Post Monday October 7, 2013
I promised myself that this wouldn’t be a tedious rerun of old Flintstone stories and other done-to-death sitcoms TV shows where the new dad is a bumbling stooge around the baby, and it won’t be.
But the scatteredness of the following chapter reflects just how sleep deprived I really was at the time, so I left it that way. Don’t worry; it gets better.
My friend JoAnne, who’s known me since we were next door neighbors in Ohio as kids, wrote on Facebook, “Oh my…the silence is ominous….has it really been more than 24 hours since we’ve heard from Dan and Michelle here on FB??? Dare I say it?? PARENTHOOD HAS HIT!!!!!!”
Boy, did it.
I was never the type of person who needed a lot of sleep, a fact that irritated my wife, who would fall asleep if she stopped her forward motion. It just never seemed like sleep was important in life, even as a kid. I never napped in kindergarten when all the other kids did. I’d have an 8:30 bedtime and fight for 5 extra minutes because I was SURE something interesting was going on somewhere. Then, after losing the battle, I’d take a flashlight under the covers and read comic books til late. Later, as a teenager, I’d read books or listen to the Reds games on an AM radio stuffed under my pillow, and as a college guy, I’d just watch TV. Post-grad, if there was a party, or anything good on TV, I’d be up til 2 or 3 in the morning, no problem, and then off to work early the next day.
That changed when we brought our newborn daughter home from the hospital.
Everyone had warned me to save up my sleep prior to the delivery day, but you really can’t do that, and if you’re me, it’s an impossible thought anyway. Even when she was in the NICU, I was doing fine. But once we got her home, it only took a few days for the sleep deprivation gods to attack.
And those guys play for keeps.
We got our daughter baptized relatively quickly, in a home ceremony with family and friends, which was a lot of people’s first glimpse of the little celebrity. I was no longer Dan, I was merely “Savvy’s Dad,” an honor it took a while for me to realize I’d received. Not the honor part; that was readily apparent. The receiving part – that took a while. Turns out, if you post enough interesting stuff about your daughter on social media, she becomes a celebrity and you are just her chauffer. But we’ll get to that.
We had heard from the hospital that we could do a baptism with one of their chaplains at any time, and while we were living in the NICU, we discussed it. Being Catholic, I was definitely going to get my daughter baptized, but I also knew that in an emergency, I could do it myself and it would be all legit with the Church. Our parish’s regular Baptism schedule would get Savvy’s Baptism done in about 3 months, so as an insurance policy, we called one of the hospital chaplains. They arranged for a baptism at our house right after my daughter came home. After all, it was her immortal soul we were talking about; why take chances? Then, after the smoke cleared, we’d hold an official Church baptism ceremony over at our Lady of the Rosary, a few miles from our house.
That was my plan.
So the hospital chaplain, an Anglican priest, schedules to come over to the house. I don’t know what difference having an Anglical priest do a baptism makes; I can do it myself, so why can’t he? And he was the guy on call that day at the hospital, so it seemed kosher. Michele’s mother’s birthday is April 1st, which was just after we had gotten home from the hospital, so in honor of grandma’s role in lifting Savvy’s spirits (and ours), we had the baptism on Judy’s birthday.
We invited about 40 or so family and friends, and held the festivities on our courtyard next to the fountain, on a beautiful Spring day. It went off without a hitch. Unless you consider when she puked all over Uncle Sal and our new couch, or the fact that the Catholic Church doesn’t do a formal baptism after you already do one, and frowns upon having to redo an Anglican priest’s handiwork.
Yep, we messed the kid’s baptism.
Actually, I messed it up all by myself.
Come back tomorrow for the next installment of Savvy Stories Chapter 3!
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