I give JB a lot of crap, both online and off, and the man’s taken his share of flack over things like, oh, for instance, perceived inequality in household chores or midnight baby-wakenings, wherein “perceived” means “based on reality, motherfucker”.

Let me state for the record, though, that when it comes to taking care of a sick child, my husband is a goddamned king. He’s patient. He’s calm. He’s comforting and never shrieks in alarm when a child—as actually happened last night—vomits directly on his face.

I’m not proud of the fact that I don’t deal with sickness very well. I don’t know what my problem is, but I do know that a puking child sends me into an ineffectual doom-spiral where I enjoy many of the classic panic attack symptoms: pounding heart, trembling hands, and the certainty that Life As We Know It Has Permanently Ended. I rush to the computer and google stupid things (TODDLER VOMITING NO FEVER IS THIS EBOLA?), I gnaw my fingernails down to bloody stubs, I hover over the child boring frantic holes into their skull, hoping for some sign that everything’s okay it’s just a virus take it easy oh my god we are all going to DIE.

So anyway, Dylan’s been quite sick during the last 24 hours, and JB has been a saint. He’s at home with him right now, doing all the unpleasant tasks necessary when caring for a child not yet old enough to provide adequate warning before turbo-ejecting the contents of their stomach. Where I would be sending him a frantic series of text messages begging him to come home and help me keep the last of my sanity from unravelling, JB simply mentioned earlier this morning that he was amused to hear a Yo Gabba Gabba song about how “your mouth on your face can do a LOT”.


“You are such a good guy for taking care of Dylan today,” I wrote.

“Just being a Dad,” he wrote back, nonplussed.

He does it better than anyone I know, really.


73 Responses to “Just being a dad”

  1. Erika on March 23rd, 2010 8:02 am

    I have NEVER thought that JB was vulgar and whatever else. He reminds me of my love. I just wish that my honey was as handy around the house as JB.

    I hope Dylan gets better real soon. I’m ok with barf but right now my 5 and 6 year olds are losing their teeth. I HATE LOOSE TEETH!! I can’t look at them. I can’t touch them and if they start to bleed, I run away from them. I run away from my own child when they are asking for help because loose, bleeding teeth are GROSS!!!!

  2. MRW on March 23rd, 2010 8:17 am

    I agree with Samantha Jo that ideally in a relationship you don’t freak out over the same thing. Keeps the balance. It would seriously suck if my husband and I freaked out about the same thing at the same time.

    I hope Dylan is feeling better!

  3. Terri on March 23rd, 2010 8:34 am

    Holy crap! This reminds me so much of myself and my husband! Although, to be honest, I’m probably ten times worse than you about freaking out!! My husband is calm and amazing with my little girl when she’s sick, he’s my rock.

    Kudos to JB! And to you for giving him props. Hope Dylan is feeling better soon!!

  4. Donna on March 23rd, 2010 8:38 am

    Yep, what the first comment, (Amy) said. JB rocks, and I hope Dylan feels better soon, and the rest of you don’t catch whatever it is….

  5. Sarah on March 23rd, 2010 8:56 am

    I agree in theory that the concept of dads getting copious amounts of praise for basic every-day activities that moms do kind of thanklessly is a bit ridiculous- HOWEVER we aren’t really talking about a basic run-of-the-mill parenting duty here! This was GROSS and EXTREME. And I think any parent that willingly steps up in that situation deserves all kinds of praise. It wasn’t that JB felt he HAD to deal with it- he actually wanted to so Linda wouldn’t have to. That’s awesome! Some nights my husband stays awake with our crying miserable baby until 3am so I can get sleep. Is that a standard parenting duty? Yes, of course, but it helps me out tremendously and therefore, he gets praised for it.

  6. Rebecca (Bearca) on March 23rd, 2010 9:06 am

    This is awesome. My husband is the same way with sick kids: endless patience and ability to cope with vomit FAR better than I can.

    If only he could pick up his dirty clothes and empty the dishwasher. (!!!)

  7. Anonymous on March 23rd, 2010 9:07 am

    nonplussed = at a loss as to what to say.

  8. Courtney on March 23rd, 2010 9:27 am

    Who’d have thought a praise post would get so much trash talking :/

    From my perspective, it seems like you and JB have a really solid partnership with this whole married/jobs/kids/house/dog/fitness/life thing! But, you don’t need to give a shit as to what I think :)

    My fiancee and I got a puppy 10 days ago. A golden retriever girl, and let me tell you, it melts my heart a little to see him handle her. I think, without a doubt, he’ll be a more calm parent than I am.

