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Friday, June 11, 2004

Never step on a LEGO with bare feet 

Yesterday, I received a note from one of my co-workers (Hi Ned) asking how he could get an RSS feed for this blog. I believe I've found the answer according to Blogger.com's help. I've added a new link to the section on the left that says "Useful Links." Let me know if it doesn't work. Ned's note surprised me since, if you've visited this blog in the last few weeks, it looks like I gave up blogging or died in May. Other regular readers of this blog have actually been complaining to me that I must be a slacker or something: a warning to any would-be bloggers that once you start, you better not stop or you're likely to get tarred and feathered by your friends and family.

Anyway, I'm not slackin' off (or wackin' off for that matter). I've been busy. Kids. House. Dog. Our cars. The garden. The lawn (actually, I haven't gotten to that yet). Oh yeah, and my job. Life got away there for a minute and something (the blog) had to give. But Ned's note was the straw that broke the camel's back. I figured that if Ned is getting ready to take a feed, then I should probably keep the feed active. So, to rev the engines up again, I've decided to write about something that happened an hour ago. If something worth bloggin' about happened before that, I might get to it.

This week, our two-year old blessed us with a new gift. He suddenly started sleeping-in instead of waking up at 5:30am. Apparently, he'll sleep until 7:30 or 8:00, maybe later, if we let him. You have to be a parent to understand how, after three years (including my wife's pregnancy) of broken sleep, this is an event of biblical proportion. Now, in the mornings, my main challenge is sneaking the dog out of my 13 year-old son's room before she starts beating her violently wagging tail into the walls long and hard enough for the baby to wake up. She's a Lab-mix and when she wags her tail, it's one of those Lab-like entire-dog’s-rear-end-shimmies-while-tail-swings-like-a-propeller movements that’s devastating to most knee-high breakables. The object is to sneak the dog downstairs before my son wakes up for school and lets her out of his room, leaving her to her own recognizance.

By now, you’re asking, “What’s this got to do with LEGO?”

Since my wife doesn’t work on Fridays, Friday is the only weekday that we can take advantage of the sleeping baby. Being that today would be the first official “sleep-in Friday,” I had this silly idea that I could sneak the dog downstairs at 6:45 (that’s already 1:15 of extra sleep), get the 13 year-old off to school by 7:30 (after waking him up four times), and let my wife and the baby sleep until 8:00 or 8:30 while I made some coffee and got an early start on my work. This, of course, is the optimal time for Murphy’s Law.

Somewhere around 6:50am, the neighboring town’s fire whistle honked for what seemed like an eternity. Instead of using modern technology (like radios, pagers, and telephones) to rustle the town’s firemen out of their houses and to the fire station (usually to deal with burnt toast at the local nursing home I’m told), this particular fire department uses a 50’s vintage ex-air raid warning horn. It’s so loud that I'm surprised the Boston Fire Department (40 miles away) doesn't show up. Anyway, the folks who live in the nursing home somehow manage to burn their toast at precisely the same time that we’re really depending on the sort of peace and quiet that gives the phrase “sleeping like a baby” the undeserved reputation that it has.

You can imagine what happened next.

The baby woke up. I went in to retrieve him from his crib and as I was lifting him, I stepped on an upside down (sharp edges up) LEGO part with my bare feet. After doing this, I can think of a lot of harmful things that I’d rather do to myself than stepping on an upside-down LEGO part. You see, when you step on a LEGO part with a 37 pound two-year old in your arms, you need to be a Hollywood stuntman in order to gracefully recover without anyone getting hurt. I learned that you have to do several undulating pirouettes just to stay on your feet. You also have to shut off the pain center in your brain because, as I also learned, where ever there’s one LEGO part on the floor, there are more. Doing ballet on them with size 11 ½ feet while keeping your off-the-charts-sized toddler from harm requires an act of God and a re-aggravation of those ruptured discs in your lower back. In fact, you know those cathartic coal-walking programs? They should try it with a bed of LEGO. My bet is no one can do it.

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