I’ve cleaned it up a bit to be more readable, as I wrote it like a diary. Parts are a bit awkward, and although I was seventeen at the time, this is not a great reflection on my writing skills. It’s more for the memories and for fun.
Enjoy my “egg” citing week with Chester Benjamin (named after Chester Bennington of Linkin Park and Benjamin Burnley of Breaking Benjamin.) And please excuse the billion puns...
At 7:55, Friday, December the tenth, in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Four, I adopted little Chester Benjamin. Somebody said he was kind of small, but I think he’s just right!
I am part of a program that is adopting children of pregnant teens that feel they can’t handle children on their own. I have been eager and willing to become a parent, and Chester was enthusiastically given to me. People tell me that he is going to be smarter than most, and I will have no doubt that he’ll be well “egg”-ducated. So in these early days, I will endeavor to do as much as possible to help Chester to learn all he can.
I’d like to say I toted Chester with pride through the hall ways of Brockton High School. No, I left him sleep, especially through Entrepreneurial Studies and the “senior assembly” though I did show Chester to a few colleagues of mine there. When Peer Tutoring came around, I was going to display Chester, but he was clearly too tired and I figured I wouldn’t disturb him.
Chester does not yet eat solid foods, and I wouldn’t dare give him school food anyway, ever! After lunch, Chester soon fell back asleep again. During Math Analysis, though, I’m not entirely sure if he was completely asleep. Chester would seem to have a head for numbers.
The first thing I did when I got home was show Chester our fish (for an early appreciation of wildlife, for God’s little creatures.) Then I introduced Chester to his uncle, David, who is all but 9 years old. I had to be careful to keep him away, as I couldn’t see him handling a precious practically newborn baby. I did however allow him to hold him in his crib in front of our Christmas tree.
Chester’s “grandfather” soon came home, but as he likes to relax for a while after he gets home, it was a bit before he met Chester. I read my English report to Chester. I thought he’d sleep through it, but he actually seemed rather excited. It will hopefully be a very enlightening experience for him; he got to see the writer at work.
One funny thing is: he’s always excited when he’s awake, with his arms wide open. Always wants a hug, I suppose. Another thing that’s bothering me so far; he isn’t crying as much as I expected, and in fact, I haven’t heard a peep out of him yet! It has been a very interesting first day as a father.
Little Chester woke up at 7:30 this morning when I came down stairs. He got to watch me play the Super Bowl in Madden 2005, where I crushed the 49ers with my New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady threw 5 touchdowns. Chester loves football. I can’t wait until the Bengals game tomorrow; Chester will get to see some real football!
I nearly dropped Chester today. I thought I could hold him, and I nearly lost hold of him. No way am I trying that again! He was terrified, but very quickly he was happy again. Nothing seems to bother the guy!
Chester watched his Uncle David and I play Chess. I took plenty of pictures when it was Chester’s turn to play. He made some rather unorthodox moves but David decided to go easy on him. He let him win. At least Chester is beginning to understand the basics of the game. Chester soon wiped out all of David’s pieces and checkmated David with a queen. At 1pm, he had nap time.
Parents, I think, tend to keep such topics out of hearing distance of the child for some time until they’re older. The child may very much misunderstand the topic, and talk about it with family, friends, and sometimes even strangers, quite eagerly.
I started teaching him some new words today. I had taught him “fish” and “David” yesterday. Today I taught him, “light,” as I pointed to the lamp beside my computer desk, to the “lamp-post,” and the “light bulb.” I also taught him about the concept of “hot” and “cold,” and that touching the light bulb while the light has been on is “hot” and will hurt, and I demonstrated so (though the bulb I touched really wasn’t all that hot in the first place, so I exaggerated.) I’ve also let Chester watch as I type my journal about him into the computer, telling him, “It’s for you!”
I often find myself rubbing Chester on the head, as does Uncle David. I guess it’s one of the only ways to really show him affection; he is so very fragile, and I am quite afraid of mishandling him. I have also rocked him in his crib frequently; being in a swiveling chair helps that quite a bit. I also move him around in the crib, in different directions. He’s started to turn over a lot more, too. The first time he did it today, he couldn’t get back up, and he wailed a little bit. But within seconds, I helped him back up. I was pretty sure I heard him sigh.
I also tried to teach him the concept of time; as I have said before, he seems to be good with numbers. I also showed him that my watch serves as a kind of mirror as well; the reflective quality of the plastic allows that function. I told him he was seeing his “handsome” self. He seemed to quite enjoy that.
For some odd reason, he likes to lean on his left now when he’s relaxing. I’m not entirely sure as to why this is.
I let him play with a little flashlight that I have. He loved whacking at the button to turn it on and off. I let him play with that for a bit. I also showed him my library card, and I showed him that it gives him some shade in his crib. I’ve given him some water and some mashed up food from last night. He especially loved the ground up steak tips! It’s more than a step up from the formula he had yesterday.
