Why so sad, Llama Llama?

Monday, December 31, 2012

Doolies has a third theory for my headache yesterday. And her theory is supported by more than anecdotal evidence. I think I’ve come down with something. The body aches I was complaining about yesterday are too spread around my body to be caused solely by sitting in front of the computer for too many hours as it would not explain the weird unease in my legs and calves. My throat hurt this morning and by the afternoon, the combination of the cold and trips outside slammed me to the floor. I managed to pull myself up to help with Tiger’s bedtime routine, but now I find myself on the last bit of energy to put these words down. I don’t have fever but I do feel under the weather (as if the weather is something that one can climb under).

It’s New Year’s Eve as I write this. 2013 is a strange number. Random facts I remember from the (far fewer than I remember from previous years) New Year’s blog posts circulating the web: this is the first year in quite a long time where each number in the pattern is different. And did I mention it’s a strange year?

I’ll turn 40 this year—albeit at its end. That seems like a nice dividing line between the old me and the new me, if you’re into such lines. I’m not sure I am yet. What I do strongly believe in is mid-life crises, and as far as I know (or Doolies has told me) I don’t think I’ve fought my way through mine yet. The symptoms of mid-life crises—and I’ve spoken to many people who are either in the midst of one, or on the receiving end of the results of one—are easy: a general malaise and dissatisfaction with your current lot in life (the Grass is Greener syndrome) and a belief that if life is short—and there’s little argument from a soon-to-be 40 year old that it isn’t—then you should enjoy it in greatest spender you can manage. And if your old ball-and-chain, be it your wife or job or children or third mistress, is no longer doing it for you (whatever that “it” is), and since it is so short then you better make a change because the years are wasting away like my last chocolate & cheese cake birthday cake, which lasted a bit more than a week in the fridge before being devoured by my hungry family (I had something to do with it as well).

But as I’ve mentioned (either here or in private correspondences—of which, I really need to start up again. I was texted by a friend from high school who keeps reaching out to me on Facebook and I keep ignoring. It’s not because I’m not interested in what’s going on his life and sharing the tidbits of my life not already available online; it’s more that I only have a certain supply of creative, extroverted energy and I’ve been spending it on work and unproductive hobbies for so long that I barely have the energy to keep in touch with the two friends who’ve I managed to keep in close contact with throughout the years), my life is moving along splendidly.

I needed a new paragraph as my asides are getting a bit out of control. I guess my muddled brain is punishing my Dear Readers with a true stream-of-consciousness musing. I would apologize, but I figure there’s only two of you reading these words, and you either birthed me or decided (against what I have to imagine is your and your family’s better judgment) to tie yourself to my boat as it careens through the rapids of sickness, headache-hood, and general anti-social tendencies that results in us having to decide four July 4ths ago that it was time to make our own friends in the form of progeny that would have no choice but to hang out with us for at least their first sixteen years before being finding the keys to the rest of their hopefully wonderful, fruitful, and fulfilling lives. So no apologies for you. Next in line!

I’ve become a bit of an optimist in my old age. I don’t remember if I was ever a pessimist. I think I equated my dark, depressed and overly logical thoughts with that of pessimism. I now look back and believe that I mischaracterized myself. I should have known better since I was one of the few people at my law school who thought O.J. Simpson was an innocent man, because, truly, why would anyone ever do a violent and senseless act when life is so beautiful and fulfilling if you can get past the uglies and horribles and general unease that is drilled into young people’s brains by the news media and religion. Not that I’m against religion, but I spent the first part of my life dreading discussion of the Holocaust. It wasn’t that it wasn’t a horrible event that impacted my family. It was that my parents’ generation (and I don’t mean you in particular, Moms) instilled in us this horror as the foundation of all things Jewish and bad (two separate things) in the world, to such an extent that it was hard for me to find any joy in my religion with its musty books and hard-edged and outdated philosophy.

