"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

Friday, August 26, 2011

Conversations with a Stranger

Before you read the following blog post, know this: Avery is an amazing husband. Amazing. There are so many things he does to keep the household running that I shudder to think of what would fall through the cracks if he weren't around. Taking out the recycling, weed-whacking the lawn, paying the bills, getting the oil changed in the car, basically anything related to the inner workings of the television or computer-- these are all things that I have little to no hand in doing. Avery is helpful, thoughtful and articulate, and I can only assume that during the night he leaves his family, puts on a cape and fights crime on the streets of Yakima, because he certainly isn't in bed with me. No, during the night I share my bed with a complete stranger. Read on...

A few nights ago our family was camped out on the sandy shores of Third Beach near La Push. The four of us-- Avery, Geneva, Lavender and I-- were all squished into our tent, sardine style, with the girls between the grown-ups. As you would expect from a seven-week-old baby, Lavender was awake frequently during the night for various input and output functions (i.e. nursing and peeing). Once she woke me in darkness so complete that I had to feed her entirely by feel; there was simply no light to speak of. Having fed her, and finding that she was still fussy, I determined that she needed to be changed. I forgot where we had stashed the diapers, and rather than awaken Geneva by groping around the crowded tent in pitch blackness I decided to ask Avery where they were.
   "Avery," I whispered softly. No answer. "Avery. Avery. Avery. Avery!" Unable to reach him to deliver my customary firm nudge, I whispered his name progressively louder over the course of about a minute. Finally, he stirred.
   "Avery, where are the diapers?"
   "Where are the diapers? Do you remember where we put them?"
   "Rrrp dur cruuuun." This sounded more like words. Excellent! Now we're getting somewhere, I thought. I asked him to repeat himself.
   "Up the canyon."

There was a long and confused pause. I considered the possibility that I had not asked the question that I thought I had. After all, I was tired and groggy, too. Shaking it off, I tried again, enunciating with over-the-top clarity.
   "What? Ave, where... are... the... diapers?"
   "Up the canyon." There was a definite tone of irritation in his voice. He rolled over as if this concluded the matter and began snoring lightly.
   "Ave?" Silence. Now I was starting to get a little grumpy, too, as I held my fussing infant and listened to my tentmate spout nonsense with an air of impatience. Oh, hell no. No way was he going back to sleep now. "The diapers, Avery! The diapers! Where are the diapers?" I was hissing the word so loudly that I really don't know how Geneva didn't wake up. I think a little spit flew out of my mouth. Avery rolled back over.
   "The ones we made probably all have meat on them anyway."

Meat? There was another long pause while I let that gem sink in. My mouth hung open but no words came out. A few seconds ticked by, and then the tent was filled with my baffled laughter. I was weeping, drooling, struggling to contain my giggles. Who knew homemade meat-diapers could be so amusing in those early morning hours? At least I didn't wake Geneva up that night. To be completely honest, I'm not sure I woke up anyone at all.

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