Court Jesters

Written Feb 19, 2012

We came home a week ago Friday and by Monday (six days post surgery) Timothy was fully back – smiling and making his old noises.

For the first few days in the hospital after surgery, the young lad was uncomfortable and not smiling much, and in trying to entertain him, it sometimes felt like we were jesters in the court of King Timothy – (‘You do not amuse me – away with you now and I may spit up on you later’).

Now the biggest challenge is diaper rash.

But this is not just diaper rash (and I’ll be sensitive as I know some of you may be eating as you read this).  This is some crazy unwelcome cousin of diaper rash.

And without getting into details, if Timothy had been taking full advantage of his diapers for the past five months, his bottom would be tough and used to being in a dirty diaper.  But it’s not, and so his little virgin bottom didn’t know what hit it, and the wee lad is not a happy camper at diaper time.

And so it’s King Timothy time all over again.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve invented Prozac for dogs, but science hasn’t been able to find a cure for diaper rash.

Laura is trying all kinds of remedies to crack this thing, and pretty soon we may be setting up a situation room or a laboratory to win this war.

We know that in a few weeks, this will all be behind us.  Right now, it just means taking a bunch of extra time at diaper time to make him comfortable.

And soon, the king will rejoin his subjects.

Given these challenges, the colostomy bag doesn’t look so bad.  That bag was actually a pretty simple deal, though we’re not likely to try to have the surgery reversed and the bag put back on him (not sure our health insurance would cover that one).

One thing we don’t miss about the surgery prep is Operation: Keep T Healthy.  We spent a lot of energy in the past month trying to keep the little leprechaun healthy for his surgery.  Our nightmare scenario was that he would get sick and they would have to reschedule the surgery for later in the Spring.  And so in the weeks before surgery, we became like Felix Unger and were wiping everything down and patting down guests and assuming that anyone who saw Timothy had bird flu.  It’s a relief to have that behind us.

Since we don’t know how Timothy’s speech development will go, and also just to try to start communicating more deliberately with him, we are starting to introduce a few simple signs, like for ‘bottle’ and ‘read’.  It’ll probably be awhile before he grasps the signs, but of course we keep thinking that he understands and is signing something back.  The reality is probably that he’s either just grabbing at the carpet or, if he’s signing anything, it’s more likely to ask us if this onesie makes him look fat.

Getting ready for church on Sunday’s has always been an event at our house, but having Timothy and his mobile circus adds a few wrinkles.  After a few months’ practice, we now have it so that getting him and his sidecar full of goodies ready is feeling more like an organized bucket brigade than the chaotic fire drill it used to be.  Now that we have the build up under control, I think that the Basilica would appreciate it if we could focus on getting there during the first 10 minutes of mass.

One of Timothy’s great qualities is that he’s a cute waker upper.  It’s very entertaining to see him, if he is not yet awake, do his slow motion interpretative dance/ stretch it out routine that concludes with his eyes open and blinking.

Even better is if he has been awake in his crib for 15 minutes and has been cooing and talking (‘I’m awake – what part about getting the baby out of his crib don’t you people understand?’).  If you walk in when he’s a little awake, he takes a quick look at you and then he breaks out into a big smile.  Seeing him is an awesome way to start the day, especially because of the contrast to how many of us get out of bed.

So that’s my goal this week – to greet the morning with even half as much of a smile as the boy in the next room.

Waking up grateful,

The Lees

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