b Papa Dog's Blog: Working for the Man Every Night and Day

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Working for the Man Every Night and Day

Late to bed and late to rise was Baby Dog’s credo last night. She didn’t stop her sobbing and go to sleep until after ten – but then she didn’t wake up until around 7:30. Nine and one half hours sawing logs – or what we like to call around here “clear cutting.” Pretty good. That’s good news/bad news for Mama Dog. Mama Dog got a good night’s sleep, but woke up desperately in need of a milking. For me, I’m not sure if it’s good news/bad news, of just bittersweet news. I got somewhat less sleep than Mama Dog through nobody’s fault but my own (just about to turn the computer off and go to bed when I remembered a freelance job I had due that night). Then in the morning I barely saw the bairn. I changed her nappy when she finally woke up, but then she went straight to the breast and had only just finished when it was time for me to go.

Fire drills all day at the job. Another big proposal extolling my company’s virtues in the dirt and pollutants game. Another crack at the spreadsheet from hell, which filled a 36 x 44 sheet with 10-point type. Then a long afternoon’s slog through a 100+ page document that had apparently been conceived and formatted by a crew of palsied one-eyed mandrills who composed the thing while talking on cell phones and chasing the dragon. I’m off tomorrow and couldn’t very well leave the thing half-finished for my backup (she’d never make head or tails of it – you can’t leave off halfway through a mandrill-to-human translation), so I had to stay ‘til it was done.

I called Mama Dog as I was walking to BART and she said she was putting the wee one down for a sleep soon. On the train, I started to brood on that. It was dark out. All my life I’ve really enjoyed days when I go to work in the dark and come home in the dark because it means I avoid the rays of that wretched engine of carcinogens in the sky, but since having a baby, things are different. Coming home late means missing out on precious parenting time. It made me nuts to think I’d seen her for only ten minutes or so in the morning, and then she’d be asleep by the time I got home. For once, it seemed a good thing to me that the dog raises such a ruckus when I come home; maybe he’d wake her up.

From Rockridge, I called Mama Dog, and she said the little one wasn’t asleep after all, but feeding. Hope glimmered. When I got home, Doggy Dog failed me…he was unusually subdued. Baby Dog was indeed still suckling, but she was for all practical purposes asleep. Mama Dog suggested I change the baby’s diaper before putting her to bed, and so dutifully I did. Dutifully, but conflictedly. The diaper change was sure to wake her, and that’s what I’d been hoping for…but she was sleeping so contentedly, it really seemed a shame.

For a moment or two, it looked like she might sleep through the change. Then slowly, gradually, her face crinkled open, her lids popped up. She kicked her legs, looked me in the face, and grinned. It took another half hour of crying and shushing to get her back to sleep after that, but all was right in our house, if not in the world.


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