I’m working on making some home movies of Chester. Unfortunately, the camera I’m using is from my mom’s work, and she’s worried I’ll break it or do something bad with it. Man, I know what I’m doing! These memories won’t be around forever! Well, we’re having company over today; Chester’s grandmother is running around cleaning up, and she’s worried about the camera being overused or something, like running out the battery will be this terrible thing. People can be so inconvenient.
Chester’s great-grandmother came over with Ed to visit today. It turns out that Chester has the same hair color as his Nana, red! Ed suggested I teach Chester how to whistle. Since Uncle David is much better at it than I am, I hope that David will give Chester lessons.
Tonight, we had Chinese food, and Chester’s grandfather got the fortune: “It is better to have a hen tomorrow than an egg today.” We got a little bit of a chuckle out of that! I probably should’ve gotten that one!
Tonight, I fed Chester some rice, and he didn’t really care for it; he kept spitting it out. He did however, like the diced up chicken! He ate that really fast!
When Nana left, I swear that Chester said, “Bye!” Then I swear he said it again. But maybe I was just imagining it. Besides, he’s a pretty quiet kid.
I decided, as it was a very eventful day for little Chester that I would put him to bed about 8:15 PM. He didn’t seem too unhappy about that, with a stomach full of the chicken, and I’m sure, lots of little thoughts going through his head. He had a happy day.
Sunday, December 12, 2004
I had three distinct terrible dreams. In one, Chester had been smashed. In another, he’d been seriously cracked, and in another his face was all smudged (somebody attacked him or something, I’m not sure what.) It seemed like I woke up multiple times, and that this was all real. But finally I woke up around 7:15 and realized everything was alright. So Chester woke up when I took the top of his crib at about 7:45. It was a scary night for me.
My dad egg-sat while my mom, David, and I went to see an early matinee of “The Incredibles,” which was, obviously, incredible! Chester slept most of the time while we were out; the only thing my dad did was kiss him on the “egg-noggin.” I wish now that I’d brought him along to see it; but then again, maybe it wasn’t. “The Incredibles” might have been a little too intense for him to see. I mean, he’s only a baby!
Then we watched the Pats game, in which New England won over the Bengals 35-28, in a game with a lot of offense! Afterwards, I was going to watch the Jets-Steelers game (hoping the Jets would pull it out over Pittsburgh) but they weren’t carrying the game in our area, so Chester got to see the writer at work again on my English and sociology papers.
I put Chester to bed about 8 again tonight. I plan to take him out more tomorrow at school than I did Friday, since I’ll actually be going to all my classes.
I let Chester sleep second period. That’s his naptime, and it’s a boring class anyway. He woke up toward the end of second period and I took him out to enjoy English class. It was very eggducational. Actually, I didn’t leave him out very long. I was worried some accident would happen. Maybe I’m being overprotective. I didn’t take him out after that. Fifth period I checked on him, and let him know I was thinking about him. But other than that I kept him in my bag, I need to give him something to do.
Then again, maybe not… Chester is starting to learn some new words. Apparently, as I originally thought was possible, he can hear what’s going on outside of my bag. So he got to hear the movie we were watching in English (which I’m pretty sure he didn’t get) and the discussion we were having about a movie we just watched in Aesthetics of Film. In Math Analysis, well there isn’t much talk going on about math, so not much he can learn there. But he’s learning, “Unca David!” he said. Then he said, “Bye!” Well, he doesn’t know that many words yet. But he’s learning.
I did however teach him the alphabet today. He got it on about the fourth try. I drew some pictures on the computer of words that went along with the letters; I’m not much of an artist at all, but he certainly enjoyed the pictures! He especially liked the R for Rudolph!
I’ve had a lot of Christmas music on today. I’ve been singing along to it; they say singing to your child is a good thing to do; it’s a very old practice. I’m not a really good singer, but heck, for your kid, you’re the best there is. Chester’s favorite carol is “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” as you may have noticed it’s mine also. I love reindeer.
It would be great if Chester could make friends with his other Egg cousins. I should ask about that tomorrow in class. He doesn’t know that many other Eggs, you know. He hasn’t been with them since he was very little. He sees them every day first period, but he hasn’t gotten to meet them. He’s getting to that age where he’s getting pretty playful. He was shaking David’s “Digi-Vice” earlier (a Digimon toy that you’re supposed to shake/walk around with to make things happen.) He was well amused with that for quite a bit. I had a little radio that I was planning on letting him listen to, but the little headphones are broken for it; he enjoys playing with the little built-on flashlight, though.
I’m actually glad that Chester doesn’t have a fancy basket or not like that. I’m pretty sure that he’s much safer with his simple Rubbermaid crib. He’s well-protected, well-cushioned. It’s also far more practical than some of these curious, though I must admit creative, contraptions in which to transport la ova. Believe me, it’s not a vanity thing.
