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”.

sicksnig

“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.

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Amy
Amy
12 years ago

Heh. Linda, I think you should realize that there are scores of women all over the country with crushes on your husband. If for no other reason than his ability to jump over stuff…much less that he’s a good dad and awesome husband.

samantha jo campen
12 years ago

I am totally not hitting on JB in the slightest as I live with one at home but dude, there is nothing sexier than a good dad. I mean really.

And isn’t it a martial rule that you both can’t freak out over the same thing? Only one at a time? So in this case you’re perfect.

samantha jo campen
12 years ago

And I laugh now that my comment followed Amy’s. Yeah ego trip for JB!

Hilary
12 years ago

Oh, poor little caterpillar! (Something about the blanket and the green pillow makes him look like a very cute caterpillar.)

What a lovely post. You are lucky, and wonderful to put your appreciation in writing.

Pete
Pete
12 years ago

Drop cloth, very wise.

Bachelor Girl
12 years ago

Real men (dads) ROCK. Kudos, J.B.!

Beth
Beth
12 years ago

there are LEGIONS of mommies who do this every day with no extra or special credit given. my husband and i co-parent and he gets LOADS of credit for regular old run of the mill parenting like tending to a sick kid, changing a diaper, feeding a meal. these tasks are EXPECTED from me. there are low expectations set for daddies, but mommies are attacked for………..everything, really. not saying JB isn’t a good guy/daddy, but he’s right… “just being a dad” is RIGHT.

Judy
Judy
12 years ago

Nothing sexier than a good father. Period.

Add in that pretty face, the strength to throw kids in the air and win boxing matches – JB may be the ideal man. Or as ideal as men can get.

Mel
Mel
12 years ago

Or maybe my husband sent him this:

http://www.greatdad.com/tertiary/383/1887/top-10-dad-tips-for-getting-laid.html

(My husband actually sent me this last week: “I’m a good Dad…as described in Point #2 of the attached article”).

Maria
12 years ago

My daughter puked on my husband’s face once several years ago. My response was to make him wait while I grabbed the camera before helping him clean up. To this day he still gives me my share of grief for it, but he can’t deny it’s a classic photo.

Sundry
Sundry
12 years ago

Jesus christ, Beth. My point is not only that he’s a great dad, but he pulls this stuff off with calmness and ease—much, much, MUCH better than I do. Yeah, we’ve all been on sick duty and didn’t get a blue ribbon, life sucks so get a helmet. Doesn’t mean I don’t think he deserves credit for kicking ass right now. He’s not just pulling his weight, he’s helping me keep my shit together during a really stressful time.

Beth
Beth
12 years ago

yes, we all have our strengths and weaknesses as parents, and it’s great that you wanted to give a special shout out to your partner. i’m not attacking that. i’m commenting on the fact that the expectations for men and women are so unequal when it comes to parenting… it’s so extreme. i bet you get about a ZILLION comments praising JBs parenting. if you mentioned staying home with a sick babe it would be EXPECTED.

Niki P
Niki P
12 years ago

My ex husband was much better at dealing with middle of the night pukefest too- but I am better at dealing with teachers and homework and politics and all that jazz- it all works out in the end.

Expectations in this household are NO different. 50-50. Go me.

I think JB deserves a good old fashioned BJ don’t you?? (jus sayin)(plus JB and BJ just go so well together!!)

Rachel
12 years ago

I think the difference in responses to Good Dads vs. Good Moms has more to do with the difference in the way men and women communicate than with any societal GET IN THE KITCHEN WOMAN expectations. We enthuse; they quietly appreciate.

Also, Linda didn’t just mention in passing that JB was taking care of a sick baby; if she had, a string of OMG HE’S SUCH A HOTTIE *AND* A GOOD DAD posts would maybe go toward making Beth’s point. But she praised him for being awesome at it, way better at it than she thinks she is, and (most notably) for not expecting a parade in his honor as thanks, and that’s what people are responding to. As am I. Way to go, JB.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
12 years ago

Eric stayed home from school today because last night he was barfing his brains out.

