Friday, September 7, 2007

Oh the horror! Of waking in the middle of the night to tend a sickly child! This could be another poem, one of woe and duress, but I'll spare us all.

I should have anticipated it was going to be a rough night. All at once: the stereo was blaring, the oven was beeping, the child was crying, the cat was meowing, and the wife stopped mid-sentence during dinner and interjected: "This meal sucks."

And I heard that the Weaver family had taken ill. Colds all around? I suppose if you're a doctor, you're bound to bring your work home with you, sooner or later. Well, I feel for you guys. Our little lamb was sick the week we brought her home from the hospital, and I can't tell you how we feared that this is what parenthood would be like. Thankfully, it's not. Nowhere near.

We think it's the teething, which has the baggage of a thousand symptoms. I shouldn't complain too much, though, the Mrs. will come down on me for it -since she bears the brunt of the middle-of-the-night workload. She spent last night on the floor of the kid's room, making sure the little one didn't choke on her own saliva, and to dole out half-awake comfort and consolation when the fever wouldn't break and the curt, successive little moans would drone on unendingly. Poor Mrs. Ditchman. She awoke every few minutes to kill the ants crawling on her. But that's another story, another problem altogether. One to tackle this weekend, once and for all! (Again.)

This morning I took the baby workload, and the poor thing was hot! Hotter than AppleTV! I dosed her with some baby acetaminophen and the fever finally broke after an hour, but we had to spend that hour watching home movies on the AppleTV, of all things. She begs for it, screams "apulteeveeapulteevee!" and we have to cut her off and say NO! but she just can't get enough. It's kind of strange. Elmo I can understand. Little Einsteins? Sure. Curious George? Yeah. But home movies? As if I didn't see enough of them during the editing process. Now I have to watch the finished thing over and over and OVER...

Most filmmakers never watch their movies after they're finished. They've seen them more than anyone already, watched them again and again in their heads, and in all permutations, too. With different music, different shot order, different timing. Hitchcock claimed that actually making the films was the most boring part -he'd thought it through in his head so much, that by the time he got around to putting the film in the camera he was looking for something else to do. And every director knows the old moviemaking adage, "Films are never finished, they are only abandoned." It's as true with me as it is with Spielberg, though I'd argue there were a few of his he should have abandoned much earlier on.

Still, I should be grateful to have such a devoted audience. Unfortunately, she's more than devoted, she's obsessed. She's like a Trekkie. I think I have a greater understanding (finally!) of how William Shatner feels. Someone comes up to you in a restaurant and says, "Hey, I really enjoyed you in..." and it's cool, you know? But then you go out to your car and there are six people in costume touching your vehicle and drooling, they see you coming, one of them passes out, the rest begin to pant and chant Roddenberryan sacraments... I'd get upset too, I imagine.

It's fun, though. My wife came home with a new Elmo video yesterday. It's called "Elmo's Potty Time". This really engenders a lot of odd concepts, when you consider that Elmo is made of felt and has an arm up his underside for all of life's breath. Anyway, I'm looking forward to that one!