Monday, December 03, 2007

Covert Action

Living with a toddler is like living with a covert operative. Secret agent Dipity isn't quite James Bond. She is equally effective. She also has a way with the ladies, and likes her juice shaken not stirred (she does that herself). Agent Dipity, however, has no ideological or monetary objectives. She doesn't appear very systematic at all, but that could be my adult bias. And truth be told, agent Dipity really isn't an agent. She is a boss, a leader, an institution. She has her own web of underlings.

Her underlings aren't all willing accomplices. This underling is particularly unwilling, for all the good it does me. Dipity is really quite cunning. She certainly screams and cries, but she has a hundred other ways of wearing me out. Hide and seek is a particularly effective tool. All she has to do is laugh and giggle and totter after me, and I run full speed into the other room and duck under a table or fly behind a door. With only a laugh or even a smile, she has me singing, dancing, and exaggerating every motion. After a few hours, I begin to tire. I don't have time to nap. There is simply too much to do, and I am too inefficient when I do it. So I push myself too far, and wreak almost as much havoc as my puppet master.

Last night, for example, I was moving full steam ahead decorating the house for Christmas. I had baked almost 300 biscotti, played, cleaned, played, made dinner for friends, played, gone out on the family Christmas tree search, played, and set up the Christmas tree with my wife. Some tree branches had been cut off in the process, and I was busy cutting them to fit in all kinds of nooks and crannies around the house. At first I didn't notice that I had chosen to place my pile of pine branches on the vacuum cord. I only noticed it when I cut a branch and sparks flew everywhere. I screamed in frustration, which scared my wife as she was upstairs where all the lights had gone off. Dipity was upstairs too ... smiling at a job well done by her unwitting and unwilling henchman.

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