Color of the week: Red

14 Feb

The jury is slowly filing in, and red seems to be the emerging consensus as the color of Finn’s hair. It’s a good thing we didn’t name him Sven.

Red is also the color of the periodic scratches on his face from his razor-sharp fingernails. When we clip them, we simply create new sharp edges for him to self-mutilate with. So we end up mitting him regularly. Although that doesn’t stop him from hitting himself in the head. I hope he doesn’t have self-destructive tendencies.

Red was the color of our faces yesterday when we went to the pediatrician’s office, and Finn did one of his most impressive gastrointestinal performances just as the doctor was starting his examination. Complete coverage. Got to hand it to the kid — he doesn’t do much, but he’s awfully prodigious at what he does. The good news is that he’s gaining weight and growing like gangbusters — more than an inch just in the past two weeks. After some quick calculations, I determined that this means he’ll grow more than two feet in his first year. We’re already fielding offers for basketball scholarships. I insist he goes to a top 20 program with a good history department.

Red is the most popular color in all of Egypt this week. The national soccer team, which wears all-red uniforms and is nicknamed the Pharaohs (seriously), just won the Africa Cup. Red was the color of all the taillights from the hundreds of cars parading in front of our apartment past midnight, all honking their horns, with people screaming and waving the Egyptian flag out the windows. It was pretty cool to see everyone so jazzed up about their national team, which obviously is a source of a lot of pride to them. Granted, the fans have to provide the action, since there isn’t any on the field — the championship was a riveting, non-stop, action-filled affair that resulted in exactly one goal. (Red is the color of the back of my throat you can see when I yawn after watching about two seconds of “the beautiful game.”) But the people seemed to be happy, and that’s all that matters.

Finally, the whole town has turned red this week for Valentine’s Day. Turns out Egyptians LOVE Valentine’s Day — who’d have thunk? Seriously, every shop window is full of big pink and red fluffy objects, as well as red hearts with misspelled slogans on them like “I lov you.” This may not be the most exciting and romantic Valentine’s Day in me and Melissa’s relationship, but it’s our first one with Finn, which means there’s more love going around than ever before. And that’s a very good thing.

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16 Responses to “Color of the week: Red”

  1. tracy m February 15, 2008 at 5:02 am #

    Yay! Redheaded boys seriously rock. Trust me!

    As far as the fingernails- my kids all clawed themselves silly until one Ped told me to bite their fingernails. I was kinda freaked out about it- but it’s not so bad- your teeth and tongue can feel very sensitively where to nibble, and they never had sharp points again. That my 2 cents of unsolicited advice…

    Seriously, go get yourself one of this mispelled Egyptian valentines- what a cool souvenir!

  2. tracy m February 15, 2008 at 5:03 am #

    Yay! Redheaded boys seriously rock. Trust me!

    As far as the fingernails- my kids all clawed themselves silly until one Ped told me to bite their fingernails. I was kinda freaked out about it- but it’s not so bad- your teeth and tongue can feel very sensitively where to nibble, and they never had sharp points again. That my 2 cents of unsolicited advice…

    Seriously, go get yourself one of this mispelled Egyptian valentines- what a cool souvenir!

  3. jeff carrier February 15, 2008 at 6:16 am #

    I agree with Tracy, a misspelled valentine would be the coolest thing ever. The IUSB Titans could use a good redhead player. It’s not top 20, nor does it have a particularly good history department, but it’s close to us. Which is most important. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  4. Adri February 15, 2008 at 6:27 am #

    This is so well-written, Patrick! I may share it with my composition students. Beware!

    -Adri

  5. Stacy February 15, 2008 at 2:37 pm #

    I proudly admit that I bit all my childrens fingernails. Clipping them scared me. I thought I would get some skin. I never would have known that Egyptians love Valentine’s Day. Buy Finn one for posterity – and now you’ll get it at 50% off!

  6. mom February 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

    An Egyptian valentine in Finn’s baby scrapbook would be a great conversation piece in 20 years or so!
    Remember HAPPY NICE DAY!

  7. Dre February 15, 2008 at 7:00 pm #

    I can personally attest to the truly awful Valentines’ Day merchandise on display, at least in the local Maadi stationery store (‘”stationery” being a loose term, as I couldn’t find any stationery there). I very nearly bought a horrendous furry red picture frame but reason got the better of me and I abstained.

  8. Yvette February 16, 2008 at 6:35 pm #

    I would go out and get a bunch of valentines, especially the ones that kids give to each other. Think how cool it would be to give them in elementary school here in the states. Not only would they be vintage, but the children could practice their spelling and grammar. Go get some!

  9. Cody February 16, 2008 at 8:40 pm #

    Not that babies, love, life, solitude, and existential angst aren’t great (they are!), but I’m glad to see this blog upping its entertainment quotient with explosive poo and children hitting themselves in the head.

  10. Patrick February 17, 2008 at 11:20 am #

    To whet Cody’s appetite for explosive poo even more, I should add that Finn also had blowouts at two other perfectly timed moments: 1) when a woman from church, visiting Melissa to see how she was doing, was holding him; and 2) at church, mere minutes before I was to teach a Sunday School lesson. Can’t say I’ve ever taught a lesson with poo stains all over the front of my shirt before. Welcome to fatherhood, Patrick. All dignity is lost.

  11. Javi (not the brother) February 17, 2008 at 11:25 pm #

    Top 20 program with a good history department? Ever been to North Carolina? I reccommend Duke. Though I’m not sure if Coach K will still be on the sidelines at 79-80 years old. Georgetown and Stanford are pretty solid options as well. We’ll see if John Thompson IV can give Finn a call.

  12. Kirsten February 18, 2008 at 8:08 pm #

    Patrick and Melissa — let me add our belated congratulations to those of Finn’s other admirers! He is spectacular, and, at least from this juror’s perspective, I’m not sure why you thought you ever needed a jury to see that red hair. OF COURSE he has red hair! Beautiful, lucky boy! Lucky parents. We are delighted for all of you that Finn is here and keeping you both so busy, exhausted, entertained and entirely smitten. And it will just keep getting better and better!

  13. Melissa Carter February 19, 2008 at 6:23 am #

    Patrick and Melissa,

    Sam just forwarded an announcement email you sent regarding your darling bundle…

    Congratulations! Finn is precious, you both are gleaming and all seems to be well. I am so happy for you.

    And your blog is delightful. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about the daily magic of having a brand new baby in the house. There is nothing quite like it.

    It’s also fun reading about the culture there. Now when my dad starts on his rant about ‘ Valentine’s Day just being another holiday created by those money-grubbing chocolatiers and card companies in order to ballyhoo more of their junk to us gullible Americans’ – I can, with my greater knowledge of the world (thanks to you), inform him that in fact, it is Egypt’s fault.

    Once again, congrats on your new addition! Sweet Finn is so lucky to have you as parents.

  14. Cody February 20, 2008 at 7:53 pm #

    I can only hope that many-a poo reference was worked in to the lesson.

  15. kennan February 21, 2008 at 1:37 am #

    bite his toenails too! pure joy!

    Finn is such a delightful mix of the both of you! he is just so chubby and cute! i’m going to end my post with one more exclamation point just so you know how much i wish i could hold that baby!

  16. Chad March 10, 2008 at 9:16 pm #

    On the fingernail thing. Try dipping his fingertips in wax (make sure it’s liquid, but not too hot). Then he has a protective barrier that requires little maintenance. The only problem is that he may eat the wax off his fingers. That’s why we take option number 2, which is to cover his face in wax. Accomplishes the same thing, but without the risk of him eating the wax. Note: do not place him in direct sunlight if choosing option #2.

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