It’s obvious that the story of this weekend begins on Friday morning. But a point isn’t a pattern (except to the schizophrenics), and I didn’t see — couldn’t have seen — where things were headed until about 7:15 Friday night, when you and I were on the way home from day care.
I was really tired, not only from the day’s travails, but from a few really busy weeks at work, the last couple of which happened to coincide with a couple of busy weeks for AT at work. For almost two weeks, AT and I daily answered the question of who would stay at work until midnight, and who would work from home after putting you to bed.
And I was tired from changing the tire in Atlanta’s un(s/r)easonably cold weather at the end of a long day. It was very cold. Like the actual low yesterday was -12°C. I didn’t have gloves, so my work with the heat-leeching metal tools was punctuated by pacing, hands in my pockets, until I could feel my fingers again.
And you were tired. I could tell as soon as I walked into the daycare. I’m not sure whether it was that I was too tired to be a good parent or you were too tired to be a good kid, but the ride home started to shape up to be pretty rough. You were asking for things that didn’t exist, or asking for things using only really vague pronouns. I wanted to hand you what you wanted, but couldn’t figure out what that might be. I eventually opted to put on some music.
I had fairly well tuned you out when I realized that you were repeating “I want another one; I want another CD, daddy.” I was relieved — hitting “next” on my blackberry was well within my abilities. And lo, I was downright pleased when the song that came on was a favorite. For me, it is one of those that freezes the moment you first hear it in time, so that every time you hear it a little bit of the initial wonder remains.* Here’s that song:
You stopped kicking your feet when the song began, and your glazed stare out the window briefly focused. You were quiet for about a minute, and I was pretty sure you were having the same reaction I’d had. Then you said: “I don’t like this one. I want another one.”
See, that’s the moment I should have been able to plot out the course of the rest of the weekend. First the tire, then the solid blow to my pleasant delusion that you and I are two manifestations of the same spirit. The trajectory is obvious. Or it would have been if I hadn’t been so tired, so disconsolate.
I was so tired and crabby that I didn’t notice the third datapoint when it was staring me in the face. When AT came home and declared it “cold in here”, I told her she was crazy. She directed me to the thermostat, which told me two things: (1) the indicated actual temperature was about 8°C below the set temperature; and (2) the heating system, which was set to “auto” (and which therefore should have been doing its best to replace the missing heat) had simply given up. I suddenly felt how very cold it was in the house. By morning the house was more than 15°C cooler than when we’d left for work 24 hours earlier.
So you went to spend the night with grandma and granddaddy. AT and I stayed at home, because I had to be north of town to get a new tire at 7:30am, and AT had to be at work at 10:00am. A hitherto unused electric blanket saved the evening. But when I had to get out of bed in the morning, I suddenly felt a great sympathy for the people who stepped out of their warm Boeing into the Hudson River on Thursday.
After grandaddy brought you back home, you stayed with Haley for a few hours while we were at our respective offices. AT called me as evening approached to let me know she was leaving the office, and could give me a ride if I wanted one. A few minutes later she called to tell me that someone had broken into the car.
A window was smashed, and we think that the only thing taken was a purse that has been doubling as a light-duty diaper bag. I imagine that the thief was probably disappointed. I’d bet that the purse is in a garbage can not two blocks from the parking lot. (Although Donnie pointed out the possibility that the culprit was someone whose baby really needed a new diaper, in which case they probably got exactly what they wanted and needed.)
So that’s the weekend so far. It’s Saturday night now, and Monday is technically part of the weekend this go ’round. So who knows what other joys await.
There are bright spots too, by the way. You seemed to enjoy the song after “Greenman” very much, and I can’t complain if you’re a Critters Buggin’ fan (even if Raimondi isn’t the most interesting song).
* And how I was all like “this sounds like XTC, except for how it’s completely awesome”.