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May 25, 2004

Annoying The Wife: Good Morning!

An odd problem at work--every day since May 19th one or more of the Java services we host has suffered a 10-minute outage just after five in the morning. Depending on the severity of the outage, the problem extends over five different machines and various combinations/versions of Java and Tomcat, but at least one instance dies every morning. All of the obvious reasons have been considered and discarded, so we're stuck for the moment when it comes to explanations. It's gone on long enough that my body anticipated the a.m. page this morning, waking me a few minutes before five.

And of course nothing happened. This meant that for the first time since the 19th the Sainted Wife was able to sleep in, as our practice of alternating who gets up with the kids each day is trumped by any nighttime page.

So it was me that rolled out of bed when Scotty M. announced his return to wakefulness with a series of piercing screams around 7. He wasn't hurt--he just likes to scream. Ngnat, on the other hand, tends to sob her way into the world each morning.

"Waking up is hard,” she says, when we ask what's the matter.

Thanks to a diaper malfunction, Scotty was unusually damp, having soaked himself from knees to brisket sometime in the night. He was also stinky, having gotten over his constipation problems of the last week or so in a big way. It appeared as if a largish, and slightly ill, Black Lab had made a visit to his diaper sometime during the night. Scotty was unhappy about this, yet fiercely resisted being changed. As far as he's concerned, if the damn diapers can't be switched in and out while he's crawling around on the changing table, then the hell with them. Any and all attempts to keep him from turning over and crawling meet with screams and horrible infant cursing.

The only way I can guarantee a quick change, though by no means a silent one, is to sit down on the floor, throw a leg over his chest and hold him down with it. Unless I wanted to steam clean the carpet later, that wasn't an option this morning.

Eventually the task was done, no thanks to Ngnat, who must personally inspect and pronounce judgment on all diaper contents before they can be thrown away, and Scotty smiled upon us with a beatific eye.

"What's all the fuss about?" he seemed to ask.

"I need coffee," I told him.

Eventually coffee and I renewed our acquaintance, after juice and muffins and an Elmo video, "no, not that Elmo video, Daddy, this Elmo video." for Ngnat and Froot-loops and banana bread and a chopped up fried egg for the finally clean and dry Scotty. By the time it was brewed, of course, Ngnat and Scotty were done with breakfast. I suggested they play on the back porch. They decamped to it with an alacrity that suggested this was not a normal morning option. Scotty busied himself by attempting to eat anything that could fit in his mouth and many things that couldn't, while Ngnat made trip after trip to the refrigerator, first filling up a red plastic sand bucket with water, then dumping it into the square Styrofoam cooler the turducken arrived in a year and half ago.

Once the turducken cooler was full they took turns sticking their faces into the water, then splashing it all over the porch, whereupon more filling was needed. After three or four repetitions of this Scotty was far more wet than when he awoke, and Ngnat had stripped down to panties. Neither seemed to mind. Certainly I didn't--their activity allowed me to get most of a second pint of coffee down in peace.

Sainted Wife, however, was dumbfounded when she finally made an appearance.

"They're soaked!" she announced, with a keen grip on the obvious.

"Yea, they're having a blast."

"But they're soaked!"


"Why did you let them do that?"

I went with "Because they were having fun" over the more truthful "Because that way they didn't bother me," not that it made an appreciable difference in her attitude regarding the situation. "It's just water" didn't make a dent either.

However, "I've got to go upstairs and take a shower now" succeeded far beyond my expectations.

Posted by Bigwig at May 25, 2004 12:50 PM | TrackBack
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The only way I can guarantee a quick change, though by no means a silent one, is to sit down on the floor, throw a leg over his chest and hold him down with it.

I use the same method. Lovely Wife scowls at me when I do it and says things like "that is so unfair" and "that is bordering on abuse" but what can I do? The dog just won't lay down on the kid long enough for me to change a diaper.

Posted by: Jim at May 25, 2004 01:11 PM

Ha, ha, ha! "largish, and slightly ill, Black Lab" is a total Bigwigism.

I can't believe the end. Men get the short end of the stick no matter what. The other day I suggested it was a bad idea for my wife to let the kid spread literally 300 sandwich baggies all over the livingroom, since clean up was rather time consuming. She was, um, displeased that I was making the comment. Here the shoe is on the other foot, as in your case, and still the guy gets the shaft.

Witty last sentence, too, Big'.

Posted by: other Jim at May 25, 2004 10:17 PM
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