As any Dante scholar or infant owner will tell you, hell is the same thing over and over and over. Babies need to eat milk and dump milk every 180 minutes, and while you think you can get things done in a 3 hour window, no, you really can't. Witness tonight:
9:05 Adult pre-nap conversation. Damn Wifus: "So do you think you think that maybe since she's been waking up every twenty minutes today, she'll be exhausted tonight and she'll sleep through the night?"
"Either that or we're both going to die tonight."
Mom closes her eyes smiling at the thought, and I clock in.
9:10 Try to figure out what to eat for a meal. To save time we've bought (or asked the in-laws to buy) pre-cooked items. Through some bizarre oversight, the contents of our freezer is (clockwise from the top) beef cutlet, tilapia, perogies, tilapia, chicken cutlet, spiced tilapia, Eggos, lime-encrusted raw tilapia, frozen peas, pre-cooked cutlets stuffed with cheese Twinkie-style, and pre-cooked tortilla-encrusted tilapia. This is what happens when you both do all your grocery shopping online and you both get pissed off if the other wastes your time asking you to sign off on every damn item.
9:30 Our ceiling is insulated with popsicle sticks and used hospital gauze, so we hear it as soon as the Turkish girls upstairs start pumping their favorite song, bringing Bug to a mild stir. Gotta pick her up or she'll blow.
9:35 I'm up for this shift, so I order The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford the last PPV option available with any kind of decent reviews. It plays for thirty seconds, and then Time Warner Cable informs me of technical difficulties. Balls of Fury goes right through, though. Sigh.
9:55 Balls goes out too. Wife can't sleep. We discuss how it's not really the lack of sleep that's so exhausting, but rather the frustration of thinking your going to sleep and then watching your plan fall apart as distractions pile up and your three hours slowly drift away.
10:00 Bug stirs, and gives a good "What about me, bitches?" honk at the parents. We freeze, the baby honks again. Damn Wifus takes a drink from her beat-to-sheet water bottle, which crinkles loudly under the stress, and flash her a look that tells her I could not be angrier at her if she'd done the same thing while we were hiding from dinosaurs. She gives up, and picks up the baby to calm her down.
10:30 With the PPV stuck and both of us hustling to get shit done so we can make another failed attempt to fall asleep at 11, the god awful 30-second movie previews run white noise interference for us. Right next to Bug's head.
Yes, we're mainling the absolute stupidest examples of our the mass market lizard brain into Bug's earhole. Because there are ten previews on repeat, I can tell you "Good Luck Chuck" describes Jessica Alba's character thusly: "She's cute ... " Alba's skirt is ripped off, "Adorable ..." Alba takes her depantses herself, "... And dangerously attractive!" Alba grinning without a thought in her head.
If exposure to stupidity were a cure for jaundice, keeping our daughter comfy would have been much easier last week.
11:00 They call these things "stuffed chicken," but they come individual cellophane wrapping, they've got that butter-lid shape, and the filling is stuffed in through three holes in the top, Hostess snack cake style.
11:15 This when you convince yourself you might get some sleep.
11:45 Baby's eyes have opened. The chicken beeps because it's done. Now that the breaded edges are cooked to a golden brown, the similarity is horrifying. Slap a cowboy hat on one of these cutlets and tie a handkerchief around the middle, and you're ready to market this processed food to America's youth.
11:50 The Turkish girls have finally freaked the pain away, and are now playing some bizarre sci-fi movie from the 30s or 40s. A narrator sounds like he's speaking through a weather vane. Damn Wifus wakes up bleary-eyed, listens to the narration, looks at me. "I feel like Superman's dad is talking to me."
"He says if we throw these cutlets into the snow, a wonderful palace will arise in a matter of minutes."
"But I'm starved for nutrition because my body prioritizes breastmilk above my own bodily needs now."
"Yeah, life sucks. At least she can hold her own bottle."
"For real. Babies not holding their own bottles is bull."
"She's not supposed to be able to do that yet."
"She's not supposed to be out of the womb yet."
"Yes she is. February 20th was her due date."
12:00 [Jerry Goldmith's score swells from upstairs]