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June 22, 2002

Annoying the Wife: Saturday Mornings

Iíve only been a parent for two years, and already my daughter is a junkie. Ngnat (pronounced nat) was warmish and clingy last night, which is normally a precursor to an ear infection or a cold. The only thing weíve discovered that really helps is a thick grape medicine. Since someone might leave a dollar in the tip jar one day, and I donít want to have to share it with a drug conglomerate, and I feel like some Engrish, Iíll call it Chirrenís Tyrenol. So we dosed her, she perked up, and spent the rest of the evening alternately dancing to the Wiggles and demanding that we stop dancing to the Wiggles.

You might get the idea from this post and previous ones that we watch a lot of Wiggles. This is untrue. We watch way more Wiggles than that. We wake up with the Wiggles, we go to sleep with the Wiggles, and in between we eat, drink and excrete the Wiggles. I made the mistake of burning a Wiggles cd for Ngnat early on, and now that is the only cd that we can play in the car, ever.

I just thank God itís not Barney.

Itís Saturday, my day to get up early with the Ngnat, allowing her mother another half-hour of blessed unconsciousness before the normal crashes, cat complaints and the other divers alarums of a weekend morning drive her from the Sandmanís embrace. Ngnat takes juice and snack ( joosanack) and watches, surprise, the Wiggles. I start the coffee and warm up the oven for biscuits. Once upon a time I made biscuits from scratch, having decided that any true southern cook should know how to make, at a minimum, scratch biscuits and fried chicken, both of which are harder to do well than you would think. I do still know how to make them both, but the biscuits at least have succumbed to technology. There are frozen biscuits now, letís call them Pirrsbully Home Baked Crassics, that are the equal of 99% of every homemade southern scratch biscuit ever made, so now I save 2 hours by sticking the frozen dough into the oven and taking out biscuits 20 minutes later. Let me make one thing clear, these are not the biscuit abominations you get from the tube. Only red-necks and white trash buy those biscuits, and they mostly feed them to the bird-dogs. I know this because thatís all mom ever made when we were growing up. The dogs werenít allowed in the house back then, so we had to choke them down ourselves. We had to go to Grandmaís house to get real biscuits. Four children and a teaching job were no excuse, moms.

So the coffee in the insanely efficient yuppie coffee maker is brewing and the oven is warming to the optimum temperature to bake Southern scratch equivalent, non-redneck biscuits. In pads the Ngnat.

"Mehnimun."

I have no idea what idea what sheís saying, so I fall back on my normal strategy of nodding my head and agreeing.

"Ok, honey."

"Mehnimun!"

Sainted wife and mother stumbles down the stairs about this time, still hung-over from her regular Friday night pitcher of gin and recriminations. Well no, not really, but if you canít throw a scare into the grandparents every now and then, whatís the point of telling them about the blog in the first place? Besides, I really saying "pitcher of gin and recriminations." Itís pretty fun to type, too. Gin and Recriminations. Really covers the keyboard. You know that thing Alex Beam said about bloggers needing editors? He might have something there. But we canít afford one, so itís messy free-association all over the place. You donít care for the free association? Fine, drop a dollar in the bucket, and weíll try some paid association. Just make sure you write and tell us what your poison is.

Ok, starting over. Sainted wife and mother stumbles groggily into the kitchen, still groggy from the glass and a half of Riesling she consumed during the A.I. DVD last night and gropes her way, zombie-like, towards the coffee.

"Mehnimun!"

Still no clue whatís going on. If itís not an observation, possibly itís a request. "Maybe later, dear. After breakfast?"

"MEHNIMUN!"

Screw this for a pony. "Ask your mother, dear."

"She wants her medicine, you idiot."

"Well, good morning to you too, princess! What do you mean, her medicine?"

"MEHNIMUN!"

"She wants her grape medicine from last night."

"Does she feel bad?

"MEHNIMUN! MEHNIMUN! MEHNIMUN!"

"How should I know? Ask her."

"Ngnat, honey, do you feel bad?"

She gives me a tentative look while her CPU spikes, attempting to find a response that will end in mehnimun being delivered. Finally, nods her head.

"Does your head hurt?"

"Es."

"Is your throat sore?"

"Es."

"Is your epidermis confabulatory?"

"Es."

Clearly she will say or do anything that allows her to get back on the purple horse. The sainted wife and mother has collapsed on the sofa with her coffee, so thereís no help forthcoming from that sector.

"Ok. Go sit on the couch with Momma, and Iíll bring you some medicine."

"Ok daddy."

Crisis temporarily diverted. I could just give her the medicine, surely itís just liquid aspirin or something equally innocuous, but the wife probably wouldnít go for that. What I need is a medicine substitute, some sort of Toddler Methadone. Whatís in the fridge? NothingÖnothingÖ.nothing dammitÖ.a-ha! White grape juice concentrate!

For future reference, a third of shot glass of white grape juice concentrate with a half drop each of red and blue food coloring makes an excellent substitute for grape flavored Chirrenís Tyrenol.

One fix later, I Ďm back preparing breakfast, most of which will undoubtedly be eaten by cats. Gotta have more than biscuits, thatís no oneís idea of a balanced meal, even if you count marmalade as a fruit. ScanningÖ.scanningÖ.tomato! We have a solitary tomato from the garden so far, the rest having been devoured by sundry varmints. I had plucked this one to let it ripen on the sill, which it had finally done. Thereís some elderly Romano cheese in the fridgeÖeggsÖolive oilÖ.menu complete. I pull out the biscuits, butter them while theyíre hot, have some more coffee, and commence banging around on pots, pans and various implements, which rouses the bear from her sofa and brings back to the kitchen for more caffeine.

"What are you doing?"

"Iím a cooking, signorina!" Drop eggs in hot olive oil, add diced tomato and grated Romano.

"What are you cooking?" Peering in the frying pan with a look of trepidation.

"Iíma cooking anna Italian scrambled eggsa for you and the bambina." Stirring, stirring, stirring, keep those eggs a stirring.

"I donít think you need any more coffee. What makes them Italian?"

"Theyíre Italian because a Iíma talking likea thisa!" Stirring, stirring, stirring, rawhide!


"Why canít you just scramble eggs like a normal person? Which one is my biscuit?"

"Thata one."

"You buttered my biscuit!" She doesnít like it when I butter her biscuit. "Stop talking like that."

"I always butter your biscuit. If you donít butter them when theyíre warm, the butter doesnít melt. Besides, I used your ĎI Canít Believe Itís a Thick Yellow Pasteí crap."

"I donít like it when you butter my biscuit."

"Why not?"

"ÖÖ"

"Well?"

"Itís an invasion of my personal space!"

"Buttering your biscuit."

"Yes."

"Is an invasion of your personal space."

"Yes!"

"I canít a helpa it. Italianos havea different idea ofa da personal spacea thana you impersonal, teasing Americanas!"

"Ahhhhhhhh! Stop it!"

"Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie, thatís amore!
When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine, that's amore!
When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool, That's amore!"

"Youíre not Italian! No one in your family is Italian! If an Italian saw you right now heíd beat the crap out of you!"

"ÖÖ.Youíre right."

"Of course Iím right!"

"Iíd better switch to French, theyíre not going to beat up anybody."

"Oh. Dear. God."

Exit, chased by a Frog.

Posted by Bigwig at June 22, 2002 04:30 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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