But that’s for another time and another discussion. I’m still working through that philosophy book, if you’re wondering why my thoughts have turned in this direction (not that they started in such a happy place). The book’s name, since I keep referring to it, is Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt. Yeah, the colon followed by question mark in the title did send me for a whirl as well. I can now recommend it as I’m almost past the 60% mark, and as a treatise-personal story it provides a great overview on what is the quintessential question about existence. Why is there Something and not Nothing? (I do have my own theories colored by that religion-thingy I discussed above, and the answers he’s finding as he detects come similar if not exactly to this mark.)

Doolies handed off the little cutie to me. He’s sitting in his pink bouncy next to my desk in the computer room. He’s hiccupping but looks relatively happy after finishing his meal. He’s covered by an orange and green—excuse me, I may have to interrupt some of these thoughts to rock the bouncy a bit to discourage his dinosaur cries—with, as fate would have it, a blue cross-patterned dinosaur of the variety that we learned as Brontosaurus but was later determined not to have existed as described (or perhaps renamed—it’s been a while since I read about that surprising revolution, and I’m too much in the putting down uneducated and un-researched words to go check). To be fair, I did purchase that blanket after I identified his cries as related to that of extinct dragons, but we’ll ignore the man pulling the levers behind the curtain.

Doolies came in to take care of Dinosaur and help him with his hiccups since there was a loud boom. It took a while to place the sound, but Doolies had the brilliant idea to check Tiger’s camera, and there she is, standing up in her crib with her coyote eyes, crying, with her small, hard-backed (there’s a name for these types of picture books, but it’s escaping me) book, Llama Llama, Nighty Night (of which both of us have memorized each word and page and reading it to her becomes an exercise in either speed or shared reading, where I would stop during the reading and let her fill in the next word, either slowing down or speeding up to change the cadence with the meaning), splayed open on the floor in plain view of the IR camera.

After leaving Dinosaur in Doolies’s capable hands, I climbed up the stairs in my slightly less cold (thanks to a second sweater worn over my first sweater and t-shirt in cold, cold Seattle) body, opened the door, and put her book back into bed. As is her wont when she cries and wants to stop, she asked me to “blow nose.” I grabbed the cloth that waits on the bed for just that purpose, squeezed her nose while she blew, and then wiped her eyes and hands, as she told me the other area where tears had fallen.

Another interruption as baby baby continued his crying and Doolies recommends that I try to burp him. This was not successful. I will try again. This time I was successful with the burp but that only slowed down his dinosaur cries. I may have to close this a bit earlier than I had hoped. Let me try to finish up the Tiger sleep story.

Okay, I’m back from walking him around and chatting with the Doolies, who’s cleaning the bottles for another (hopefully less long) night. He’s still a bit dinosaur-y, but if I stop talking about how dinosaur-y (a difficult word to type) he is, I might get around to finish Tiger’s sleep story.

You see, she has two sayings for night time: “blow nose” for when she’s been crying (and she uses this throughout the day as well) and “no sad.” The “no sad” came into play again this morning as she was playing with her cut-out, paper mermaids. They stand up through the ingenious mechanism of a vertical slit in the bottom of the hard-paper doll fitting perpendicular into a second, smaller hard-paper stand, forming a crossed and stable doll. Tiger would knock each of these over, one by one, and pick them up saying, “why so sad? No sad,” and then hug them with a shake of her little body before knocking over the next mermaid and repeating this behavior until all the mermaids and even their friend the seahorse were on the table and off the couch. Isn’t she precious?

So after picking up the book, giving her a big hug, blowing her nose, and telling her not to be sad tonight, I put her down, cover her up, turn out the lights, Llama, Llama nighty night (yes, that couplet appears on the last two pages of her book).

Dinosaur managed to put himself to sleep and Doolies is covered him up. The camera tells me that Tiger was also successful. I’m feeling a bit better after forming these words and talking to the Doolies. I threatened to take Nyquil and leave Doolies to the whims of Dinosaur tonight, but I may be able to resist. I’m hopeful that a decent night sleep (and it was decent for the first few hours last night, with no dinosaur moans) will make me right as rain (is anyone else’s exposure to that wonderful phrase the result of watching The Matrix too many times?)

I should end this by acknowledging that it's only 8:17pm and the chances of being awake (by choice) at midnight are very slim. But if you’re into these types of milestones then I wish you a happy New Year, and hope all your Disney-filled wishes come true!