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July 06, 2002

Annoying the Wife - Chapter Six

Rock-a-bye baby

Big thunderstorm last night, and the Powerpuff Girls were on, so even though I’m less than three feet away, the first clue I have that anything is wrong is when the sainted wife and mother screams “Help” in her emergency voice. It’s a voice I don’t normally hear, and it carries the overtones of “I’m paralyzed from the neck down, and there’s a rattlesnake in my pillowcase--and he’s got a gun.” It spins the adrenaline shunt to wide open full, and I’m spinning around, looking for pirates, ready to charge headfirst in the maw of whatever danger has happened to appear in the master bedroom at 9:00 pm on a Saturday night. This is all totally autonomic on my part, so it must be hardwired into the male system. It probably springs from a time when it was useful to be up and moving before you knew what it was going on. Probably scared the wolves right out of the cave.

So I’m spinning, spinning, ready to confront any intruder with my deadly crane style. Well, the suburban computer geek version of crane style. Call it Primitive Crane style. You’ll note that Primitive Cranes are extinct. And French, so the only intruder I’ll have a chance against is an Italian ornithologist, or maybe a Belgian. Definitely not a German. German ornithologists are the terror of the bird world.

But once I’ve spun, spun, the tableau that presents itself is more Madonna and Child than Giuseppe the nocturnal bird-watcher. There they are, reclining on the bed, surrounded by a soft golden halo of…of…

Helllllllp mmmmeeeee.”

My god that’s a lot of vomit. The next thought queued up in my head, caring, loving father and husband that I am, is “I sure am glad that’s not my side of the bed.”

Mom really is paralyzed, since if she moves there’s gonna be vomit in places where you don’t normally see vomit, like the middle ear. She’s holding the newly rotten fruit of her loins straight up in the air, looking like Abraham offering Isaac up to the Lord, assuming that Abraham had on a low-cut blue silk nightie and Isaac was blowing chunks. She’s got a halo all right, and it’s about an inch deep. Lumpy too. We really need to start cutting up the child’s food better, there’s what looks like an entire pear half and a couple of Cheez-Its right there on her.…….her….……chin.

“Taaaaaake the baaabyyy.”

I wonder if this is how they train ventriloquists? Her lips didn’t move at all! I don’t really want the baby, the baby is looking distressingly roman emperorish, as if she really needs to finish cleansing out the system before the Lark’s Tongue Pie arrived, and really, what’s the point in all three of us being covered in goo?

“Taaaaaake the baaabyyy nowwwwww, dammmmn youuuu…”

Ok, that last bit she only said with her eyes, but they said it really loudly. So it’s grab the child and go for a new personal best in the 10 yard mad dash around the bed to the master bath, with points automatically deducted for any spillage along the way, and FOR GOD’S SAKE DON’T JOSTLE THE CARGO!

I jostled the cargo. The cargo leaked several more immense pieces of slime covered pear and let loose a despairing wail.

Step one, plant toddler in bathtub. Soothe toddler.

“It’s ok, honey, It’s okay. You just got sick. Daddy will clean you up.”

“Pooh jamas.”

“I’ll get them off honey, we’ll get new pajamas. You want some water?”

“uh-huh.”

Ok, there’s nothing in her hair yet, so Pooh and piglet get peeled downward rather than pulled upwards. Warm water in the cup, show her how to rinse and spit, ok, rinse and dribble is good too, wipe her down, get her more water, dry her off, say good night to mommy frantically scrubbing herself in the shower, put on new pajamas, start to put her in the crib, and realize that there’s still an unholy mess in the bedroom. If I put her down at this point, that mess becomes my responsibility.

“You want to rock in the rocking chair with daddy?”

“uh-huh.”

“That’s my girl.”

Posted by Bigwig at July 6, 2002 11:33 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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