Saturday night he got out of bed, went downstairs and puked in the trashcan instead of the toilet, because he didn’t want to flush it and wake me up. Can you believe that? He’s going to be 8 in a couple weeks (OMG!) and he is just to the point where he isn’t just puking all over the house, he can make it to the bathroom. What is really bad is he also has a horrible cough and EVERY SINGLE TIME he coughs I cringe expecting the puke to come.

I never handled the unexpected projectile vomiting well either. I remember a couple years ago he did it in our bed and I yelled at him then felt horrible because he kept saying he was sorry as he was puking all the way to the bathroom.

Jen
Jen
12 years ago

I love this, and am sending it to my husband, ‘cuz he’s a good at “just being a dad,” too.

Emily
Emily
12 years ago

Good for JB, both for being a good dad and for being a good partner and taking on the job that causes your hair to stand on end. I am simultaneously reconsidering ever having kids and waiting in eager anticipation so I can see just how great my husband is at parenting. :)

Sharri
Sharri
12 years ago

I, too, am one of those moms that wants to run in terror when my kid is sick. I hear exactly what you’re saying about the worry and panic. I have to tell you that it’s gotten better the more I’ve had to deal with. And now that I am a single parent, it has actually gotten easier for me. I guess I didn’t have a choice anymore – although I still do text my friends that are more even tempered than I am in these situations to make sure I’m doing the “right” things. Hats off to you to letting JB do what he’s good at, and you continue to do what you’re good at. Thanks for making me feel more normal for my freakishness.

Different Beth
Different Beth
12 years ago

I hope when my fiance and I have kids he’s this awesome. You are SO LUCKY. My dad wouldn’t come near us with a ten foot pole when we were sick; it was always mommmy. My dad’s a great dad, and WAY better than my mom at other things like helping with homework (even in college/grad school) and other intellectual type stuff. But when I’m sick I don’t want him around because he turns into an ass: “Did you breathe on me? Have you touched anything in the kitchen today? Stay in your room so you don’t infect everyone.”

js
js
12 years ago

Dude. He is awesome. Luckily (KNOCK ON WOOD!) my daughter rarely gets sick. But I can’t deal. When people puke, I want to puke. I want to help and be supportive, but really, I freak out. I remember my sister-in-law telling me about when my nephew had the flu. He’d puked all over himself, so she stripped him down to throw him in the tub, he had to hurl again, she whipped him around to puke in the toilet, while bending over the toilet to puke, he crapped all over her. “We just got in the shower together, me in my clothes. No big deal.” REALLY!?!?

Victoria
12 years ago

Give him a high five and easily mis-interpreted comment for me :)

Kate
Kate
12 years ago

I “co-parent”. WTF ever?

I like the image of JB covered in puke.

My husband does a pretty good job himself.

Danell
12 years ago

Everybody deserves to hear they’re doing a great job once in a while, expected or not! Yay JB!
And ditto to Amy’s comment.

I’m totally fine with the puking. And poop. And pee. Do it anywhere, I can clean it up with barely a sigh. However, do not LET me see you picking your nose. I caught my four year old picking his nose IN MY BED this morning. WHERE IS THAT BOOGER? WHAT DID YOU DO WITH IT? I cannot HANDLE the boogers. I don’t mean the runny nose on a baby, I mean the horrible things that a four year old can pull out of his nose. *GAG*

willikat
12 years ago

OK, first of all, this made me laugh until I cried.

And I think this was a great post. Way to go, JB. You rock. Not everyone can handle Teh Puke.

Becky
Becky
12 years ago

LOVE the drop cloth!

Shelly
Shelly
12 years ago

Same way around here. Anyone starts puking and I’m running around, flailing my arms and frantically yelling. My husband David is much more level-headed.
Also, LMAO at the YGG reference. You can always counter back at him with the same line, ya know?

Karl
Karl
12 years ago

I think this is why ideally there are two parents. I grovel to JB if he can deal with barf! I could handle anything except barf. Poop to the elbow was beneath my notice! Finger painting with diaper colors, no problem! but when (s)he puked, I had to run for it. Luckily my wife was just the opposite, she had no idea why I ran from the barfing kid (!!! kkkmmmmmffff gggllllrrppp ptha) but just about melted away when the poop hit the walls.

