Itâ€™s funny how families refine roles and responsibilities. Geralyn is responsible for managing our finances, most of the cooking, and the dry cleaning. Me, Iâ€™m responsible for winning the bread, killing spiders, and dealing with anything in the house that starts emitting a shrill beeping sound.
For example, take the other morning a little before 6:00 a.m. when I was yanked out of a deep sleep by an impossibly loud and discordant beeping sound and Gerâ€™s request that I deal with it in the form of a knee to my lower back. I clumsily stabbed at every button on my alarm clock, then just mashed my palm across its every flat surface when the stabbing achieved no results. When the beeping persisted, my still foggy mind arrived at the only possible conclusion that presented itself: the robots are attacking. I think I may have even said this out loud.
Actually, it wasnâ€™t robots. A winter storm had knocked out our power, and the beeping was coming from the battery-powered baby monitor on our dresser. This wonderful device is programmed to start shrieking in the event that its base in the nursery loses power, since the hyenas crouched outside the window have probably been waiting for just such an opportunity. There were no hyenas –this time– but there was a lot of snow so that later I got to take Sammy out in it. Itâ€™s weird that it actually takes a snowstorm to get her out of the house.
And unlike our last snowstorm this time the white stuff was sticky enough so that we could build a snowman. I think that this is a major milestone in our daddy/daughter relationship –the kind of right of passage that Iâ€™m supposed to make special note of. Next on the list, if Iâ€™m not mistaken, is for us to kill an innocent animal together.
Sam has continued to display more and more guile, but thankfully her attempts at deception are hamstrung by a short memory and an inability to think from other peopleâ€™s perspectives. Exchanges like this one are getting to be pretty common:
â€œSammy, stop doing that. Youâ€™ll put a hole in the wall. Sammy. Sammy! Okay, go take a time out.â€
â€œBut I donâ€™t like taking a time out.â€
â€œI know. Thatâ€™s why we make you do it when you do something naughty. If you liked taking time outs weâ€™d have you do something else.â€
â€œDaddy, I… I like taking time outs.â€
â€œWow. Points for trying, but youâ€™re still taking a time out. And that is totally going in the blog.â€
Geralyn also had a disagreement with Sam over proper behavior the other day. Sam knows that sheâ€™s not to touch any of the following: the camera, the TV, the computer. And also I think we might have mentioned knives, prescription medicines, and hyenas. But definitely the camera, TV, and computer. So when Ger heard the flash and beep of her camera go off the other day she whirled around to find a chagrined Sammy holding the delicate piece of electronics and marveling at her first piece of photographic artistry in the camera’s LCD screen.
Of course, there were immediate admonishments, which Sammy’s new and sensitive artist’s soul did not take well.
Cheer up, Emo kid. I’ll buy you your own toy camera as soon as I can actually find one.
I guess I should talk about Mandy a little, too, but in truth there’s not much to tell. She’s still sleeping lots, most of it at night, which is mighty convenient for us as well. She’s lots more responsive and alert these days, able to turn her head and follow someone who has caught her attention.
I tried to see if she would watch a Baby Einstein DVD the other day, but her fascination with the brightly colored toys and classical music was short lived. Alas, but we’ve found other ways to adapt. I, for example, am able to play video games and prepare this week’s photographs with only one hand and a forehead while the other hand was preoccupied with jiggling Mandy to keep her calm until Ger was ready to feed her again. It’s an important skill that’s going to get big bold type the next time I update my resume.