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June 22, 2002

This a republished rough draft

This a republished rough draft of the original post, which looks to have been lost by blogger

Annoying the Wife - Chapter Four - Saturday Morning

I’ve 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 cold. The only thing we’ve discovered that really helps is a thick grape medicine, .…..since someone might leave a dollar in the tip jar one day, and I don’t want to have to share it with a drug conglomerate, and I feel like some Engrish, I’ll call it Chirren’s 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 it’s not Barney.

It’s 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 sandman’s 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 inherited the idea 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, let’s 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 sting the frozen dough into the oven and taking out biscuits 20 minutes later. Let me one thing clear, these are not the biscuit abominations you get from the tube. Only red-necks and white trash buy those biscuits, and the red-necks and white trash feed them to the bird-dogs. I know this because that’s all mom ever made when we were growing up. The dogs weren’t allowed in the house back then, so we had to choke them down ourselves. We had to Grandma’s 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 red-neck biscuits. In pads the Ngnat.


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

“Ok, honey.”


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 can’t throw a scare into the grandparents every now and then, what’s the point of telling them about the blog in the first place? Besides, I really saying “pitcher of gin and recriminations.” It’s 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 can’t afford one, so it’s messy free-association all over the place. You don’t care for the free association? Fine, drop a dollar in the bucket, and we’ll 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.


Still no clue what’s going on. If it’s not an observation, possibly it’s a request. “Maybe later, dear. After breakfast?”


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?”


“She wants her grape medicine from last night.”

“Does she feel bad?


“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?”


“Is your throat sore?”


“Is your epidermis confabulatory?”


Cleary 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 there’s no help forthcoming from that sector.

“Ok. Go sit on the couch with Momma, and I’ll bring you some medicine.”

“Ok daddy.”

Crisis temporarily diverted. I could just give her the medicine, surely it’s just liquid aspirin or something equally innocuous, but the wife probably wouldn’t go for that. What I need is a medicine substitute, some sort of Toddler Methadone. What’s in the fridge? Nothing…nothing….nothing dammit….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 Chirren’s Tyrenol.

One fix later, I ‘m back preparing breakfast, most of which will undoubtedly be eaten by cats. Gotta have more than biscuits, that’s no one’s idea of a balanced meal, even if you count marmalade as a fruit. Scanning….scanning….tomato! We have a solitary tomato from the garden so far, the rest having been devoured by sundry varmits. I had plucked this one to let it ripen on the sill, which it had finally done. There’s some elderly romano cheese in the fridge…eggs…olive oil….menu complete. I pull out the biscuits, butter them while they’re 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?”

“I’m 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.

“I’ma cooking anna Italiana scrambled eggsa for you and the bambina.” Stirring, stirring stirring, keep those eggs a stirring.

“I don’t think you need any more coffee. What makes them Italian?”

“They’re Italian because a I’ma talking likea thisa!” Stirring stirring stirring, rawhide!

“Why can’t you just scramble eggs like a normal person? Which one is my biscuit?”

“That one.”

“You buttered my biscuit!” She doesn’t like it when I butter her biscuit. “Stop talking like that.”

“I always butter your biscuit. If you don’t butter them when they’re warm, the butter doesn’t melt. Besides, I used your ‘I Can’t Believe It’s a Thick Yellow Paste’ crap.”

“I don’t like it when you butter my biscuit.”

“Why not?”



“It’s an invasion of my personal space!”

“Buttering your biscuit.”


“Is an invasion of your personal space.”


Moving in, trapping her against the pantry door. “ I can’t 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, that’s amore!”

“Go away!”

“When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine, that's amore!”

“You’re not Italian! No one in your family is Italian! If an Italian saw you now he’d kick your ass!”

“You’re right.”

“Of course I’m right”

“I’ll switch to the French, they can’t kick anyone’s ass.”

“Oh, dear god.”

Exit, chased by a frog.

Posted by Bigwig at June 22, 2002 11:50 AM | TrackBack
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