Our trip to see the doctor revealed that we are going to be parents. The doctor let it slip that we would be having a son. I don’t think I could be happier. I’m probably glowing more than El right now! I was so excited, in fact, that I had to call Val before leaving the doctor’s office.
El was even more alluring in her glowing state. Our passion had not been swayed by these developments; but rather heightened, I think.
The pregnancy didn’t slow El down mush – at first. I urged her to get out of the house and do things now, as we would not have much of an opportunity once the little package arrives on our door step.
“You’re horrible, referring to him as a ‘Little package,’” she frowned.
I apologized, and she immediately shoved a book at me. It was a book on pregnancy. “Umm,” I stammered, “just what am I supposed to do with this?”
“Read it, silly,” she coyly smiled. “It won’t hurt you to know what I am going through right now.”
As the days and weeks passed, El began to show more and more. She was so excited the first time she felt the baby kick, she begged me to feel her tummy.
It felt so wonderful, knowing there was a little life in there, I just had to say hello to the little guy.
El persuaded me to listen to her tummy to see if I could hear anything going on in there, like the baby was going to be playing Gnubb or something crazy like that.
Towards the end of the pregnancy, El was becoming less and less helpful around the house. She was sleeping more and more as the final days dwindled on. I’m not faulting her, mind you, but it sure added to the chores I had to do.
I would get up early and head out to the garden before the sun rose. The recent days have been so hot, that I rarely bothered to get dressed to tend the garden. We were at the end of a dead-end street, with no neighbors nearby, so I didn’t worry about anyone seeing me in drawers. Besides, it was dark most of the time I was out there anyway.
As the sun rose over the horizon to greet the day, its warming rays gently caressed my exposed skin. It is such a calming feeling, some days I dreaded leaving the garden. At least I don’t have to worry about sunburn.
As the garden grew, the weeds gained pace and were overtaking the crops. I tried my best to stay on top of the garden, but I knew as soon as the baby arrived, there would be less time for it.
I managed to keep my head above water on the pressing chores until that inevitable day arrived. I had just finished up in the garden, when El came waddling over.
“It’s time,” was all she said.
I was extremely calm given the circumstance. I had read the stories about the husbands, forgetting to grab the overnight bag, getting dressed, and even their wives. I pulled out my cell and called for a cab.
As we waited for the cab to arrive, I could slowly feel something churning away in my stomach. A sudden wave of nausea came over me. I couldn’t help but audibly gag as the wretched feeling rose from the pit of my stomach.
El seemed not to notice, most probably in a maternal place I was not allowed to enter or experience.
The cab finally arrived and we were on our way, after some creative maneuvering to get El into the back seat.
Not a word was spoken all the way to the hospital. I mentally ran over the check list of my presumed responsibilities. Everything happens so fast, the checklist becomes a fleeting fancy; something not thought about until it’s too late.
Again, more pushing, pulling, yanking and yelling to get El out of the cab at the hospital. No sooner was she free from vehicle, than she was headed to the door. I was left to tend to the cab driver; apologizing for the wet spot on the back seat. He assured me it was not a problem; that it happened often enough and his insurance would take care of the cleaning.
Having paid the fare, I race behind El into the building.
We were immediately taken to the maternity ward. El’s doctor had been paged on our way up to the floor and was on hand when we arrived at the desk. El had been offered a wheelchair for the trip upstairs, but the orderly immediately withdrew after seeing the sneer on El’s face. It was clear to everyone from that point on that WE were going to do this HER way.
The doctor, however, was not to be daunted. As much as she wanted “this thing” removed from inside her, the doctor reinforced that it was “not time yet.” I meekly sat by her side holding her hand, watching the ensuing struggle of minds at work; trickles of blood forming in the palm of my left hand as El absently dug her nails into my skin with each contraction.
After what seemed liked days, El was FINALLY taken into delivery and I was instructed where to stand to be most helpful in the process. I took up a position behind El’s head and braced her back with my arms, aiding her contractions by raising her shoulders from the pad.
The doctor announced the head was beginning to push through. Seconds later, we had a son; healthy and with ten fingers and toes; AND beautiful purple skin color. I’m sure I was beaming. I was motioned to the side of the room, where the nurse had me clean and wrap our little bundle. As I was proudly displaying him for El to see, the doctor instructed her to push one more time.
Oh, my Lord! Twins! El had a look of horror for a brief moment after the announcement. As soon as she saw the second one had her grey skin color, her expression changed to a wide grin.
Mother and babies were doing great, so we were able to take them home a few short hours later.