    I hope Dylan feels better soon!

  9. Keri on March 23rd, 2010 9:48 am

    I think it’s sweet to show appreciation for a parenting-job-well-done. I’m sure JB does the same for Linda. Thanks, Linda, for reminding us to pat our good dads (and moms) on the back.

  10. lisa on March 23rd, 2010 9:49 am

    this was a lovely post. i hope dylan feels better soon, and its great reading a spouse give praise to their partner.. high five’s to you both!

  11. Daily Cup of Jo on March 23rd, 2010 10:01 am

    My husband is the opposite. He became alarmed one day when the youngest was coming out of the bath with a little rash on her backside. “Really?” I asked. If I called the pediatrician every time one of the fair skinned blondes had a rash, I’d be on the phone ALL THE TIME. But he’s sooooo much better at dealing with the pesky little fights they all get in with each other. So, I guess, if we’re lucky, we all get some balance in the parenting chips, wherever they may fall.

    Hope the little guy is okay soon.

  12. Operation Pink Herring on March 23rd, 2010 10:45 am

    And I see he’s cleverly protected the carpet!

    You may give JB a hard time here sometimes, but the only impression I’ve ever gotten is that he is a kickass dad/husband/human being. And that he can jump a fence like no one’s business.

    (I hope Dylan feels better immediately, if that wasn’t obvious.)

  13. Leah on March 23rd, 2010 12:18 pm

    Aaaactually, Anonymous @ 9:07 am, “nonplussed” means perplexed, which makes sense in that context.

  14. Annie on March 23rd, 2010 12:51 pm

    Good Lord! Can a woman not write a lovely post praising her husband without some angry and bitter reader trying to bring her down? I am a sahm and (most) days do 90% of the housework and 75% of the childcare (mostly)joyfully becaused I am truly blessed to have three healthy, active, happy kids that I can be home with during the day and a wonderful husband who is also a great father. Guess what? I pick my husbands dirty socks off the floor daily without complaining and he goes off to work every morning without bitching b/c we are a family and that’s what we do. Period. Beth needs to gain some perspective and grow up. Thanks for the beautiful and tender post about a loving Dad, Linda.

  15. Another Annie :) on March 23rd, 2010 1:19 pm

    I’m late, but this post rocks. Your husband rocks… the bitchy comments can suck it.

  16. Janet on March 23rd, 2010 4:53 pm

    I got one just like JB. Good lookin’, intelligent, handy (in more ways than one, (snicker)), and an awesome daddy. Aren’t we lucky ladies?


  17. Danell on March 23rd, 2010 6:46 pm

    I just want to make a slight modification to my earlier comment boasting that puke doesn’t bother me…because I just read elz’s comment. ohmyholyhell REALLY? She puked IN HIS MOUTH??

    I, uh…I believe that would bother me. Yes. I am sure that would bother me…HURGH!

  18. Kim on March 23rd, 2010 9:00 pm

    To Victoria: All I can say is, thank God your condescending ass didn’t procreate.

  19. ElizabethZ on March 24th, 2010 9:05 am

    I also have a guy who pretty much rocks in the dad department – despite other flaws so I give him a lot of slack for the stuff he doesn’t do so well. JB deserves kudos for his pukefest management and you are a good wife for giving that to him, publically even.

    An aside to Victoria – WTH? Violent? Porn Obsessed? You say you get this from Linda’s “writing”? You obviously haven’t read but a small handful of posts and maybe not even the whole posts at that or you would realize how stupid your comment was. And BTW your husband sounds like a pompous ass, you two deserve eachother.

  20. Shin Ae on March 25th, 2010 9:25 am

    I used to have the same reaction to vomit, and I still don’t do well. I’m getting better gradually, though. Maybe I am becoming ever-so-slightly desensitized. A couple years ago I tried to count the number of times my children had vomited all over me and came up with twenty (this number doesn’t include “spit-ups” and those little half-vomits).

    My husband is the one in our home who doesn’t get worked up about barf.

  21. Liz on March 25th, 2010 5:22 pm

    Linda, its really great that you can see his ability to handle this tough situation…and that he doesnt look for recognition makes what he does that much more special :)
    I am the same way with the illness, so much so that my hubby has to do the race to the bathroom with our daughter (who had 3 stomach bugs in just about 3 wks)…bless these awesome men who are so much better than some of previous generations!

  22. Shayne Bohnert on October 18th, 2010 3:09 am

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  23. Beverly Greenwall on October 21st, 2010 6:56 pm

    Very helpful website. Great post, have a good day!

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