Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Are You Sure You Don't Mean Rooster?

Mars Bar,

I think I might have another kidney stone. Since kidney stones are supposed to be the male equivalent of childbirth and your mom delivered the twins in one of those easy breezy C sections it's clear that the universe feels the need to visit birth pain on someone, and that someone is me. I've already had a stone for each of your sisters, so it makes perfect sense that the cosmos would sucker punch me now for having a third.

The reality of your arrival seems to be sinking in with your mom. Today as we were driving home she said maybe she could take care of you if I just handled your sisters. I briefly considered this until, turning into the driveway, long before we actually got to the house, I could hear the sound of endless samurai-like screams echoing through the neighborhood and I knew that this was the sound of my children. I also suddenly understood why none of the condos for sale in our complex has been purchased.

Even if I wanted to be solely responsible for your sisters they would have none of it. I'm strictly a lifting machine and poop target. When your mom asks them to run through their vocabulary they know a large number of words. When I do it they know only one: Mommy.

Actually, they've both adopted the word 'cock' for something. All we know is that it's in the kitchen somewhere in the vicinity of the stove. They both keep pointing in that direction and yelling 'cock!'. Naturally, we will not be having any houseguests until this phase has passed. I suspect twin two year olds yelling cock isn't helping condo sales either.

For the first time in seven years your mom will be off for New Year's Eve tomorrow night. Sadly, she will also be nine months pregnant and probably asleep by 8:45. We thought about having people over but asking people without kids to come hang out with you and your pregnant wife on New Years is kind of like asking sane people to voluntarily commit themselves. I expect to be drinking champagne alone, possibly to dull the pain in my kidney.

Then again, maybe I'm selling us short. Bars are just bars. My kitchen has a cock in it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

You're On My Caldendar

Mars Bar,

Took the girls to the doctor to get a glimpse of their little brother today. All we got was two rubber gloves and chance to hear your heart, which was quickly drowned out by screaming related to possession of the rubber gloves.

As we left the doctor said, I'll see you in the delivery room next Friday. That just sounds way too soon. The calendar on my phone only goes ten days out and sure enough you're now on it. Under next Friday it says 'HAVE BABY'.

You have to understand that I accomplished nothing today. I spent hours on the phone with the IRS just trying to get them to fax me a letter. I took two showers. I spent thirty minutes seeing what I would look like if I parted my hair the other direction. Next Friday isn't enough time to do my work and indulge in my recommended daily allowance of idiocy.

I've done this my whole life, and history is littered with bad precedent. Whenever I swear that I'm not going to make a deadline your mom says that I always say that and then somehow get in under the wire. I guess the lesson is, if you don't want to spend your life as a magician you should never, ever pull a rabbit out of a hat. Do it once and people expect it every time. Well I'm shoulder deep this time little guy, and I'm not feeling a rabbit.

I'm genuinely afraid that by next Friday the only things I'll have pulled out are a dictation recorder, a new hairstyle, and Hitler.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mars Bar,

Sorry dude. I may have used up all my words talking to myself today. If only I could get someone else to transcribe it. My voice on tape is like a nine year old girl. Hopefully that's just when it's on tape.

Anyway, I don't want to jinx anything, but I think I'm going to give you a run for your money. Visiting the OB tomorrow, we'll see how your half is coming.

Until then.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Mars Bar,

Just a quick one before I turn in. The holidays are over. Tree's gone. No lights. No Santas. It's done. Tomorrow you and I start racing. My script v. your delivery.

You may recall that I'm already way overdue and somehow Hitler worked his way into the mix just before I shut things down for Christmas. To remedy these problems I'm going to buy a voice recorder and dictate the rest. I read about a much better writer than me who does it, and at this point I'm willing to try anything. I'd totally buy magic beans if someone told me they'd deliver a killer third act.

Anyway, 8am, wal-mart, voice recorder and then... I don't know, I guess I just walk around talking to myself until I'm done? Then just come back here, write it all down, slap a stamp on it and have a drink?

This is totally going to work. My faith in shortcuts and magic bullets is as strong as ever.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pace Yourself

Mars Bar,

Let me start by saying that I received a very passionate letter today on behalf of the name Bear. Just need like a thousand more like it and we might get your mom's attention.

We opened presents today (your mom worked on Christmas). For a dude who's got two weeks left in utero you cleaned up. Frankly it got a little excessive around here. I think we're going to have to put the brakes on things before next year. Nixie has suddenly gone from one little stuffed cat that she hauled everywhere to a whole army of fuzzy and crying creatures that must be at her side at all times. She won't eat breakfast until they're all arranged where they can see. She ferries them between rooms like an army. And because they're all very important Ripples enjoys kidnapping and hiding them. It's kind of a recipe for disaster.

