So, the week began seemingly easy enough working from home with a two month old.
And, yeah, if you followed last week, that didn’t last long.
Part of the last weekend was spent in Dirty Jerz for birthday celebrations. Most of our family birthdays fall in clusters so at different points in the year it seems like we spend a solid block of like two-to-three weeks with some kind of candle blowing gathering. Not a complaint. Just an observation. And, what I observed is, apparently there’s small windows of time everyone is fucking, followed by long stretches where they were not.
The trip was just the older Padawan and I. It went surprisingly well. The travel was pretty easy. Lunch with my parents was so good I even got to take a nap. And the party had lots of kids. Lots and lots of kids. Like at once point it was so loud a 747 could have flown through the room and no one would have heard it.
I learned a lot while observing others. I learned some parents have unhealthy attachments to their kids while others live in a literal Lord of the Flies / Peter Pan kind of chaos that comes from ignoring them. I learned that dressing nice for a party is apparently a thing of the past. Not that causal is bad, but there’s a fine line between this is casual comfortable and this is something someone probably-still-drunk would have gone to a 7 am college course in.
Looking down my nose at some people (and it’s a long look down, have you seen my French pointy nose?) being a bunch of granola-y progressives probably cost me…
By Tuesday had a hoof-and-mouth outbreak. OK, not it wasn’t Aphthae epizooticae that impacted bovines from like 2001 through 2003 and was more like coxsackievirus which is a typical childhood infection better known hand-foot-and-mouth.
Shit’s not fun. We didn’t quite realize that’s what it was till even later when the irritation on the hands went to the knees, ankles, elbows and more and then the Peds confirmed it. By then it was too late. Patient zero had spread the infection to the house, to probably the daycare, to… well, he caught it most likely at the party, so he didn’t infect there at least and the birthday celebrator herself survived unscathed.
So, as you can image. It’s been a lot of crying in the house. The older one has terrible twos so it’s hard to tell how much of it is age versus being out-of-sorts from the infection but honestly I’m going with the former over the latter. They’re quite asymptomatic most of the time anyhow.
By the end of the week the younger one began to show the early signs of infection too. And, they’re symptomatic to everything so it’s hard to say how much is being a two-plus-month old and how much is the infection. I’m not making bets, there’s no good answer.
And, with that, the stress levels went through the roof. So did the volume we listened to music at, among other things.
Most of the listening was 80’s music. I’ve been on a kick over the last few months with the era. In part that whole process of doing the favorite/most influential records I worked on, in part coincidentally a bunch of those songs/artists have just cropped up, in part because I routinely just go through these phases.
Without going too tangental there’s actually two interesting short stories that go with this. Driving home from daycare the other week the older Padawan took a shine to Run DMC which may have helped spur listening to more old skool rap with them and that brought back out LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, Salt & Peppa, Beastie Boys and more which they had some interesting reactions to. The second was an earworm of Tear For Fears which eventually devolved for me into a bunch of pop-doom stuff like the Cure, Depeche Mode and so on.
Ultimately, the randomizer brought us a wide ranging exploration of those plus some “hair metal” from Bon Jovi, Skid Row, the Cult and Living Color along with classic thrash by Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Anthrax and Slayer offset by pop the likes of Madonna, Blondie, the Bangles, Prince and Springsteen. Some punk by the Clash, Bad Religion, the Misfits, 7 seconds and some prog by Yes, Rush, Queensryche, Savatage, King’s X and even some stuff that I didn’t keep track of because it was just a random track or two.
Can’t really say the younger Padawan really reacted better or worse to anything over anything else but honestly, the point isn’t that at under three months, it’s more that they just acknoladge music is playing and that, they do.
This kind of music. Music from the little butterfly music maker that mimics the styles of “classical.” The little “juke box” toy that has a bunch of “classical” songs that honestly were seemingly popularized by MGM and Warner cartoons back in the day. And, of me singing all those made up songs yet again.
And, that last one is most important. This week the younger padawan acknowledged the diaper song. I don’t remember if I mentioned it for the older one but it’s a jazz-sleeze approach, pst-dh-p-st-dh-p-st-dh-p-st-dh with a lyric scheme of “we change the diaper, we change the diaper, the one you peed in, your dirty diaper, we change the diaper … diaper” and then it goes into a little drum break that I inspired from the intro to the cartoon Archer, that is a tickling that follows a “dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-da-da” kind of cadence before looping around to repeat. They immediately chill out to the singing and by the time the drum part comes they are essentially doing their version of smiling to occasionally cooing along.
It’s the first real solid connection I’ve felt to this point of feeling like I’ve been fighting hard against maternal attraction which is something that really didn’t happen as pronounced the first time around (unless I’m mis-remembering)
OH, and did I mention, the Capitals won the Stanely Cup last night. Yeah, more on that over the weekend…