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

I read a few comments (until I got to a certain one…) so I have no idea what everyone else said, but I just want to say That’s pretty damn cool of JB and it’s also pretty damn cool that you tell him how much you appreciate him. Pretty damn cool all around :)

6512 and growing
12 years ago

Nurturing dads rock! And to expect Moms and Dad to perform their parenting duties as exact equals is naive. We have different brains and different hormones. Men are generally not biologically set up to excel at the multi-tasking, all-day-nurturefest that parenting requires. So JB rocks in my book.

janet
janet
12 years ago

ever try probiotics for yourself and your kids? it seems to keep illness at bay :)

elz
elz
12 years ago

Oh no. Years ago, my daughter puked into my husband’s mouth. BLECH! It was a terrible series of events, but funny now. Hope things pick up soon.

Yea for good dads!

H
H
12 years ago

My husband is the same way. When our son was about a year old, I was standing in the kitchen holding him and he began to projectile vomit, and vomit, and vomit. I was absolutely losing my mind and, as usual, frozen in place yelling for help. My husband came in the room and calmly but firmly insisted that I sit down! What? I didn’t and continued to panic, as he firmly (and more loudly) said, “SIT DOWN! SIT DOWN!” Finally, I did. Later, I asked why and he said the vomit was hitting the floor with such force that it was splashing up on the cupboards so he wanted me to sit down to minimize the splash-effect. How’s that for thinking clearly?!

By the way, I’m not sure if that’s a shower curtain under Dylan but my kids still have fond memories of being surrounded by plastic shower curtains when they were sick.

I hope Dylan recovers soon – and kudos to JB.

MotherGooseAmy
MotherGooseAmy
12 years ago

….and he can jump higher than anyone else I’ve ever seen! You are a lucky lady!

victoria
victoria
12 years ago

Based on your writing, I thought JB’s interests were focused on porn, guns, and building things with wood. You describe him as a vulgar violent guy with a knack for carpentry. It’s nice to learn that there’s more to him, and that he’s capable of patient and valiant parenting.

(My husband is his opposite: he never wanted children, can’t change a lightbulb, finds pornography repulsive, would not touch a gun for any money, has several advanced degrees, in his spare time is currently reading Plato and Stephen Hawking. He is the most intellectually curious person I’ve ever met, and by far the funniest and most interesting person to talk to, but he never wanted children because he knew parenting would require exactly what JB is doing right now.)

Fiona
Fiona
12 years ago

I love the acre of blanket he’s lying on, poor wee chap!

I’m emetophobic, and so had to pick a man with a talent in this area.

Hope all well in the household soon!

Jo
Jo
12 years ago

Whoa Victoria. That comment was one of the most condescending & unpleasant things I’ve read in a long time.

I <3 JB.

Christine
Christine
12 years ago

Go JB!

There is nothing better than a great dad! I had one and I am so grateful my girls have one too.

Lovely post, Linda and I hope Dylan feels better soon.

L
L
12 years ago

Hi Linda

I hope Dylan is feeling much better now. It is such a worry when your child is poorly isn’t it.

I think lots of women can completely understand your post, me included!

Mel
Mel
12 years ago

Go JB! Having a sick kid sucks – my 2 1/2 year old has been throwing up since last Tuesday with an awful fever. Thank goodness as of 3am Sun morning there seems to be no more throwing up and/or fever – just an awful cough. One tip learned over the weekend – never, ever give your child who you fear must surely be dying from lack of food chocolate pediasure when they beg for milk. When it projectiles in your bathroom you’ll never want chocolate milk again :(

Diane
12 years ago

DOOM SPIRAL. I cannot handle stomach viruses. I shut down entirely. Just as you described it — the WORLD is ENDING! Why doesn’t anyone see?

My husband, like yours, stays so calm and keeps us all together. Well, until HE gets sick, and then I freak out extra.

Screw curing the common cold, as far as I’m concerned. Colds? BRING IT ON. Cure stomach bugs, Scientific Community. That’s where the money’s at.

