Saturday, December 10, 2011

The To Do List

My son has a bottle-nosed dolphin deep inside him.

Now, before you reach for the telephone to call the SPCA let me explain. When I wake up in the morning my son instinctively gets up as well. If it's 4am he wants to get up too. Not really - he wants to do the physical act of getting up and being downstairs for a bit, but then to go back upstairs and bother his mother. So I now wait until 5am (4.45 this morning - couldn't take his elastic calisthenics any longer) and take him downstairs. When we get there we sit under a blanket while the heating gets going and the coffee starts coughing. Then he'll get a burst of energy and demand we build a train track the likes of which Brunel would be proud of. I will then coyly listen for his mother to signal us any time after 6am. As it is the weekend it's more likely to be closer to 7am. Once I hear her whistle for us to come upstairs I say softly to my son, "Hey - your mother wants you..." Then he scrambles upstairs like a middle aged woman at JC Penney on Boxing Day.

Once up there he yelps, "Mommy!!" a hundred times and cuddles and suffocates her for ten minutes. After that he goes mental. His inner-dolphin (absurdly called a "Wee Dolphin" this morning) comes out and he violently lurches back and forth headbutting anything in his path. In order to keep my daughter out of harms way I have to scream, "Quick Evelyn!! Hide under the water (the blankets) until we can find something to plug his blowhole!!"

Anyway - the three of them went out shopping without me. I thought I was going (and was going to try and bribe them into breakfast somewhere too) but apparently I wasn't allowed to go. They are buying some Christmas tree lights (tree is outside ready for the chainsaw to make it a more manageable size) and apparently a present for me. Obviously she left me a laminated list of Goals and Achievements to tackle while she's out. Obviously I had nothing planned. Why would I on a Saturday morning after a long wall-to-wall week of children pooing and whelping when left to my own devices? Any man would be idle and desperate for commands on a day like that. Anyhoo there's laundry and chainsawing stuff to do.

She's a complex woman is my wife. She is a professional over achiever. Actually that's not quite right - because it sounds false and unpleasant. She gets everything she deserves by doing everything the way it would be done if you wrote out a Standard Operating Procedure on how to do something perfectly. I am immensely proud of her. Most people she meets in a professional capacity cannot say enough good things. She excelled academically and always did all the networking/schmoozing stuff well. And not in a shallow brown-nosing way - she did it the way it should be done in the way academic nerds do stuff because they genuinely find it interesting. Therefore when my wife sees something that needs doing she assumes that someone has engineered the correct way to do it - and it should be done that way. Me - I couldn't give a toss mostly. I'll get it done and whichever way feels comfortable. We once had a blazing argument about wheel-barrowing leaves because she could not understand that it just wasn't important enough an issue to be drafting plans and calculating mass for it first.

My wife cannot be bullshitted. You can't tell her a fact without empirical data to back it up. Those science-related stories in the newspaper that conveniently leave out the actual data sets bother the shit out of her. She will always go find the actual journal article and read that. Then point out how completely backward the newspaper story is. If I make a statement it better be provable. She is just that way inclined. It's one of the reasons she was so emotionally bothered by offhand news reports about how breastfeeding and formula feeding is pretty much the same. Statistically it isn't even a close call. Not even remotely. Societally it's an argument and a debate about social movement and convenience. Health wise it's not even a debate. But that's not to say my wife is a robot or infallable. she's still totally unreasonably obtuse in other ways. She's the kind of woman who wouldn't throw away an unopened fortune cookie based on the slim statistical chance that the piece of paper inside said, "THERE'S A RAPIST HIDING IN THE CLOSET UPSTAIRS!!! RUN!!!!!!!!!!"

She's not devoid of common sense or anything like that, but she can surprise me with her complete lack of understanding on some things. Take this morning. She's trying to bond with her daughter while we were all lying in bed. I was making up games about how a snake was trying to lick her. Then I mentioned a bear was going to eat her because her brother had started growling (it's okay - we have Frontline somewhere). My daughter then mentioned that we shouldn't kill the bear. I would have just moved on here. My wife though went into a detailed description of the pros and cons for culling animals based upon the Crash and Burn theory of population control of wild species. My daughter was glazing over. Luckily I pulled her back from the brink by asking her what color pajamas an octopus would wear.

"Purple!" she yelled confidently.

That's my girl.


  1. Your missus sounds like Bones. Alarmingly hot but almost Aspy in some regards.

  2. Your missus sounds like Bones. Alarmingly hot but almost Aspy in some regards.