We got Dusty and Smoky home, but had only one crib. Since the doctor never mentioned twins we didn’t think we’d need more than that. We laid them both in the crib, and I scurried out to find another at this late hour. I was fortunate enough to find the consignment shop still open and they just happened to have a crib. What luck!
When I got home, El was fast asleep, and the boys were quietly cooing to each other in the crib. I got the other bed set up, placed linen and got the boys settled in their own confines. I had set up this room as a makeshift music studio after my parents sent us a keyboard as part of a belated wedding gift.
I showered and got ready for bed, then checked in on the boys. Since they were still awake, I sat down at the keyboard and began to play. They cooed a bit, and then were fast asleep.
I was getting a bit hungry, so I went to the fridge and grabbed a flame fruit. I used to eat it fresh from the garden growing up. I walked back in to peek in on the boys and, finding them fast asleep, I took the hint and went to bed myself.
Things went pretty smooth for the next few weeks. The boys were really good babies and didn’t need constant attention. I was still able to get to the garden and keep it under control; for the most part, anyway.
El and I haven’t had more than a few minutes of time together, and then not enough for anything intimate. When I would go to bed, she would either be taking care of the boys or been long asleep. All of our waking moments were spent taking care of the boys. We hadn’t many any friends; none that we would trust with our children yet. Val and Cin were busy with their own family and housing project.
We finally found some time for just us. We snuggled on the bed for a while, talking about all that we’ve been through up to now.
All of this petting stirred feelings inside and when I suggested intimate relations, I was rebuffed with a most vicious response; talk about your Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome.
I was not ready for such a reaction; I grabbed a blanket and pillow and retreated to the sofa. Call me what you will, but I have feelings, too. Simple rejection would have been sufficient; that assault was completely unwarranted.
Sometime later I was awakened by El. I jumped with a start, thinking something was the matter. She caressed my cheek and assured me nothing was wrong; she just wanted to apologize for her inconsiderate behavior earlier. I assured her I was just as much at fault. We went back to the bedroom together, although it was quite some time before we actually slept.
El had finally succumbed to the sandman. I was ready to give in myself when I heard one of the boys start crying.
I picked Dusty up, trying to determine his reason for crying. Was he hungry…dirty diaper…? Then the assault of the officious odor upon my nostrils struck. Phew! What the hell did Smoky do? How could someone so small do something so offensive?
Since he was still asleep, I took care of Dusty; feeding him and changing his diaper. I took a few minutes to snuggle and play with him before donning protective gear and attacking Smoky’s intruder.
I placed Dusty back in his crib and he was out quickly.
Time to tackle Smoky’s problem. Why couldn’t El have had this pleasure? Boy, for such a small load, he sure smelled. His diaper changed, I snuggled him for a while. These are my boys; my progeny. I couldn’t help but swell with pride.
I played with Smoky; rubbing his nose with mine; making him giggle and coo. I fed him and put him down and made my way back to bed.
I woke one morning a few weeks later to find El eating ice cream for breakfast. Oh, Lord, what could she be thinking?
I would periodically find my way to the junkyard to collect scrap to repair my Nectar making machine. Not having the properly machined parts, it kept breaking here and springing leaks there. I see less and less of Val as the weeks go on, so I have to take care of the machine myself. Granted, I haven’t had much time to spend on making nectar, but I would fire up the machine now and again.
On one such excursion to the junkyard, I found an old dishwasher that someone had discarded. It didn’t seem to be in too bad of shape, so I decided to take it home and fix it up. With kids, we would soon need one as they grow older. The junkyard owner was kind enough to let me use his truck to transport it home.
Well, I soon found out why the previous owners discarded it. It kept breaking, spilling forth dirty dish water all over the floor. More times than I can count, we’ve had to clean up a mess on the kitchen floor.
I was supposed to be inviting Val and Cin over for the boys’ birthday. I called as soon as I got the current disaster under control.
Their birthday arrived and Val and Cin arrived. They had brought Rum with them. El was anxious to get to the cake so we got things under way. She rushed to the cake with Dusty and wasted no time getting the candle extinguished. Val grabbed my bass and played a birthday fanfare for the boys.
Dusty has my purple hair and eyes, but his features are pure Dust!
El was asking about Cin’s whereabouts. I heard someone vomiting in the bathroom as I was on my way outside with Smoky. She rolled her eyes and Val just grinned and shrugged as we both turned to look at him.
I blew out the candles for Smoky. Hooray for toddlerhood! Hooray for who is yet to be seen.
Smoky has his mother’s skin tone and eye color and my hair color and features.