In high school a few of my friends started asking me which "Hughes Time" I was following that day; meaning I was either extremely early or extremely late. I guess it's continued to this day. When I'm excited I tend to clean my apartment and wait until it's an acceptable time to leave. I try my best to be less than 15 minutes early, any more and you run the risk of looking somewhat crazy depending on the situation. My parents always forced us to be late to everything, I try to correct that impulse in my life.
In October of 2008 I was going to go back East to upstate New York and also to Vermont. My brother and his wife were expecting their second boy to be born around the time I planned my trip. It's a crap shoot with these expected birth dates, from the limited information I've gathered. Yes, this is based on two to three kids being born two to three days outside of their expected dates - I'm not big on actual research. My plan though, was to time it up right to meet the new baby and fly back before the crying began.
My flight arrived in NYC where I visited Jay, Kyle and (although she's only become a friend recently, I'll count her) fiancé Emily. We spent a night or two together, getting drunk and talking about fun we used to have - we probably would have added new memories to the bank but we made sure to drink enough so that we wouldn't have to worry about it the next time we met up. My phone was constantly on my hip, ready to hear the news; "baby is coming!" But I made it through the 2 days without any water breaking on my sister-in-law. I'd like to think I had something to do with that.
On Monday I took the bus from NYC to Albany, because, after flying for 6-7 hours my parents still won't take the ~2 hour drive to come get me. I could take a bus much closer to their house but I don't, the 45 minutes each way to Albany is 100% my spite. I spent that and the following night at my parents house and then borrowed a car to head to Vermont.
When I arrived in Vermont my nephew (the one who had already been born) knew I was coming, shockingly he remembered me too, he greeted me at the door. It was amazing. He's such a cool little man. My brother wasn't yet home from work so my sister-in-law and I spoke for a little while, she looked somewhat like she swallowed a watermelon, an angry fucking watermelon who wanted the fuck out!
After a quick hello and a hug my brother said he was taking her to the hospital to induce labor and asked if I could watch the little man. I of course was there to help. Honestly though, I was there to see the three of them, welcome the fourth but I was excited to have some alone time with my little nephew. He was almost 4 at the time and I had never had a chunk of time alone with him.
At first I was really excited. However, I quickly realized that we didn't have a lot to talk about; we don't read any of the same periodicals, we don't watch the same news programs, I thought we might be headed for a quiet 3-4 hours before I put him to sleep. There would be no silence that night.
Kids, I don't know what you've heard but they have a shit ton of energy. You literally can't slow them down...but you can outsmart them into playing lazily. That came just after dinner, when I was tired. 2 hours of babysitting tired. Which for me, at that point in my life, was like a super marathon. Not that I was fat and lazy but I was certainly out of shape and I lived a life that really required little movement other than walking to my car. The travel and the time difference wasn't helping either...but those are all just excuses.
When you need "lazy play time" you build a couch fort. That is the answer. I'm not sure who was more excited. He got to build a fort and pretend we were under attack, and I was too big to sit in it so I got to lay down - legs popping out, protected by a wall of invisibility, of course.
After a while it was time for bed so I told him that, he said okay, reached for my hand so I could tuck him in and read to him. Along the way he turned and said; "Uncle Colin, I have to poop." I told him to go ahead, I'd wait downstairs. It was then he explained that he didn't poop on his own just yet. He needed a hand. A hand stuffed with toilet paper, scraping the left overs out of his mini man crack. My brother didn't tell me about this.
"Okay, buddy," what the fuck else are you supposed to say? Although, holding him up to the sprayer on the sink crossed my mind. I could explain how it's much cleaner than wiping but then again he was a bit too young to understand my perfect rational. So we walked towards the bathroom, we slowed the pace a bit as I braced myself. We hit the door and turned back to say; "oh, I don't have to go."
I quickly ran him up the stairs and put him in bed. I spent at least an hour reading to him, poop was never mentioned again.
That night both sets of grandparents arrived. The next morning I got my nephew ready for preschool. Just after the grandparents left I drove him, he gave me directions - which is adorable when he could hardly see out the window he was so tiny...also he was sitting in car seat that was slightly more bulky than a roller coaster chair. I dropped him off, went directly to the hospital.
As I was walking into the hospital I called my mom and step father's cell phones, but neither answered. I walked in the doors and looked for an elevator, my phone rang. "The baby just came."
By the time I found the room all the bloody shit was over. The new nephew was cleaned and ready to begin his life. My sister-in-law was starting to calm down, the nephew was brought into the room just seconds before I came walking in. I avoided the baby blood, I avoided the nephew-poo. 28 years into my life, I had finally mastered "Hughes Time."