Chapter13: Grandpapa Monkey
Juliet was home and settled in. She was given a few days off to recover from her concussion and Shawn had to make sure she actually took the rest she needed. It wasn't an easy task to keep such a driven woman on bed rest. Multiple times she insisted that she felt fine and wanted to return to work, and if she wasn't carrying his child, Shawn probably would have given in and let her go. But he was extra protective of her now.
Shawn was feeling somewhat guilty for not having told his father properly about the baby, and decided he owed him a visit. He also hadn't yet told him that he had finally proposed to Juliet in the hospital room. He hadn't told anyone other than Gus. Shawn pulled his motorcycle up to the backside of his dad's home and entered through the kitchen door.
"Dad? You home?" he shouted.
Shawn turned into the living room just as Henry was coming down the stairs in his bathrobe. Shawn sniffed the air when he thought he got a whiff of something floral. "Dad, what is that?"
Henry stopped and looked around himself. "What is what?" asked Henry.
"That smell," said Shawn. "It smells like…lavender. Are you using women's shampoo?"
"It's not women's shampoo Shawn."
"Oh, my bad. I think I meant body wash. You obviously wouldn't need shampoo when you don't have any- "
Henry cut him off. "Shawn, if you must know, it's an herbal blend and its better on the skin than all of those chemical-filled products they are selling nowadays.
"Um. Ok. Whatever you say… Uh…What are those fuzzy things on your feet?"
"They're called moisturizing socks Shawn."
"Huh?" said Shawn with a smirk.
"Moisturizing socks. They keep my feet from getting all dry and cracked. I wouldn't expect you to understand."
"Eeeww! Forget I asked."
"So, what's up? Did you come here just to criticize my bathing ritual or did you have something you wanted to talk about?"
"What do you think?" Shawn answered somewhat acerbically. The last time Shawn had seen his dad, he had just told him that he was going to be a grandfather, but Shawn hadn't gotten to gauge Henry's reaction to it since he had to go to Juliet at the time.
Shawn sat down on the couch and put his head in his right hand. Henry came over and sat next to his son. "Shawn…" he began.
"Dad, before we have this conversation I need you to please tell me that you are wearing something under that robe."
"I'm wearing shorts, Shawn."
Shawn was noticeably relieved. He still had his head in his hand. He leaned back into the couch and rubbed his face before finally removing his hand and revealing a flushed face.
"The last few days…I've been trying to stay strong…for Jules, but Dad, this is all starting to hit me like a ton of bricks. …I've got a baby on the way. I am going to be someone's father! I….I can't be a father. I can barely keep myself fed and clothed properly! Without Gus, I'd be dressed in the same jeans and button down shirt every day and eat nothing but jerk chicken and pineapple smoothies”
“…Wait. Dammit, Gus!" Shawn hissed to himself.
"I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure babies can't live on jerk chicken and pineapple smoothies. Dad! I have no idea what I am doing!" Shawn whined like a 10-year-old having trouble with a homework assignment.
"Shawn, what you are feeling is the same thing that 99% of dad's feel when they first find out they are going to be a dad. When your mother told me she was pregnant with you, I was so nervous I couldn't eat anything but hot dogs and shredded wheat for a week!"
Shawn's brows furrowed in disgust and he shook his head to try to get rid of the image of the stools his dad must have had that week.
"What I'm saying Shawn, is that no dad is ready to be a dad. Babies don't come with instructions." Henry chuckled and shook his head. "Ha. No doubt Juliet is going to try to get you to read some of those pregnancy and parenting books….and I'm not saying you shouldn't read them – In fact…lesson #1, if your pregnant girlfriend asks you to do something for her, you do it - All I am saying is that there are a lot of things those books won't teach you…It doesn't matter how hard you try, you are going to screw up…"
"Dad, HOW is this supposed to be making me feel better?" Shawn interrupted.
"Just listen!" said Henry impatiently. "The most important thing is that you love that child, and you love the mother of that child with everything you have. No dad is perfect, but as long as you have love on your side, you are going to do just fine."
Shawn was quiet for a moment, before lifting his head and looking at his father in the eye incredulously and mildly disturbed. "What is this? An episode of Full House?"
"Damnit, Shawn!" complained Henry. "Why do have to ruin every good moment?!"
"Since when did you turn into Danny Tanner?!" Shawn argued.
"Ok. Fine, whatever. You don't want my advice…" said Henry, annoyed and angry.
"No. Dad, it's fine…it's just…it wouldn't be so awkward if we were at least drinking a beer or something…and if you were wearing pants."
"Ok. Fine, I get your point. Why don't you go get us a couple beers from the fridge while I get dressed?” Henry headed back up the stairs while Shawn turned and went into the kitchen.
Shawn grabbed two Coronas from the fridge and popped them open with the bottle-opener on his Swiss Army knife. He took a swig from his bottle and bounced the knife in his hand; the ginormous Swiss Army knife that Henry had given him only moments before he nearly lost his life. He looked at the object in his hand and realized that even with all of the hard feelings, and misunderstandings, and disagreements with his father, here he was…in his dad's house…listening to his dad's advice. His dad was still here for him. There was no question that Henry loved his son, and there was no question that Shawn loved that baby in Juliet's womb. He hadn't even met the child yet, but he loved him or her solely because he and Juliet had created it together, an expression of their love. He was going to be alright.
Henry returned to the kitchen wearing jeans and a hideous orange shirt with blue and yellow geometric shapes on it.
"So, Dad," said Shawn. "How do you feel about being a grandpa, or should I say Gramps? Pappy? Pop Pop? Grand-papa Monkey? GrandfoshizzlePop?"
"Just 'Grandpa' is fine, thanks!" said Henry. "And honestly, I'm ready. You're 35 years-old, for Pete's sake! Your mom and I were in our twenties when we had you. It's about time you get a taste of everything you put me through over the years! I hope this kid is just as frustrating as you and then some!"
"Gee thanks Dad...but that's fair I guess. What would you say to a daughter-in-law?"
"As long as that daughter-in-law is the same junior detective who is carrying your child, then I am thrilled."
"That's good Dad, because Jules is officially going to be your daughter-in-law. She said yes." A smile spread across Shawn's face.
"Congratulations, Son," said Henry sincerely, and for once Shawn allowed his father to hug him without cracking a joke.