Last night I was thinking about things like your middle name, what kind of cell phone I'd really like to have, and other important trivialities when a friend sent me this trip report from some guys out of Salt Lake who'd spent three months hiking across two Alaskan mountain ranges and three glaciers, two of which had never been crossed, and then paddling out to sea before working construction to earn gas money to drive home. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like if someone were following me around with a tape recorder and they forced me to listen to half the crap I end up talking about. Forget waterboarding, I'd probably tell you anything just to keep from having to hear myself. The drawbacks of stainless steel refrigerators with black sides, the merits of LCD vs. Plasma, the weird bulge in the realtor's slacks on House Hunters, how do these things even merit the energy it takes to fire my neurons?

You're about to complete the journey from a little bundle of cells to screaming crap machine in just thirty nine weeks. That's a pretty breakneck pace when you think about it. My best advice is to keep it up. If anything, go faster. It's a whole lifetime you've lived in these last nine months. These guys stuffed one into just three.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Mars Bar,

We should probably talk about your middle name for a minute. I thought I was over Mojo, but it's been keeping me up at night. I think it's keeping your mom up also, but only because she hates it so much. I may have used up all my crazy points on Mars.

Your sister Nixon was supposed to be Nixon Bear Killen, and when I say supposed to be I mean that it was her name for the five seconds between when I thought of it and when your mom shot it down. Then we somehow settled on Jones as her middle name until your mom got cold feet in the final days and out of nowhere assigned her Campbell. One of my life's big regrets, along with thinking I could wear my mom's shoes to school and no one would notice, is not having fought harder for Bear. I feel like if I don't land you Mojo you're going to end up a Ted or a Tom at the last second.

Your mom's pushing Kyle in an attempt to appeal to my vanity. She doesn't seem to understand that I don't really have a lot of fondness for the name. She obviously doesn't remember that the Kyle I know wore women's shoes to 8th grade.

So the leading non Mojo contender seems to be Cooper. It's a great name, it just feels a little overused. I bet there's ten Mars Coopers in your first grade class. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm going to fight the good fight, but I'm a pretty crappy fighter (see above note about my footwear choices). Fear not, if I can't land it for you we'll just have another one. Little Mojo Bear Killen. It's going to be hell trying to find you guys gift shop license plates.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

No Way!

Mars Bar,

Christmas Eve here. The girls have pulled much of the wrapping off the presents and all the decorations off the tree. Not that they care what's in side, they're just mildly destructive by nature. Today they were sitting about three feet from each other, hurling legos at one another's heads, and laughing like maniacs. It's like living with very small frat boys. I could tell you to watch out for them in every post and I'd still be underselling it.

Nixie has eliminated the word no from her vocabulary and replaced it with the more specific "No WAY!" More milk Nixie? "No WAY!" You want your shoes off? "No WAY!" Today we were doing last minute shopping at the mall and I was in a hurry so I had them both in the stroller. Nixie prefers to push the stroller while Ripples rides in it (which is admittedly pretty cute) so the whole time I was rushing through the mall Nixie was screaming "NO WAY, NO WAY, NO WAY". I think we got out of there just ahead of Child Protective Services.

Anyway, enjoy a last Christmas in your little liquid world. By this time next year you'll probably be wobbling around like a drunken sailor, dodging sisterly projectiles like the rest of us, and remembering fondly when you had a nice, dark, quiet place to hide.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Some Thoughts Before Your Crash Landing

Mars Bar,

Hey buddy. Two weeks left, huh. Seems like you've gone from rumor to beachball overnight. Your mom constantly points out that that you're significantly heavier than a beachball and that walking around with a beachball wouldn't hurt her back or keep her up at night or make it hard for her to breathe. I've told her that I'm also suffering, and repeatedly showed her this nasty cut on my tongue I got when one of your sisters kicked me in the face (BTW, watch out for your sisters, they'll kick you in the face) but she's incapable of sympathy.

I realize I've done a poor job of keeping you up to date. No news about your newly minted organs. No existential freakouts about becoming a father. No advice on how to choose your genitalia.

The truth is, I'm both busier than I used to be and just as lazy. Having two lip splitting daughters and an actual paying job will do that. In fact, I'm writing to you from the wrong side of a deadline. I had a script due Friday. I told them I could totally hand it in on time, but that I had suddenly realized my main character should be Hitler. Since it was supposed to be a modern day story of self discovery you can imagine how that went over. The upshot is, if you want an extension on something, just threaten to make the main character Hitler. I now have until the day you're born to figure out a non-Hitler solution to my problems.

The point is, I haven't forgotten you. In fact, in exactly the same 'do your homework five minutes before class' way that I've lived the rest of my life I plan to remedy my radio silence. In addition to de-Hitlering my script, wrapping presents, and trying to eat with just the healthy half of my tongue, I plan to shoot you a hello everyday between now and your arrival. Think of yourself as a astronaut about to crash land into a foreign planet and me as mission control trying to give you a quick picture of the natives culture before they show up and start kicking you in the face. With any luck we'll both be ready by the time you pull your rip cord.

Until tomorrow spaceman.

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