Monday, December 04, 2006

My Body Rests, But My Mind Refuses To Sleep

The other morning, I had to get up in the middle of night to deal with, shall we say, baby-related issues. During the two-hour period between going back to bed and being startled to attention by my shrieking alarm clock, I dozed off and had a rather curious dream. Like most dreams, I only remember bit and pieces of this one. Something about Pittsburgh Pirates broadcasting teams from the late 1970s - early 1980s.

At one point, the dream took a rather odd turn. A family of three was traveling in their car. It took a moment, but I recognized it as the Mitchell family from the "Dennis the Menace" comic strip. Dennis and his mom, Alice, listened silently as the dad, Henry, ranted about idiots who piss him off. He must have pulled over, climbed out of the car, and set up a chalkboard near the side of the road to illustrate his point. This point is that there are three words for stupid people. He wrote each work on the board, spelling them out with hyphens between each letter. The first one I cannot remember, but I think it started with "M". The second was another "M" word, "M-O-R-O-N". And, "there's another name for these people -- JUSTIN! J-U-S-T-I-N!"

Now let me just say that I currently have no association, positive or negative, with anyone named Justin. I don't know why that name crept into my dream as Dennis the Menace's dad's preferred term for stupid people. I'll be days trying to figure that one out.

A few hours later, after I had awakened, my family was in the church social hall after Sunday School getting ready to go up to the sanctuary. My kids, especially the boys, like to run around like loonies, trying to burn off some of their early morning energy. We tell them to knock it off, we try to call them back, corral them, and even hang on to them like prisoners because we know that if we let go, they'll be back out there running around again. My biggest fear is that they are going to run into an old lady, or someone carrying a baby, and we'll be in serious trouble. Well. My oldest (9 year old) son was running around, not listening to our pleas to slow down. He was too busy watching the kids who were chasing him to watch where he was going. BONK. Straight into a big metal door! I laughed. I couldn't help myself! The door did my job for me. You can bet he stopped running after that. What a Justin!

In the afternoon, my wife was doing some long-overdue yardwork, for which she recruited some of the kids to help out. My younger daughter, age 4, got too close to someone using a rake and got bonked. She had a good cry, but ten minutes later she was back to normal, as if nothing had happened. Classic kid recovery. While this was happening, I was upstairs napping in order to make up for the lost sleep from the previous night. The only reason I knew anything about it is because I was awakened by the ringing of the telephone. "This is Allegheny 9-1-1. Someone just called from that number to report an emergency." I was a little stunned to hear this, so I ran downstairs to make sure everything was okay. My wife knew nothing about a 9-1-1 call, and the kids all looked active and happy. I ran back to the phone, told the dispatcher that there was no problem, suggested that one of the kids must have been playing with the phone, and apologized for the waste of time and resources.

Later on, when the yardwork was done and everyone was back inside, I asked each of my ambulatory sons if he had made any phone calls that day. Both denied having done so. Shortly, while the younger of the two (age 7) was distracted, I asked him why he made that phone call. "Because my sister was hurt and I wanted to tell the police", he replied. Gotcha! What a Justin! We are currently reviewing 9-1-1 notifications procedures with the boy.

In the evening, I made a shopping trip in order to stock up on groceries and household items. One item that we are in dire need of is vinyl shower curtains. Our current curtains are wearing out, and one in fact has developed a large hole right in the middle. I bought a ton of stuff at the store...and forgot to pick up shower curtains. I didn't realize it until I stepped into the shower this morning and saw the big hole staring me right in the face.

As you might expect, I feel like a big Justin in charge of a family full of Justins.


jipzeecab said...

You were fortunate. Usually the police aren't willing to just take the word of someone on the phone after a 911 call..most places they are required to show up and check it out, in fact it is one of the most common calls they do.

Nicko McDave said...

Our local police department is two doors down from the house across the street. If they really wanted to check, they could have walked over in the same amount of time that it takes to make a phone call. They would have found a lady in the front yard with four happy, busy children, and no idea why a policeman showed up.

If that had happened, my wife would have been freaking out, since I was upstairs with the baby and basically incommunicado since both of us were napping at the time. She would have though the baby was dead or something.