The power cut out last night around 8:30 thanks to a major storm that rolled through the area. I was extremely thankful that I wasn’t working a night shift because as soon as the night lights and white noise machines died, both boys woke up. The Narrator was afraid, and Mini-Me knew something was amiss so it took me two hours to put him back to sleep. The battery powered radio told us that the power company expected the wide-spread outage to be resolved by 1:30am.
Somewhere before then, the wife and I decided to go to bed rather than sleep on the couches in the living room, as is the usual procedure for sleeping arrangements during a power outage. Of the six houses on the dead road on which we live, we are the only full time residents. So when we switched off the flashlights in the bedroom, without the red glow of the alarm clocks or the pale illumination of the baby monitor, it got DARK. Like- “Are my eyes open or closed?” sort of dark. By this time, we were exhausted, so we went to sleep.
At one point I woke up, and could feel in my bones that it was well past 1:30, and there was still no juice. I snuck out of the bedroom and past the boys’ rooms to find my cell phone and check the time. 4am.
So I burgled in reverse and left the house as silently as possible to go stand in the middle of the road where we have 3G service, and check the power company’s web site. New prospective time for power to come back was 4:45am.
Well, now I’m awake, so I lit a “Fresh Brewed Coffee” scented candle from Kittredge Candles, and started to read a book. (I have no affiliation with Kittredge, but my wife has purchased from them a few times, and I am a massive fan.) Immediately after I settled down, Mini-Me stirred, so I went in and spent the rest of the wee hours of the morning with him, waiting for sunrise, or the power to come back- whichever came first. As I like to plan, I began to come up with contingencies for the morning in case there was no electricity when we all got up. Luckily, the juice came back on right around 5:30, and everything was okay again.
The Narrator woke up as I was getting ready to go to work. I sipped my coffee quickly and listened to one of his imagination-driven stories. I don’t remember exactly what it was he said that prompted me to say “Oh little buddy. you’re some piece of work. Don’t ever change a thing.” A moment later, my wife started laughing. I looked up from what I was doing.
He had literally changed ONE THING. He switched the locations of two items on the floor, and was laughing like a loon trying to get me to guess what it was that he’d did. He of course gave me ‘hints’ which were little more than sound effects related to whatever items he had moved. I finally figured it out, and he collapsed laughing, while I marveled at how much like his mother he was when it comes to taking things to literally.
Of course- as anyone with a five year old knows, this was not the end of the activity. Once I laughed, he caught the scent of blood in the water, and now it became a full-on game. He switched two more objects, and begged me to figure out what they were again. I did, and tried desperately to gather my kit for work at the same time.
Mommy, sensing my exasperation right about the time ‘Round Nine’ of the game commenced, asked him to “Do it once more, and then we’ll move on and have breakfast.” In typical five-year-old fashion, he continued on for several rounds, up to the point where he stole one of my shoes and switched it with his little brother’s milk cup….AS I WAS PUTTING THEM ON.
The entire time, he’s laughing maniacally- which turned immediately into wailing and tears as soon as we kindly asked him once more to put the game to bed. “BUT IT WAS SOOOOOOO FUUUUUN!!!”
– Now, before you try to chastise me for not wanting to play a simple little game with my son, I’ll remind you that small children, especially little boys- have no concept of ‘enough.’ I did indulge his game for a time, but as with many activities initiated by youngsters, the continuation of it became difficult, to the point of impeding conversation between my wife and I as he constantly interjected his guffaw into our conversation with screeches of “DADDY! GUESS WHAT’S DIFFERENT!”
It became time to hit the off switch, and he was not happy about it. Eventually, I had to pin him to the floor and tickle him until he stopped being such a sad sack. That worked until I kissed him goodbye, and he melted into a puddle of “I’ll miss daddy” goo.
Such is parenting.