Chester slept most of the time today. Later on, we had to go out, so I brought him with us, since besides the fish he would’ve been home alone. I had to go get a flu shot; Chester apparently doesn’t need one because apparently he’s immune to the influenza virus. We then went to Wendy’s… when we got home, Chester, David and I watched a little TV, I played some games with Chester on the computer (yacht, in particular, which is a kind of Yahtzee game.) I spent a good deal of time with him tonight and took a lot more pictures. We also played Snakes and Ladders, man, I must say it is a game of all chance, and there are no choices involved; it’s all the fate of the spinner. Let’s just say he hit a couple ladders and I slid down a snake or two. He won a game of that by a lot.
ASIDE: He is an egg. Sometimes, it’s very difficult to exactly know what to do with him next. I’ve found this assignment to require a lot of creative juices. This, obviously, is not a baby. Babies, real babies, are unpredictable… to be alive is to be unpredictable. Chester doesn’t cry, or eat, or go to the bathroom or anything like that. It all has to be made up.
As much of an odd attachment as I have to Chester, he is NOT a baby. I have watched as those who try to pamper their eggs watch them get broken. I wasn’t sure at first if this overprotection had any parallel into being a real parent. I thought at first that I was just protecting my grade. But no, it’s more than that. I don’t want anything to happen to Chester… I mean I actually worry about him… maybe it’s truly just my imagination getting away from me… but it’s as if he is a real child. My family has been so accepting of him as such. Maybe it’s just been one big joke. Heck, I was trying to make home movies with a digital camera on Saturday (it wasn’t up to the task, though, they came out horribly.) I was actually aggravated that they seemed to be inconveniencing me.
At that point I was actually treating him as my child; affection had gone beyond the assignment for the moment. It’s funny; I’ve always awaited the day when I’ll have a child of my own (I’ve already decided that I will, but no more than three!) and Chester is, in a way, my “warm-up.” Because of Chester, I’ve had to think of his safety, referring to the parallel I’ve found which I mentioned earlier. Mr. Szach brought up the point today that parents wonder what his or her child is doing pretty much every moment. It’s when you’re not looking.
The “accidents” that have occurred, the injustices, the unfortunate circumstances that have befallen the eggs. As much as we laugh at them, these are serious things: disabilities, for instance, the breaking of the egg. “My child is ugly!” These things truly happen, obviously not in the sort of way as an egg but similar! The murders and egg-nappings we’ve seen; these are things that truly happen to real children. It’s weird how what is considered such a “corny” assignment can share so many parallels with the real world.
I probably would not name my human baby Chester (most definitely if it were a girl, for her I already have the name Charity picked out) as it’s just a name I wouldn’t think of using. But it’s going to be hard to let him go, no matter how easily I may turn him over. I will not ever forget Chester… Wait a second… It’s only Tuesday, and I’m already saying good-bye! Oh, geez.
It was a dull boring day, with not much excitement at all. It was one of those days when you can’t think of anything to do. So for the most part Chester and I just took it easy today.
My grandma came and took David and me out for “dinner;” lupper, I suppose you could call it. So I again left Chester in the care of his grand-daddy. He mostly slept while my dad did laundry, and later on they just enjoyed a quiet, quiet evening together.
Sometimes I think it would be easier to have a crying egg; at least it would demand more attention… Chester is so quiet!
Chester got to enjoy the excellent Holiday Concert that the Honor Roll students were treated to today. There were some excellent selections, and the entire band and chorus did a wonderful job. After all, Chester’s favorite music is Christmas music; that’s all he’s been hearing lately here at the house.
Chester seemed rather sleepy today. He really does want to work with me on my homework, though. All he really helps with is inspiration, though.
David played the “Yu-Gi-oh!” card game with him today. I’m not sure that Chester really understood what was going on though. When I told David to play with him, I didn’t mean that at all. But being so obsessed with that stupid card game, why should I be surprised?
So I have to give him up tomorrow. It’s actually been quite stressful, wondering what sort of activities I should do with him.
I got pretty bored last night (I’m writing this the next day) and decided to go play on my keyboard upstairs. I used to play the piano, so I thought I’d play a couple of songs for Chester. Unfortunately, I can remember very few tunes. So I played what I could for him: “When the Saints go marching in” (my personal favorite), “Jingle Bells,” and “Happy Birthday.” I should’ve played “Rudolph,” but somehow it didn’t cross my mind. Music is a wonderful thing, even if it’s as simple songs as those. Singing to children is an important thing. I don’t think they always understand the meaning of the words; heck, for years I didn’t know the meaning of many songs, either. I wasn’t singing along with my playing last night, though, which is unusual because usually I do sing when I’m playing. I was tired, though. Maybe I was and I just don’t remember. Either way, he enjoyed it.
At 7:49 AM this morning, I turned Chester over to a very good friend of mine. With my duties of education right now and my lacking a job, I feel I can not provide to him what he really needs right now. I knew that I was only going to have to keep him temporarily, and yeah, it’s hard to let him go. Most people opted to keep theirs for a bit longer, but I decided to give him up. I gave him up because I didn’t want to become too attached to him. Besides, he’s young, so young, and I know who I’m giving him to will take very, very good care of him. Watching that video about the foster care system, really, really made me worry… at least I know that Chester is in good hands!