Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Unbattening

Apologies if anyone thought the lack of post yesterday meant things had gone poorly for me in terms of storm effects. Not so, but yesterday managed to get away from me nevertheless.

So the plan was for all four (or nine, depending on where you draw your species-specific lines) members of my household to sleep in the same room on Monday night. My wife’s big fear was that a large bough, or possibly an entire tree, might come crashing through the roof or a window upstairs, hence we would decamp to a lower floor of the domicile. I considered potential flooding of the basement to be a more likely scenario, and that ruled out sleeping belowground. So we pulled out the sleeper sofa in the front living room, made that up as the parents’ bed, put sheets, blanket and pillow on the facing loveseat as a makeshift bed for the little guy, and set up the pack-n-play between the two for the little girl. This was all accomplished after eating an early dinner and getting a fire started in the woodburning stove in the den … but not before the power went out, which happened at about 7:00 p.m. Fortunately, at that exact moment, both of the kids were very much accounted for. The little girl had just finished her bath and her mother was getting her into pajamas, while the little guy (who had been in pajamas all day) was within arm’s reach for me, helping to make up the temporary sleeping arrangements. The little guy was slightly freaked out by the sudden descent into darkness, but got over it pretty quickly, especially when it became his job to run upstairs with the flashlight and come to mommy’s rescue as she finished getting his sister ready for bed.

And the little girl drifted off to sleep willingly enough, being rocked in total darkness, and transferred to the pack-n-play without complaint. The little guy joined my wife and I in the den, and got to watch a Bob the Builder dvd on the battery-powered portable player while the grown-ups watched the flickering flames. When his dvd was over, we got the little guy into his loveseat-bed and had just gone around turning lightswitches off in case the power was restored at 2 a.m., when sure enough the power came back, around 8:30 p.m. It would go in and out a few more times that evening and the following morning, but never for more than a couple of minutes.

So that was it, the extent of our inconvenience was that we didn’t get to see How I Met Your Mother (though I understand maybe nobody got to see it, if storm coverage on CBS pre-empted it?). Oh, and the wind knocked down our mailbox, which was already pretty wibbly-wobbly to begin with. Didn’t blow it away, just laid it over on the ground on its side. At one point late Monday afternoon a weather-tracking website had a gigantic red headline reading DEVASTATION IMMINENT but in the end it was more like meh-vastation, amirite? Not to belittle the suffering of many people who were without power longer, or remain so, or who have to contend with massive flooding, real wind damage, and so on. But I fully recognize that we got off extremely easy. Apparently there were no loose limbs or rotted trunks of trees left after the derecho back at the beginning of the summer. The basement/garage/entire house stayed in one piece and bone-dry.

Still, despite being yet another administrative leave day for me and my cohorts (and my wife and hers, too, for that matter), Tuesday had its own set of to-do’s which ended up occupying most of the day. Of course we had to break down the storm shelter we had set up in the living room, and remake the upstairs beds we had stripped. We had a family outing to the store (in part just to get the stir-crazy kids out of the house) which ate up a chunk of time. While the kids were napping I righted the mailbox (a stopgap at best, as the post is kind of rotting away and we just need a whole new one at some point) and my wife made phonecalls to reschedule various doctor appointments; this week I was supposed to see the dentist, the little girl was supposed to have her 18 month pediatric check-up and my wife was due for a twenty-week ultrasound, all of which ended up getting cancelled for inclement weather. When the little guy got up, I distracted him with the project of moving his train table (and the metric ton of trains and cars that go with it) from the main floor down to the basement, where their various choking hazard parts will be safely isolated away from Baby no. 3, in addition to freeing up the footprint in the living room for the pack-n-play’s use as combination changing table and bassinet. Next thing you know it’s dinner time, which we had planned beforehand as something we could cook on the grill: burgers and baked beans. The power, as I mentioned, was back and stable but we went ahead with the cookout in the drizzle anyway. And then after the kids were fed and bathed and tucked in for the night, the realization of needing to wake up at 5 a.m. for the first time in like five days sent me heading for bed not long after. Truly, a whirlwind of excitement.

Things are more-or-less back to normal, then, which means I can get back to blogging about my usual trivial obsessions and whatnot. To make up for yesterday I may very well hit those areas later this afternoon, time permitting. (Which it probably will; most everyone’s back to work today but it’s still pretty quiet around here.)

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