Monday, September 12, 2005

The comfort of routine

5:00 My wife wakes up, quietly slips from the bed and into the black early morning. I don't wake up any more.

7:00 Quiet sounds from my daughter's room, "Daaaddy? Dad?". A clean diaper, daytime clothes, hair brushed, oatmeal cooked while a book gets read. The table set, banana sliced into oatmeal, water poured into tall and small glasses. Cod liver oil and vitamin taken. Breakfast. Another book read. Dishes washed. The endless search for tiny shoes. Teeth brushed, two drops of baby fluoride on the tongue. Strapped into daddy's car. Off we go.

8:00 Daycare. As I walk out the door, I stop talking. Stop hearing other voices, seeing other eyes. For 8 1/2 hours:

8:15-4:45 Hopefully a lot of work gets done. E-mails answered, news read, lots of text of various usability gets hammered into the computer, stuff of various degrees of uselessness gets read, maybe something company related gets taken care of. Hopefully a bike tour gets squeezed in. If really, really energetic or restless, some work around the house as well. Who knows, one of these days I might actually build a deck in the back yard.

5:00 Daycare. A smiling ray of warm sunshine runs without exception to me, wraps her arms around my neck and says, ever so sweetly "Daddy!"

5:00-7:00 The park. Or the river. Or our back yard. Or just Borders for hot chocolate and some book on fire trucks. Cooking. Perhaps a beer. Mainly in summer, though.

7:00 My wife is back, ready for her dinner just before she falls asleep. So is my daughter. We eat. I hear about the often unbelievable reality that my wife lives in. My daughter chimes in with fragments of what her day brought: "Swimming pool", "Dog barked", "No touch!", "Nice to meet you", "Boo-boo on foot", "Gary puked".

8:00 I do dishes, while my wife brushes our daughter's teeth and puts her to bed. On occasion, a DVD gets watched, usually something short, like a TV episode. My wife crawls into bed. I am alone again. Do some more reading/browsing/listening/watching/dreaming/thinking, never ready to let the day go, until I have squeezed as much as I can from it.

10:00 I slip into bed. And dream some more.