Week 1 with Dad: What Is Happening Right Now?

posted in: Fatherhood, Manhood, Marriage, Motherhood | 3

I’ll pick up where Johnna left off. I haven’t blogged since I found out we were pregnant with number 6!  I guess I needed another kid to provide me with blogging content or I needed radio silence to understand what was happening to our family.

Wednesday, Feb. 28 — Around 1:00 a.m., after baby arrived and the midwives had left, I went into work mode. For some reason I had it in my head that the birth pool had to be drained that night…right then. The $15 water pump I purchased that afternoon was not even close to feasible. I tried siphoning water earlier in the day and that was also unsuccessful. We had already discussed I was not about to suck start this mucus-blood-poo water.  I decided around 1:30 am to go outside, cut up the scrap hose, and attempt to siphon using the thumb method with a smaller hose. While outside I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and burn one of my three wood piles that has been out there since the fall.  30-40% chance of rain today, I’m going to be up anyway.. why not?!

That turned out to be a terrible idea.

The only thing I burned that night was all the hair off my left leg.  I think God clearly communicated, “Get your butt in the house and prioritize accordingly.” When I returned with the newly prepared hose, Johnna sleepily asked, “Are you cooking something?  Something is burning.” I was already convicted, but just in case it wasn’t clear… I was doing too much.  I thought to myself, “No, that’s just my leg.” I did manage to siphon most of the birth water and watched Battlestar Galactica while I waited.  Around 3 a.m., the siphon was disrupted, my throat was itching, and my pride was in ashes. What is happening right now? I called it a night. Welcome to the world baby #6!

Still February 28 — Day 1: Johnna’s french toast was consumed during the false alarm and the morning came quickly. I let the kids pick out cereal on the trip to Walmart right before the baby arrived as sort of a celebration and easy meal to serve and clean. They never get cereal so it was an exciting time at the King household the day they would meet their sibling. The oldest asked about my leg because he saw the bandage.  I quickly changed the subject after telling him my leg was burnt. Reliving your convictions the next day is doubly embarrassing. The Frosted Flakes I ate never tasted so good.  It reminded of my days in college where I ate cereal like that all the time, tons of alone time, plenty of choices, and very little consequences for my daily actions. Unlike today, 6 kids later where cooking breakfast 30 minutes late will set in motion an irrevocable chain of events that leads to tears, bickering, and potentially death by the end of the day.

Johnna brought in baby JK to the kids. We call him JK because everyone thought he would be a girl, now the jokes on you… Just Kidding. The kids were excited to meet baby and indoctrinate him into the family. Everyone wanted to hold him, jump around him, poke his soft spot, and then give a kiss after prodding him.  Mom is incredibly healthy after this pregnancy/delivery which makes a world of difference. By 8:00 a.m., I already started my second load of laundry and then allowed the TV to do some parenting while Johnna headed off to rest. 

I also bought hotdogs at Walmart the other day, well Turkey-dogs because I was trying to be healthy.  I don’t eat that stuff, but I want my kids to be better than me! Hot dogs are an easy win. After I rushed everyone to nap, I ate more cereal in silence.  Lucky Charms… Nostalgia. Our dearest friends brought a meal for dinner and I was thankful the church set up a meal train. Everyone napped — much needed. We went outside to play until dinner arrived.  It was a life-saver to not have to juggle 5 kids while trying to prepare dinner. Meals have been greatly appreciated. We welcomed our guests and our oldest promptly told them, “Daddy burned his leg.”  As if it is a normal part of greeting people. I said to myself, “Kid, you don’t even know what happened.”

