Adventures in making and raising our test-tube babies

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Night in the Life

Last night around here was like a Thurber short story. About 9:00 the babies started crying fiercely, so I went to check on them. Their transition to “newborn” size left them in slightly large clothing – too large. Elisa’s had slipped off one shoulder, so she looked like the girl from Flashdance. Amanda had kicked her nightie so vigorously that her feet pulled the neckline down around her elbows and belly button. Meanwhile, Sarah had discovered how comfortable the changing table was, and acted defensively when James tried to move her. So we changed the girls on the bed.

At 10:00 James went to take a nap in the basement. I worked on my Fiber of Her Being taxes and made up the bottles for the next day. At midnight he joined me in the nursery for a feeding, and then he took over while I went to take my nap in the basement.

At 3:00 a.m. the electricity went off, and I was awakened by some appliance that sounded a final “beep” as its death knell, so I came upstairs groggily to relieve James. James, in a middle-of-the-night stupor, was ready, just in case it had been an intruder who cut the electrical line to the house and was coming to rob us. “Hello?” he called threateningly from the babies room, ready to defend his kin. “Hi,” I said from the stairway.

We both got to bed about 4:00, and shortly after that, Sarah came in and meowed her funny meow. “What’s that?” asked James. “Hold on, I’m going to turn on the light,” I said, but he was already asleep. I clicked on my lamp and peered over the footboard. Sarah’s weird meow was the kind she made when her mouth was full. She plopped a dead mouse on our rug. I got up, scooped it up with an “It’s a Girl” paper cup and paper plate, and dumped it in the toilet. I threw the cup and plate away in the garbage can that was full of coathangers. I hadn’t been able to untangle the coathangers with one hand earlier that evening while I was holding Elisa, so I threw them all away. Now the mouse scoops came in with them.

When I went to sleep that time, I dreamed about having an enormous rabbit with a swollen foot on our back porch. I also dreamed that a guy from Cherrydale Hardware was running for President. In the dream only, his name was John, and he needed me to think of a campaign song with “John” in it. The closest I could come up with was “Dawn,” the ‘fifties song. It wasn’t until after I woke up that I realized those lyrics go, “Dawn, run away I’m no good for you.” That would make a terrible campaign song.

When the girls woke me up for the 6:00 a.m., the different clocks in our bedroom said 12:05, 2:17, and 4:20. My watch, which I was glad to have repaired the other day, told me it was 6:45. They slept almost three full hours! Amazing!

As I prepared their bottles, I thought, it’s like the night the bed fell on James Thurber’s grandfather. Just one night in the life. February 21, 2009.

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