Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hoosier Weather

LO is suffering from a small case of the sniffles, which he has been kind enough to share with his mama. (He's such a giving little guy.) Last night, his witching hour shifted backward from the 8 o'clock hour to just before 7 pm. After 45 minutes or so of fussing, I decided he could skip his nightly bath and he and I would just head upstairs for an early bedtime.

So as of 8:30 last night, LO was sleeping peacefully beside his snoring mama (Hey! I'm snuffly, too). J was outside in his garage, playing with his new toy. (That is, he was putting together his new lift for the garage.) The cats were staging the showdown at the OK Corral for the eleventy billionth time. And Obie was wondering where his people were. All was right with the world, sort of.

In a quest for his people, Obie came sauntering upstairs to where LO and I slept the quiet and angelic sleep of mucusy water buffalos. I was vaguely aware of the dog's nails clicking on his way up the stairs because I half remember thinking "Oh, crap." You see, when Obie heads up the stairs, that generally means that he is now stuck in a place that he doesn't really want to be. He is incapable of coming back downstairs without a great deal of moral support and a professional cheerleader or two rah-rahing about how he is up to the impossible challenge of getting his far-too-long legs to navigate the eleven stairs that separate our upstairs from our downstairs. Knowing that J was likely to be out in the garage until either the lift was put together or he fell asleep on it (a la the kid brother in A Christmas Story going to sleep hugging his new fire truck toy), I was sure that Obie would soon really wake me with the power of his whiny wistfulness since his bed was now downstairs and there was no soft place for a tired greyhound to rest his weary boniness.

I was wrong.

When J shook me awake at 10 pm, the sneaky little greyhound had jumped up on the bed and made himself a little nest at the foot of the bed, all without waking me or LO. Apparently he gave J a look that said, "Where else was I supposed to go?"

After getting the dog off the bed, J shook me again. "The tornado sirens are going off," he said.

I had heard the noise, but it hadn't really meant anything. If J hadn't been there to wake me up, I would have found myself wondering why my alarm was going off at night. Apparently, Indiana needs to add a voice to the alarms that shouts: "This is a tornado siren, you dummy! Wake up and go downstairs!"

In my defense, I'm not at my most intelligent when I just wake up. Add to that a little case of the sniffles, and my IQ drops precipitously. I'm not the only member of my family to be like this. You could wake my father up at 4 in the morning out of a sound sleep and he will (while yawning and rubbing his eyes) claim that he wasn't asleep. I've never been able to figure out if this is a manifestation of good manners ("Oh, please don't worry! You didn't wake me.") or if it's a throwback to high school when he used to sleep during his study hall every day and one teacher gave him hell for it every day.

J grabbed the baby and I coaxed the dog down the stairs. Our computer screen was displaying a bright red radar map of the area, and that's when I realized that this might be serious. I grabbed the dog's bed and headed for the basement.

The dog was unwilling to follow. I should point out that all dogs much prefer to follow routines. If each day were exactly the same, most dogs would be so ecstatic they'd pee themselves. Multiply that preference times 20 and you have a greyhound. So any change in the routine is likely to frighten the pee out of a greyhound. (You'll notice that all emotions in dogs are manifested in pee. Yeah, we love it, too.) So the fact that I was trying to coax Obie down into the basement--where he has never been--was enough to convince him to abandon ship. He turned around and we could hear his nails clicking their way up the stairs to the second floor.

Sighing, J handed me the baby (fully awake, alert and smiling now) and went off after the dog. He had to carry him down two flights of stairs and I still don't think Obie has recovered from the ordeal.

Meanwhile, I was settling down in the BMW seat that J keeps in the basement until Ziggy, the project car, is ready to have human guests once again. LO, unlike the dog, was pretty excited by the change in routine. Mom's up! I'm up! Mom's hair is down and I can pull on it!

Unfortunately, once I convinced LO that my hair was not a toy, he turned his bright eyes on the rest of the basement to find something to pull, bang, eat, push or otherwise destroy. The basement is full of things that are completely inappropriate for a baby to pull, bang, eat, push or otherwise destroy. Like extension cords and cordless drills and J's beer bottle collection and parts of my bicycle and on and on. Eventually I just offered LO my hair to pull on again.

We waited for the sirens to stop and then one of us went back to see if the radar was still sporting a raging case of the scaries. It wasn't. So we took all and sundry back up to bed and tried to convince LO that no, it was not in fact morning, and no, now was not a good time to continue pulling on Mom's hair and no, we would not be playing Dad makes faces so LO can laugh for another hour.

The one nice thing about LO having the sniffles is that he sleeps pretty well once he gets to sleep. So before long we were a happy and snoring B-family sandwich. Obie just rested his head on the edge of the bed, wishing he could be the pickle on the foot of the bed.

It ain't easy being a greyhound.

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