02 February 2008

Life's Interludes

Due to inspection preparation at work, I have been working long hours (12-17 hour days) recently, so it was no surprise when I arrived home after midnight a week or so ago to find everyone sleeping. Nikki often waits up for me, but I had encouraged her to go to bed at a decent hour that night in order to get some much needed rest. As I quietly opened the front door (well, as quiet as you can open a door with hinges complaining about being worked in sub-zero temperatures), all I could think about was how wonderfully warm it was in the house. You see, the drive from work to home or vice versa is just long enough to freeze an average size humanoid to the core, but not quite long enough to allow the overwhelmed heater to do anything much more than blow super cooled air directly at your forehead so you don’t miss out on the fun of having an instant brain-freeze to accompany the rhythmic convulsing of your hypothermic body. Granted, we had not yet reached the -50 degree temperatures of late. In fact, in retrospect it was really rather balmy at -11 °F. Nonetheless, at the time it can truly be said that I felt cold. But I digress.

Upon closing the door, I pleasantly noted that it only took one forceful slam to fully engage the latch; as it often takes three or four tries before the door will stay fully shut and not just pretend to be completely shut and still open and close an inch or so when the wind or something else gives it a push or tug—much to the dismay of a disoriented and sleepy me who gets ejected from bed to “go find out who is trying to break into the house” (and do what I ask when someday I find the boogey-man crowbarring his way into my home? Stand there in my pajamas and stupidly stare at him, hoping that the red in my eyes is mistaken for anger and the drool escaping from my lethargic mouth identified as rabid foaming? Yes, he may very well run for his life, but it will more likely be the overwhelming smell of poopy diapers in the trash and potty training children’s “incidents” that cause him to flee than the less-than-intimidating figure he will find stumbling about in the dark entryway vainly attempting to secure the domicile so he can just go back to bed).

Now, while I am sure you are on the edge of your seat eagerly anticipating what menial task I will describe in detail next, due to the fact that it is getting late and what small portion of conscious grey matter I have left is desperately trying to communicate the fact to me that I am rambling incoherently, I will finally get to the point.

After I shut the door and turned on the light in the kitchen I was greeted with the odd sight of a milky white substance pooling out from under the portable dishwasher. Since this was not the usual state of things, I decided to investigate. I carefully rolled the dishwasher aside, revealing a much larger pool of the liquid which I quickly and correctly identified as milk (the milky white color being my first clue, and the empty soymilk container the second clue).

Something else peaked my interest at this point. First, it did not appear that the puddle (perhaps more appropriately regarded as small pond where geese flying south for the winter might have stopped to rest for a time) was comprised entirely of soymilk – it being too white and unscented for vanilla soymilk alone. And second, why were there two lids floating about instead of just one? Upon closer inspection, it became apparent that the second lid belonged to a gallon jug of skim milk which, much to my dismay, was not to be found in the fridge where it belonged nor anywhere in the kitchen for that matter. This mystery was short lived however as I discovered a second scene of the crime at the top of the stairs in front of my bedroom.

An empty milk jug sat unassumingly on the floor accompanied by a lidless sippy cup, which surprisingly was quite full of milk. It all became clear now. Bun had woken up at some point and likely requested a sippy of milk. His sleep deprived mother was apparently unresponsive to his middle-of-the-night-two-year-old needs, and the thirsty toddler decided to take matters into his own hands. Unfortunately, while he is a master of dragging drinks of choice from the fridge and removing sippy cup lids, he is still a novice drink pourer and sippy cup lid emplacer. I can just imagine the poor fellow first spilling milk about and sloshing through it in his footed pajamas until exhausting the source and then trying again with a second container. At some point, he probably got enough liquid in the sippy to satisfy him and I’m sure at that point he capped it only to have the lid pop off as he tried to get a drink—subsequently drenching his upper half. Somewhere in this process, he carted the milk jug upstairs and took another shot at quenching his thirst.

Sadly though, I believe that he never did get so much as a sip; evidenced by the fact that I found a full, lidless sippy in the bedroom doorway and an exhausted and thoroughly drenched Bun lying undressed down to the diaper on my bed. My heart went out to him as I noticed his disheveled state and that he had even tried to clean up some of the mess with the kitchen towel (which now lay soaked next to the sippy and jug upstairs). Do not fear, for this story does have a happy ending. Before calling FEMA and starting the cleanup effort, I retrieved the surviving sippy of milk, topped it with a clean lid and offered the drink to a grateful Bun.

I was amazed to realize that while the carpet sloshed under my feet and my blankets, sheets, pillow and bed were dripping wet, my dear wife lay sleeping perfectly contentedly a mere foot or so away from the Bun and his chaos. Five full-sized towels, one diaper, one set of pajamas, one new pillow and pillowcase, and several cloth diapers later I decided most of the damage had been contained and I could safely get a few hours of sleep before my alarm went off at 6 a.m. to start another adventure filled day in the land of inspection-prep and fatherhood.

I am grateful for these interludes to “normal” or routine life that help me remember that we are here on Earth to learn and grow. Even when we try and fail and try again until all our efforts are exhausted and we can not go on and it seems no one can help us, at the right moment the Lord will come along to help us clean up those messes we started to fix but hadn’t the power to finish alone.


Piglet 26 said...

Seriously...if that were my kid I would have beat the living...hahahaha...just kidding, I love my little E-bun because he secretly is really my child. so thanks for cleaning up his mess.

But in all honesty, I think the story is more of: Nikki, a tired and half crazed mother was waken by an innocent young boy who needed a drink. In her half crazed sleep she stumbled to the kitchen pulling out the milk and chugging it, realizing half way through that it was Gross soy milk, which she quickly tossed to the ground and grabbed the 2percent milk. There a young and confused bun held his little cup, pleading for a drink, upon which, Crazed and Sleep Deprived Nikki, tried to pour some into his sippy and accidently drenched him. So tired, she pulled off his pjs and let him crawl into bed with her, knowing you were about to walk in the door, so she left the milk outside of her door to indicate to you that YOU WERE ON CLEANUP DUTY!

Mary said...

I like the ramblings. It adds so much character to your true tales. :-)

Leslie said...

I'm going to have to hide this tale from my little Emily lest she feel this is an adventure she'd like to try tonight!

jvjw said...

Your talent for story telling is awesome! Thanks for the bursts of laughter...the smiles were needed! My very favorite part of the story is the last paragraph - the comparison is very touching - and true. Thanks again for sharing...we've missed your blog entries while you have been going crazy working long hours.


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