. Here's what I wrote in the '07 column:
The St. Richard's Easter Egg Hunt was about to begin and I was responsible for dressing my son in one of those "rich baby" outfits. This thing was tricky...a lot of snaps, buttons and things I wasn't use to. Not to mention, it didn't really fit. I was beginning to panic because the "nice outfit" section in Jack's closest was foreign to me. There was no way I could find a replacement. With that said, it was time for one of those emergency calls to the wife. Luckily, Sandy was near the house on a late lunch run for the nurse unit. A few minutes later, my wife swooped in, ready to rescue her son. Poor Jack, he was a mess. First of all, I didn't know what a "knee-high" sock was, so I had those folded over and pushed down. Second, the outfit was much tighter than I lead to believe. Every time Jack moved, something unsnapped or popped off. He sounded like a walking firework, which was the very reason for the emergency, mother mission. Naturally, Sandy saved the situation. Within 35 seconds, she found another outfit, made sure it fit, pulled up his "knee high" socks, and had the boy looking like a little stud. Sandy even managed to touchup a stain with whiteout. She was in and out in seconds. The ultimate problem solver. Very impressive.
Okay, so that's a tidbit of what I wrote in the '07 column. Now, let's move on to the 2008 St. Richard's Easter Egg Hunt. Just like last year, my wife had to work the weekend and would try to meet us there. The night before, Sandy assured me that Jack's "rich baby" outfit wasn't too small. She even had the boy model the thing. She spoon-fed me with what to do and how to do it. No way would I repeat the horrible panic from a year ago. So the next day arrived and it was time to dress my boy. Everything was moving right on schedule. The outfit went on with ease...no problem. As I began pushing up his knee-high socks, I thought they looked a little wrinkly. Why not go the extra mile and run an iron over them, get 'em nice and crisp? As I laid the socks across the board, a little voice in my head was saying, "No!" As I debated that in my mind, I grabbed the iron and flipped it on a "delicate" setting. As I began moving back and forth across the socks, nothing was happening. They wouldn't de-wrinkle. I got a little more aggressive...this wasn't making sense. Right about that very moment, before I could get another thought in, I slung brown, rusty water all over both socks. Oops. At this point, I remembered Sandy reminding me to be careful because that was his only pair. I began to panic. I grabbed some sorta stain stuff and started spraying and ironing, spraying and ironing, spraying and ironing. I was doing everything in my power to remove the rusty streaks from the clean, white socks. As soon as it became obvious that I was starting a fire, I realized that I would need to get creative...and get creative quick. Time was the enemy. I ran across the house to Jack's room and began riffling through his sock drawer. Stuff was flying all over the place. I was hunting for the highest pair. I finally found something workable, grabbed Jack like a football, raced across the house, and plopped him on the kitchen bar. I spastically tugged on two completely different socks and attempted to get creative. I managed to stretch one near his knee and the other close enough. I folded each one down about an inch from the top, attempting to give it the nice, knee-high look. I grabbed Jack, stood him up to admire my creativity. Not good. I quickly realized that Jack looked like he was about to play soccer in a "rich baby" outfit. He looked ridiculous, but I was clearly out of time and ideas. As we began our drive towards the Easter egg hunt, I visualized everyone pointing and laughing at my son. I could see his mom, with her arms crossed, giving me "the look." I desperately wanted to turn around, but couldn't because my wife wasn't answering her cellphone and Jack was in the back pumping his hands in the air yelling "Easter Eggs." I could never disappoint him like that, no matter how ridiculous his athletic, non-matching, knee-high socks looked. Finally, the phone rang. Sandy was on the other end telling me she had to go to a sudden delivery and would be stuck at the hospital. "Oh, don't worry about that....you're not gonna miss much," I responded (with a grin). As soon as my disappointed wife hung up the phone, I called my parents and asked them to quickly hide some eggs in the backyard, we were on our way. Hey, what can I say? It was a win/win. Jack goes on his Easter hunt and I stay out of trouble. In conclusion to this column, I have some good news to report. This will be the last time you'll read about Jack's wardrobe malfunction. Yep, my wife just began a nursing career at St. Dominic and will no longer be working on weekends. In other words, I can take "knee-high socks" and "rich baby" outfits completely out of my vocabulary. Life is good.