Wednesday, April 30, 2008

ThePeach's Dad is Operated Upon; Fun.

My Dad had surgery last week to repair a problem with his esophagus and, since my Mother has scarred him for life and he hasn’t remarried or even dated since their divorce 22 years ago, I had to go stay with him and take care of him as he recovered. What followed was one of the more entertaining weeks of my young life.

I should begin by pointing out that I’m a bit of a Daddy’s girl. Probably by default since my Mother is a crazy harpy, and when I have to choose between idolizing a parent who:

a) pops antidepressants like candy, makes up food allergies and illnesses for attention, brought CoorsLight into my life, and talks in the breathy voice

or

b) smokes pot while he re-shingles the cottage roof, is addicted to nasal spray, lets me say “fuck,” and hates my mother

then I’m going to have to go with the pot-smoking, nasal-spray sniffing, potty-mouthed mom-hater.

I should also point out that my Dad babies me. A lot. Some might find this smothering, but I’m starved for parental love and will gladly take it in the form of being coddled at the age of 25. I think the problem is that my Dad thinks I am perpetually 11 years old. I’m not allowed to use knives or electrical appliances when I visit him. He pre-cuts my food for me so that I won’t choke on large pieces. He serves me my food on a plastic puffalumps children’s TV tray. He walks me across the street. Just to reiterate – I am 25 years old.
For as long as I can remember visiting my Dad, this is how I would be welcomed to his apartment:

Age 11
ThePeach: Hi, Dad!
Dad: Covenchenco! Your pizza pocket is in the oven and I’ll serve it to you just as soon as I cut it up into tiny pieces. In the mean time, why don’t you read this “Seventeen” magazine and have a popsicle and a glass of orange crush?
ThePeach: YEAYYYY!

Age 14:
ThePeach: Yo, Dad!
Dad: Covenchenco! Your pizza pocket is in the oven and I’ll serve it to you just as soon as I cut it up into tiny pieces. In the mean time, why don’t you read this “Seventeen” magazine and have a popsicle and a glass of orange crush?
ThePeach: COOOOOL!

Age 17:
ThePeach: Sup, Dad!
Dad: Covenchenco! Your pizza pocket is in the oven and I’ll serve it to you just as soon as I cut it up into tiny pieces. In the mean time, why don’t you read this “Seventeen” magazine and have a popsicle and a glass of orange crush?
ThePeach: Word.

Age 21:
ThePeach: Hey, Dad!
Dad: Covenchenco! Your pizza pocket is in the oven and I’ll serve it to you just as soon as I cut it up into tiny pieces. In the mean time, why don’t you read this “Seventeen” magazine and have a popsicle and a glass of orange crush?
ThePeach: Ummm…ok, sure. Hey, maybe next time you could pick up a “Cosmopolitan” instead?
Dad:…but that’s for adults.
ThePeach:…Sorry, you’re right. I’ll have my orange crush now.

Age 25:
ThePeach: Hey, Dad.
Dad: Covenchenco! Your-
ThePeach: I know.
Dad: And-
ThePeach: After you cut it up, got it.
Dad: Why-
ThePeach: Ya, I see the “Seventeen”…great, Hannah Montanna is on the cover. I really relate to that 14 year old.
Dad: Have-
ThePeach: can I maybe just have a bottle of water?
Dad:…*gasps* what did you just say?!
ThePeach: I said bring on the Orange Crush and the popsicle!! You know I can’t read “Seventeen” without them!
Dad: *sigh of relief* I better get you an ice cream drumstick, too. You look like you need one.
ThePeach: Oh jesus.

Ok, I think you have enough background info to fully appreciate this story. Tally ho! (Heh, ho.)