March 1 — Day 2: Only Day 2, but I no longer knew what day it was.  It was all a blur. My routine was to get them out of the house as fast as possible. Come back by lunch to wash hands, eat, and nap. After nap it’s a race to dinner and then bed time routine.  The kids were banging on the Mayborn Children’s Museum 20 minutes early. By the time I got to the door and realized we were early, a staff-member was outside saying they would be open in a few minutes.  ‘Where is Johnna and why didn’t she forewarn me?’ Oh that’s right, she just birthed a baby. There were choices to make at this point. You can load them all back in the car only to have them turn the van into an indoor jungle gym.  You can choose to wait at the front door and make it awkward for everyone. You can choose to drive somewhere, but to load, buckle, park, unload, unbuckle, and walk back to the Museum is probably an hour escapade, minimum. The energy expenditure necessary to complete that option deemed it the least favorable.  Good thing Baylor has a nice campus to walk around because there wasn’t much you could do at this point with 5 kids. Day 2 was made perfect by our neighbors who brought Torchy’s Tacos for dinner. 

March 2 — Day 3: The next day we made a Target trip.  I haven’t been to Target since moving to Waco. But with the many gift cards we received, groceries needed and taking all of the kids — Target was Johnna’s suggestion to accomplish it all in one outing. 1 cart, 5 kids, 1 mission… waste time. Of course they wanted everything. I let them pick out one treat, some kind of healthy fruit squeeze.  I tried to find and buy a charger for my cell phone, but was highly unsuccessful. A store person pointed me to an aisle with 500 cords hanging from the wall. My only thought was “Lady, I don’t have time to read between USB C, Android this, and Apple that while watching 5 kids!” Especially since every time I go out with the kids there is a tense pre-briefing with Johnna about the dangers of child snatching, sex trafficking, and kidnappers. Our Pastor’s wife arrived that day with a ton of food and it pushed us through the weekend encouraged. 

March 3 — Day 4: The next day we went to the park.  One of the questions I get these days are, “Are they all yours?” Then “Any twins?” is the next most frequently asked question. The twins question I get, they are close in age, very similar features, and all the same skin complexion.  The “Are they all yours?” question is harder for me to see. Maybe they assume we have adopted some. Maybe this is a school field trip and I am the group leader. We do all tend to dress alike in the King family.  When I see families with 4+ kids the first thought that comes to mind is not , “Are they all yours?” It is usually “Teach me your ways.” Regardless, at the park it is easy for us to make friends. It is very likely that at least one of our kids is within the play-age-range of your kid.  We have enough in our family to start our own freeze tag game. Other randomly kids join in. It is a lot of fun. One boy started following us around the park. I didn’t mind, but the mom didn’t seem to have much of choice as he included himself with our crew. He came over to share our lunch with us. He was younger and very confident, so we welcomed him to our oranges, popcorn, veggie sticks, and fruit bars.  After lunch we headed back home. I sent a text to Johnna, “Coming in hot. Wash hands, face, and nap time.” She responded, “Landing is clear. Ready.” 

March 4 — Day 5: Happy Birthday to me. I have hardly had any time to consider today was my birthday. Johnna asked if she should come to church with us. “No.” When I got home she thanked me for encouraging her to stay home and rest. I played my newly gifted guitar, we ate on Happy Birthday paper plates and the day blended in with the previous days. That’s parenting sometimes and I was perfectly ok with nothing big or crazy in order to take care of my family. It was a miracle in itself that I found time to blog these journals and I wanted to remember what we did each day.

That was more or less the first week. By Day 6, it was a little less intense…or maybe not. My leg has healed, Johnna is back in business and we are enjoying life with these 6 King kids.

Thank you for the food, the prayers and for reading. God Bless!


3 Responses

  1. Sweet photos and a hilarious blog, Rashawn. Hang in there, Dad!

  2. christina

    my heart was warm reading this. no kids over here for Darius and I anytime soon, but we are really appreciating the blogging and the pictures. it’s time consuming for you all, i’m sure…but it’s appreciated. sending love to your family. sounds like sending dinner would be better. 🙂

    • Johnna King

      Thank you dear for this comment!! Glad to know there are more than crickets out there reading about our organized chaos. =) Love ya!

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