Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Groundhog Day and the Sticky Punchline

I Like to Say a Prayer and Drink to World Peace
I flipped on that darn color teevee a few nights back and stumbled onto Groundhog Day.  If you haven't seen that movie, and where have you BEEN?, it's a (hilarious) study of what might be possible if you were to repeat living one day... indefinitely.

With each identical day, the man sees and learns from tiny mistakes.  He soaks up details to use again in varying ways, most of them hysterically funny.

Anyway, Majesty wasn't enthused with my choice.  She declared flatly that she had already seen it, and didn't want to see it over again, because once was plenty.  Which goes down as about the most ironic statement, well, ever.

Getting the skipper to go to sleep is a lot like that movie.  Small mistakes have huge repercussions.  You gather intelligence and use it to your advantage next time.  What you screw up this evening, you fix tomorrow night.

I think routine is kid nirvana.  And as they grow, the routines get more and more elaborate.  They get so involved that eventually you can pass for Patrick Roy before a playoff game.  There's a certain way to do, and to order, just about everything.  From choosing jammies, to brushing teeth, to turning on lamps and shuttering windows, to stories to be read, it all matters.  And if the delicate chain of events is broken or misordered, all is not lost, it's just... different.

And sometimes different doesn't work out.

I Find Adhesives Incredibly Amusing
I was comparing notes with H.M. last night and we got to talking about the books we read to Jack at naptime-slash-bedtime.  She went to the public library in town recently and had come away with just about every book they would lend her.  The large stack was upstairs.  You know the ones, with that smooth, crinkly, sort of worn layer of extra plastic on the dustcovers that only library books have.  I had dipped into most of them with Jack already.  I told her my set list.  She told me hers.  To nobody's surprise, we read them almost precisely in reverse order.

I thought, as I do a lot, that she outranks me by a huge margin on the Knowing-What-I'm-Doing scale.  And so that night, I read the books in her order.  Everything was going beautifully.  The normally nuclear-fueled boy was dead tired, and almost asleep.  The last story, I think it was If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, was up.  And then we hit the scotch tape.

For complex plot reasons unknown to me, "scotch tape" comes up in the book.  And Jack thought my saying "scotch tape" was hilarious.  I mean, really hilarious.  He laughed so hard, I could hear things gurgling and groaning and sloshing in there.  I thought he was going to spew.  And with the belly laughs, came the hiccups.  Monumental hiccups that shook Jack, myself, the tectonic plates under us and the entire chair we sat in.  And when you get the hiccups, you're as far away from sleep as you can be.

The better part of a flawlessly choreographed hour was down the terlit.  And I've filed a $2.7MM class-action lawsuit against 3M.


Jennifer said...

Groundhog Day was always a favorite movie of mine, but it took on new significance when I quit work to be a stay at home mom. I appreciate it so much more now that I live it!

El Comodoro said...

I'm imagining Sonny and Cher blaring at your house every morning.

Y'know, I never really thought of workathomemommying in that way. Wow. I'm stunned. Dude, that is deep. Way deep.