I arrived in CapitalCity the night before my Dad’s operation, and he was in full coddling mode due to the anxiety of going under the knife. The first thing he did when I got to his apartment was show me how to use the microwave and the toaster, and gravely reminded me to not to use any sharp knives while he was in the hospital. Next, he showed me everything that was in the fridge and instructed me on how to prepare meals for myself:

Dad: Ok, don’t forget to remove the wrapper on the Pizza Pop. And I know it says to make them in the oven, but I don’t want you to burn yourself, so follow the microwave instructions instead. And it would be best if you could avoid using any knives, but *gasp* then how will you cut small enough pieces so that you don’t choke??? OH GOD, that’s it, I’m cancelling my surgery! I can’t leave you here – you’ll cut yourself and choke! *eyes well up with tears*
ThePeach: Dad…it’s ok. I’ve used knives before, and I’m always very careful. I promise to chew each bite at least 30 times before I swallow it.
Dad: *picks up phone to call hospital*
ThePeach: DAD! Don’t cancel your surgery! I’ll just…I’ll only eat soft foods while you’re gone! I promise!
Dad: *warily puts down phone* No knives.

Fifteen minutes later I was served a grilled-cheese sandwich on my puffalumps tray, despite my insistence that I had already eaten dinner. I made my Dad promise not to cook me anything else since he was sick and had been on a liquid diet for 3 months. Of course, I woke up the next morning to the smell of pancakes and was force-fed approximately 12 before I was allowed to push away the puffalumps tray and get dressed for the hospital.

Because my Dad is ghetto, we took the bus to the hospital. Because I am gimptarded, I fell ass-first into an old Chinese lady’s lap when the bus lurched forward. This amused my Dad but not the old lady. I hope I didn’t crack her hip.

At the hospital, my Dad’s nerves really began to take hold. That’s when the secrets started pouring out of him like vomit out of a drunken freshman:

Dad: Your Mom called me last night before you got here.
ThePeach: Ew.
Dad: I know.
ThePeach: What did she want?
Dad: Well she wanted to wish me good luck. That took 30 seconds. Then she spent the rest of the time talking about you and TigerCat.
ThePeach: Oh. Great.
Dad: Actually, mainly she talked about TigerCat. She kept saying how proud she is of her, and how well she’s doing, and how she never has to worry about TigerCat.
ThePeach:…ok.
Dad: Then she said that she worries about you all the time.
ThePeach: Um, why? Because I chose a life of higher education instead of divorce?
Dad: Who the fuck knows. She also kept saying that you’re going to be 26 years old soon, and then she’d point out that when SHE was 26, she already had two kids.
ThePeach:…that’s precious.
Dad: I guess that’s why she’s worried.
ThePeach: She’s right. I need to get started right away if I’m going to be a single Mom of two by 27.
Dad: *giggles* Seriously though, I think she just doesn’t like you as much as she likes TigerCat.
ThePeach: …
Dad: Ooh, I found a National Geographic Magazine!
ThePeach…

10 minutes later

ThePeach: *fuming* She’s worried about ME?? What the fuck!
Dad: Check out this picture of a lemur. Man, National Geographic rocks!
ThePeach: I’m going into a Master’s program!! I have two bachelor degrees! She only made it through two years of undergrad before she quit to get married and have me!
Dad: Actually, it was only one year.
ThePeach: WHAT?!
Dad: And she had already quit before I met her. Actually, she was working in a burger joint when we met. I think she just tells you that whole “I quit to birth you” story to make you feel bad.
ThePeach: OH MY GOD.
Dad: Look, Meerkats!

Thank you, Dad! I’m going to save that special secret to bring up at an appropriate time. Like Christmas dinner. Or her birthday.

1 hour later

ThePeach: Dad, please stop crying. It’s just day surgery. You’re going to be fine.
Dad: *wipes eyes* But who will cut your food?
ThePeach: Dad, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I use knives at home. And I’ve never hurt myself.
Dad: Yet. *sniffles*
ThePeach: Would you like another National Geographic?
Dad: What if they put me under and I see a bright light?! Oh GOD, I’m sorry I married that crazy lady! I didn’t know she was crazy! I’M SORRY!
ThePeach: heh.
Dad: I know she gave me my two beautiful daughters, but I’M STILL SO SORRY!!!
ThePeach: heh.

