Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Fearless Adventurer II

Our hero steps quietly through the door, quickly shifting his gaze around the room to evaluate the state of things as Mitch contentedly slurps his offered fingers in greeting. "Josie" and The Wife are in the kitchen killing time and "Angel" in the living room engrossed in the 1,327,897th run of "Aladdin and the Prince of Thieves". Good. An opportunity to get the lay of the battlefield from The Wife before engaging the enemy.

The Wife is bailing tonight and fleeing to Bible Study. The day didn't go too bad, but she hasn't really left the yard since Sunday. Time for a break. "Josie", in a rare night home with no friends over, looks to be a problem. Yeek. Our hero will be outnumbered two to one, with youth and vitality on their side. It doesn't look promising.

But almost immediately the enemy turns on each other, when "Josie" suddenly becomes helpful and nice, and watches "Angel" for awhile after The Wife leaves...leaving our hero to munch his supper in relative peace as he ponders what they're planning in the other room. "Josie" already ate and "Angel" seems to be boycotting food for the moment, so he's alone with his thoughts, unable to contemplate trying to force "Angel" to eat. She'll know when she's hungry.

And she did become hungry, though not for spaghetti, like I was eating. This is how I know she's not my genetic child. Nobody who shares my DNA would ever turn their nose away from spaghetti. Instead, she expressed a preference for a meat-and-cheese sandwich. Coming right up. Bread, mayo, cheese, meat, there you are, ma'am.

She scarfed it.

"Would you like some applesauce?" he inquired, biding his time as he tries to process how well the evening was going. Why, yes, she would like some applesauce.

She scarfed that too.



Into the living room, where our intrepid hero manages to sidestep a 1,327,898th showing of "Aladdin and the King of Thieves" in favor of Jimmy Neutron...then back out to the kitchen where he valiantly cleans up the dishes. Coming back into the living room, he discovers "Josie's" evil plan. She has allowed the child to climb under her blanket with her on the couch and fall asleep. Hard. He could have lit a firecracker in front of her face and she would have just rolled over. This can't be allowed. After 5 minutes of shaking, pushing, rocking, pleading and finally groveling, she wakes up, looks at him, and gives him a big hug and kiss.

But our hero won't be fooled that easily. The night isn't over yet.

About a half hour before bedtime, our hero mentions bedtime for the first time to test the water, to no detectable resistance. It really gets old when you keep expecting resistance and not receiving it, you know? Anyway, he figures, we should be getting her used to the idea. She's responded poorly to bedtime as a surprise before. Learn from our mistakes.

Observing "Angel", our hero notices her eyelids drooping. No doubt a clever ploy to bring his guard down. It won't work, you little vixen, but keep trying.

Then, 5 minutes early, our hero makes a bold move: "honey, do you want to read a story?" A big yawn. "Yes, daddy." She unbelievably gets up and starts walking back to her room. In a daze, he follows. She grabs her favorite book and climbs into bed, scooting over to make a spot for daddy. Daddy takes his designated position, pausing only long enough to pick up his jaw and reattach it to his face.

15 minutes of looking at books, and our hero goes for the jugular: "time for nighty-night, sweetheart".

"Okay, daddy. Nighty-night."

Daddy turns out the light and lays down on the floor. He begins to tremble, considering the possibility that the world as he has known it for over a week is imploding. The laws of physics have been overturned by executive order and new ones installed. Up is down. Back is sideways. Screaming is sleeping peacefully.

Belatedly, he realizes he forgot to have "Angel" brush her teeth, then realizes further that he doesn't care, because there is light at the end of the tunnel, optimism is rising, and there is a distinct possiblity that it is, after all, A Wonderful Life.

Ruminating on these thoughts, our hero sits up to go and is suddenly transfixed by two little points of reflected light. He got careless. He didn't pay attention to the breathing to make sure she was asleep. Rookie mistake. Show no fear; they can smell it.

He makes a fairly graceful recovery by pretending that he was repositioning himself and lays down again. Then, 5 minutes later he hears the rhythmic breathing that signals the time to make a break for freedom.

As he makes his escape, he ponders his fears of as recently as 24 hours ago. Perhaps his quest won't always be so difficult? Maybe it'll even be fun sometimes?

Could be. But when you start to think like that is when they get the element of surprise back. Best to be cautious.

Tune in tomorrow night to find out if our hero is on a roll or if he just got lucky a couple times.

But then, of course he's lucky. He got a goodnight hug and kiss from the most beautiful little girl in the entire galaxy. There isn't enough money in the world to buy that.


At 9:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of times? I think there's a new pattern emerging here! But I'd hate to see what "Angel" does to replace the bedtime screaming... Just kidding... Hope your success continues! :-)

At 7:23 AM , Blogger FosterAbba said...

Congrats on two scream-free bedtimes!

At 2:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What kind of mushy kid-hugger have you become? Not the Grrr I am used to. You are now officially the Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man.



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