Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Quiet Around Here

[posted by Callimachus]

After 20 years on the night shift, I'm still on the night shift, but now that my wife has gone back to her job after a brief maternity leave, I've added daytime Mr. Mom duties to my schedule. Which means up at 8 a.m., babycare till 4:30 p.m., then directly to work till 12:30 or 1 a.m. It's do-able, but for 20 years I've been doing my personal life after work, then going to bed around dawn and sleeping through the day (except for phone calls, deliveries, noisy motorcycles, etc., etc.).

Now I have to develop the habit of sleeping during the time of day when I've always been most active and alert. To work on that, I've taken two weeks of my vacation now to force myself into a new pattern of life. It means I have been pretty well cut off from the media stream (since I feel like I'm cheating myself when I pay attention to it when I'm not being paid to do so), and from adult thoughts and conversation.

All of which is boring and trivial, but it explains why I haven't had much to say. I could make murmuring repetetive phrases about the reflected lights on the kitchen ceiling, which is what you talk about during the day to a 3-month-old. But I doubt it would do wonders for the traffic here. Or tell stories like this, only slightly altered from the brief conversations that take place when both parents are present and awake:

DOTING PARENTS: Look at that look of concentration in her eyes! She's really developing an inner life and a personality, you can tell. What is she staring at so intently, hunched over like that? Is it the books on the shelf? She'll grow up to be a reader, for sure. She must be at the stage where she's learning object permanence; what else could account for such a hard-working stance and a fixed gaze. It's fascinating to watch her developmental ...

BABY, from the diapered end: craaaaaaaaaap

Reader, on her end, tells me she has her own (and very different) set of busy-ness going on. We're both reager to comment on some of what's happening around the world, and I'm sure it will pick up here again in time.