what to expect

System Recovery: Backup In 10 Days after a Tonsilectomy

A tonsilectomy is like the execution of an intelligently designed performance- based contingency. It's painful for everyone involved but if they're not meeting performance requirements, they have to go.

In our case, it was close to 10 days of pain until we were back on our feet. It would have been 9 but a ridiculously cold day (-20 degrees) resulted in school closings throughout South Dakota and afforded us an extra day to recharge.

Although most days were spent getting enough fluids down (water, apple juice and chocolate milk) while watching every episode of Scooby Doo & Peg + Cat ever created... the following is an overview of her daily post-op progression highlights:

 

Day 0: Nervous but brave going in. Disphoria and pain waking up. Plesant and cheerful at home.

ATE: Buttery And Fluffy Scrambled Eggs, Buttered Hawaiian Sweet Roll
And Apple Juice

Quote of the day: "I don't like any of this! I don't like one bit of this at all and I want to go home!!!"- upon waking from surgery.

 

Day 1: Antsy from medication and inactivity. Apparently unaffected otherwise. Playing independently.

ATE: Buttered Noodles, Fluffy Pancakes and Fudge Pop

Quote: "I don't want to eat ANYTHING!"

 

Day 2: Antsy and A bit overemotional / easily frustrated. Clearly masking discomfort. Bored

Quote:  "...but I'm not a very big fan if ice cream because it makes my mouth so cold."

ATE: Fudge Pop and Buttered Noodles with Chix Broth few slices of Pear.

 

Day 3: Calm and Cuddly with random bursts of energy presumably resulting from boredom.

Quote: "They say on television that children love flashlights and they love stuffed animals...so they really love flashlight friends! I love my new flash.light friend so much I have to hug her a lot!"

ATE: Buttered Noodles, Pancake and Fudge Pop and Marshmallows

 

Day 4: Fairly normal but bursts of energy continue to mix with apparent drowsiness from medication.

Quote: "I feel like I was eating an apple and swallowed it whole without even chewing it up."

ATE: Nutella Crepe, Mozzarella Cheese and Fuffy Pancake

 

Day 4.5: Skipped a dose of Lortab in middle of the night to tfy and let her sleep through. Bad idea.

 

Day 5: Irritable and uncomfortable. Needed a lot if attention and TLC = cuddling.

ATE: Nutella and Sunbutter Crepe and Buttered Noodles with Chicken Broth and Grated Cheese

Quote: "Its nice to be out of the house. I havent been out if the house in a year!"

 

Day 6: Doing very well. Feeling well.Comfortable but bored. Seems like her old self.
Fluffy & Light Grilled cheese on Thick slices Kings Hawaiian Sweet Round Bread, Mac n Cheese, PEZ,

ATE: Buttered Noodles and Chix Broth and Pirate Booty and Gum.

Quote: "I want someone to color with me!"

 

Day 7: In great spirits. Happy and Full of Energy.

ATE: Fluffy Pancakes and PEZ.

Quote: "I feel perfect!"

 

DAY 8: Tired and difficult breaking out of the routine of sleeping in late cuddling and being naked. Voice changing: Sounding a lot like a miniature Kristen Chenoweth...or a cute Yeardley Smith (AKA Putter from Legend of Billy Jean)

ATE: Pancakes, Ham and Cheese, broccoli, boiled honied baby carrots, avocado, apple slices and salmon nuggets.

Quote: "My throat hurts just a little when I yawn."

Future Value: Real Expectations for New Dads

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My Letter to a few Magazine Editors:

After letting our nanny go, I took on the seemingly easily managed task of staying home with our 2 yr old daughter. She wasn’t sufficiently potty trained  to attend a local Montessori yet... so the plan was to save money while contributing more significantly to the development of our daughter Catherine. Everything I read portrayed today's stay-at-home dads as an in vogue and growing sub-culture of creative elites and the affluent who placed family above leisure. After watching my umteenth diaper commercial featuring only dad's, I figured that I would be in good company…that there would be dad groups to join… and bonding over play dates....but what I found was quite the opposite.  You see, I don't live in Tribecca or L.A....so I was the only at-home dad in my neighborhood. And in suburban Philadelphia, most working dads are about as accepting of stay-at-home dad's as they are of drag queens.

Upon embarking on what has become a life-altering sabbatical transitioning from working dad to at-home dad, I decided to keep a journal as a form of therapy… since there was no-one with whom to commiserate. I now post those journal entries on my blog: www.dbadaddy.com

As I share the experience of taking on this, at times, overwhelming role I also share the resulting new perspectives on fatherhood. Most mainstream media continues to print articles that discuss the increasing popularity of women being the breadwinners and  fathers taking over the domestic responsibilities… but no-one seems to be addressing the incredible hurtle men face of overcoming the generations-long conditioning of gender identity. Not to say that successful professional women have it any easier...they are still very much a minority, but they do seem to share more company.

Please consider exposing the social and psychological  challenges men with successful professional wives face, when they make the decision to “stay home” with their children who aren't yet spending 5 or 6 hours a day at school.

I believe if more men knew more what to expect, they would be better prepared caregivers and not waste as much of what precious little time there is trying to figure it out. If there’s one thing I have learned…it’s the importance of understanding early-on that attempting to balance work and the full-time care of a two year old ensures that both will suffer. The benefit of staving off professional atrophy comes at the cost of a child and father both being robbed of as much joy and growth as this advantage can afford. "Leaning In" to both Mom and  Dad's career requires outsourcing... not commitment and balance.