Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Night in the Life

The doorbell rang. Standing in the kitchen with Augey strapped to my chest in the baby bjorn, I was smackdab in the middle of a dinner jam session with both kids. (Pretty sure it was The Clash playing in the background.) Using Gus' left arm as a guitar neck and his right leg as the bridge, I was channeling my inner Pete Townsend by windmilling a G-man air guitar. Meanwhile, Greta was demonstrating her version of "devil horns" (or the Longhorns sign for you Texans) as she sat confined in her highchair, which looked more like a double finger mom dance at a wedding after a few white zins.

"Uh oh," I thought. "Hope it's not DSS."

Fortunately, it was just the former owners of our house who were picking up some mail during a Thanksgiving trip back home. "C'mon in," I offered waiving them inside with Gus' feet dangling around in front of me. Clad in suit pants and white undershirt stained with spit-up and Greta's dinner shrapnel, I explained that THE WIFE was out galavanting with her GFs at a nice adult dinner free from constant threats of timeouts, Tinkerbell sightings, and Gigi's claims of "accidents" after she's spitefully hucked a broccoli branch to the ground. They politely declined the tour and insisted that I return to dinner.

Next up, bathtime for Greta as Gus reclined in the rainforest vibrating seat, tripping out as frogs and parrots moved simultaneously. Then on to PJs and diaper changes for both peanuts. We return to the kitchen for a nightcap: sippy cup of milk for Greta, 6 oz of Similac for Gus, and a tumbler of Jameson for Daddy - strike that, a Polar lemon seltzer for Daddy.

The three of us subsequently retired to the living room where we queued up "Ellyfants" per Gigi's request a/k/a National Geographic's "Great Migrations" series. (Yes, she's daddy's little girl alright.) Little miss sipped her organic whole as G-man whacked back his formula. We "do" books when mommy's home and we're in man-to-man coverage, but that night I was scrambling with a 1:2 zone-D, Gus was hungry, and I wasn't gonna risk messing up his mojo. I was on the verge of getting these two down by 8:30 and then a quiet house was all mine until THE WIFE returned, so I wasn't taking any chances.

While distracted by a food coma and full belly, I temporarily deserted Augustus in his swing and threw the original G. over my shoulder. Off to bed for you, young lady. Quickly, I zipped up the sleep sack (yes, we still use one - our house is frigid), plopped her in the crib (yes, we still use a bumper - the shame!), and handed over the three (gasp) binkies (the horror!) that Greta promptly plopped - one each - into her mouth and hands.

Incidentally, our daughter does this thing with the pacifiers in her hand where she rubs them on her eyes as she settles into sleep. It's kinda funny and I have no clue of the significance. But it's worth mention because THE WIFE tells me the blog's infrequency of late is failing to record our family's history, so there.

Then, the main event. (With a nod towards Leslie Nielsen.) Summoning Enrico Palazzo, I began my nightly serenade to Greta. My concert usually entails a random combination of nursery rhymes, rock classics, improvisational ballads, and the occasional Irish ditty, which all depend on the energy/enthusiasm level of course. That night, it could've been "Itsy, Bitsy Spider" (Greta loves the tickle part) into "When I'm 64" into "Whistling Gypsy" into "Cheerios" (my creation). To signal that I'm done, I saluted my little love as usual with blowing kisses, I love you's, sleep-tight-don't-let-the-bed-bugs-bite, etc., all while inching towards the door - but that night, like most every night, she sweetly requested an encore. "One more?" I heard somewhat mumbled beneath the binky.

I paused and listened for any squawks from the Gus-man. All quiet. "Okay honey," I replied. "Twinkle, twinkle..." Just another night in our little paradise.