Sarah
Sarah
12 years ago

What a sweet post. I hope you’ll disregard Beth and Victoria’s comments. They obviously aren’t regular readers. JB comes across as a fun and nice partner for you. It is nice that you guys support eachother so well. Hope that you are all on the mend!

Christine
Christine
12 years ago

Hey Linda. It’s good to have a terrific husband who is a fantastic father, isn’t it? “Just being a Dad” is the same thing my wonderful husband says when he takes care of the kids/the sickness/the chaos when I can’t or am not around.

I’m getting pretty tired of the whole “Moms do all this and MORE and are EXPECTED to and NOBODY gives them a PRIZE!”

It’s not a damned contest, people.

There’s nothing wrong with calling attention to, and praising someone for, doing something good. Whether it’s “required and expected” or not. It’s part of being a good person — recognizing when others do good stuff, no matter how small. It (the good karma, whatever) comes back to you tenfold if you put it out there.

So, yay for JB for just being an awesome Dad, and yay for you for recognizing him and thanking him for it. :)

Olivia
Olivia
12 years ago

How sweet. And I love the drop cloth on the floor. Now that is some smart parenting.

Shawna
Shawna
12 years ago

I saw that you tweeted you were taking Dylan to the hospital last night. I really hope he’s made a turn for the better!

Anon
Anon
12 years ago

I hope Dylan is feeling better and that the rest of the family stays healthy!

We had a round of stomach virus a couple of weeks ago – 4 year old first, then 18 month old, then Mom, then Dad. In our house, Dad is not good with vomit (he has many other good qualities, but helpfulness when puke is involved, not one of them). In any event, when it was Dad’s turn, 4 year old said, “Dad, if you feel like you need to throw-up, just call Mom and she’ll help you.” I was all – ugh, my “helping” stops well before age 35…

Amy M.
Amy M.
12 years ago

So sweet! I’m glad you’re praising JB! Too often things like that go unsaid (I know I’m guilty of that).

My hubby is generally great with the kids, less so when they have a stomach virus. We have to go with our strengths. I’ll get the sick kids, he gets the dog poo in the yard. I can deal with things that come out of little kids, but something about dog poo … blech!

Christina
12 years ago

I hear you on this one. I suck at sickness especially the stomach bug kind. I get the shakey and panicky and all weirded out by it. My husband is a rock when it comes to this stuff. There are times when he drives me batty but I do realize he does a fabulous job in areas I cannot possibly be good at even if I try my hardest!

Also, WHOA (!!!) who knew an innocent post about being your husband being a good parent could illicit such nonsense from strange people.

katie
katie
12 years ago

i will go out on a limb and say most dads arent as involved as jb is (or seems to be). and whether they should be is another discussion. my husband doesnt put the kids to bed, give baths, and only changes diapers when i am not home (which is rare) ( i also am a sahm and my husband leaves by 730 am and doesnt get home til 730/8pm). so, jb can get props for being involved.

JennB
JennB
12 years ago

I can do poop and pee fine, but vomit no sir!! That is a great shot of Dylan in front of the tv, the perfect sick-day position. And I applaud JB’s use of a tarp-like thing to catch any errant puke.
Hope he feels better soon.
To give my husband props, he does a lot, he’s a work-at-home dad so he’s the first line of defense when a kid gets home. He entertains them after school until I get home, does the dishes after I cook, and does bathtime. I do all bedtime, though. However, I’m trying to do more for me and that means being out of the house more, so he’s on duty. And there’s a trade-off if he goes skiing or golfing, then I’m in charge. That’s what a partnership is, and if I feel he’s slacking, or if he feels I’m slacking (or doing too much), we’re free to comment to each other that we need help. THey’re his kids, too. And I’m glad he steps up and does his share.

Andrea (@shutterbitch)
12 years ago

Is Beth here from ParentDish?

I also agree there’s nothing sexier than a good dad.

My daughter puked a couple times this past weekend and my husband brought her upstairs with him to get her cleaned up and also to get the peroxide for the carpet mess. He also changed no fewer than four muddy diapers with questionable consistency *ahem* in them. He groaned a little about the situation, but dude is a rockstar. So he cleaned up the mess while I dressed the child in puke-free clothes and cuddled her. I can do the cuddling part.