1 hour later

ThePeach: Dad, they’re going to wheel you up for your surgery now. I’ll be here when you wake up. You’ll be fine.
Dad: DON’T TAKE THE BUS HOME! YOU’LL GET LOST!!!
ThePeach: Ok, I won’t.
Nurse: *wheels Dad’s gurney down the hall*
Dad: MAKE SURE TO CHEW YOUR FOOD!!!
ThePeach: Ok, I will.
Nurse: *pushes Dad’s gurney into elevator. Doors shut*
Dad: *shouting behind closed doors* NO KNIVES!!!!!
ThePeach: *shouts back* OOOOOOKKKKKKKK!
Crowd At Elevator: *eyes ThePeach warily*
ThePeach: Ya, that’s right. I’m 25.

My Dad’s surgery took a little longer than we thought, so I was stuck waiting for him on his ward for a long time. I was very nervous and exhausted by this point. Around 9pm, the phone at the nurse’s station rang.

Nurse: Hello? Uh-huh? Uh-huhhhh…um, ok. I’ll check. *to ThePeach* Are you Mr. Peach’s daughter?
ThePeach: Yes! Is he out of surgery? Is he ok???
Nurse: Yes. He just woke up this minute. I’m on the phone with his nurse in the recovery room, and your Dad is asking about you.
ThePeach: About me?
Nurse: Yes, apparently he’s very anxious and wants to make sure you’re ok.
ThePeach:…he wants to make sure…that I’M ok?!
Nurse: Yes.
ThePeach: I’m ok.
Nurse: *into phone* She’s ok. Hold on, I’ll ask. *to ThePeach* Did you use any knives?
ThePeach: Oh jesus.

Precious.

An hour later they finally wheeled my Dad onto the ward. I anxiously met him.

ThePeach: DAD! How are you feeling??? Are you ok???
Dad: I FEEL GREAT!!!!
ThePeach: Really?
Dad: I FEEL LIKE A MILLION BUCKS! HERE, LOOK AT MY WOUNDS!!! *lifts gown, starts jabbing at incisions*
ThePeach: DAD!! Don’t touch those!
Dad: BUT I FEEL GREAT!!!
ThePeach: Shhh…Dad…people are sleeping….you’re a little loud.
Dad: I FEEL LIKE A MILLION BUCKS!!!
ThePeach: *to nurse* um…?
Nurse: He’s had a fair amount of morphine.
ThePeach: Ah.
Dad: A MILLION BUCKS!!!!

After they got him settled into his bed I stayed with my Dad for another couple of hours, until he fell asleep. I helped him sip some water and get comfortable. I placed his glasses, magazines, and my phone number all within arm’s length. I called his sister to let her know he was fine.

Dad: *singsongy voice* YOU ARE MY ANGEL.
ThePeach: Shh…sleep. Your room-mates are very sick and want to sleep.
Dad: *singsongy voice* MY ANGEL OF MERCY.
ThePeach: I don’t think you know what that means.
Dad: LOOK AT MY WOUNDS!!!
ThePeach: Shhh…I saw them. STOP JABBING THEM!!!
Dad: HEY, YOU KNOW THE SONG “AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK??!”
ThePeach: Nope.
Dad: *sings* IIIII’M AND EEEENGLISH MAAAAN IIIIN NEW YOOOORK!
ThePeach: Shhh…Dad, keep your voice down. Here, take a little sip of water.
Dad: *sips…spits all water onto his gown*
ThePeach:…?
Dad: I couldn’t swallow it.
ThePeach: I already got you a bin to spit into.
Dad: I FORGOT!!!!
ThePeach: Shhh…
Dad: IIII’M AN EEEENGLISHMAAAAN-
ThePeach: Hey, why don’t I turn on your tv? You can watch some tv nice and quietly until you fall asleep. *turns on tv*
TV: Welcome to another episode of Little People Big World!
Dad: *screams* MIDGETS!!! TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF! *screams* MIDGETS!!!


Ah yes, I am my Father’s daughter for sure.

When I got back the next morning to take him home, my Dad had no idea that I had even been there the night before. Ah, morphine.

It has been a week, and my Dad is doing fine. I stayed for 4 more days after his surgery but that was all my Dad could take of me being there without him being able to coddle me. He insisted on sending me home on Friday, and I would later find out that this was so he could sit on the shitter for two hours and attempt his first post-surgical poop in peace.

Seriously – I am my Father’s daughter.

ThePeach

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My grandmother doesn't like me using knives, the stove, oven or the iron... I totally understand.

-Mo