Thursday, December 14, 2006
(This was written a couple weeks ago now.)
Last night Sammy and I had the pleasure of playing games in the dark. At least, that was the positive spin I tried to put on our experience as we waited for all of our previously scheduled amusement (Christmas music, toys, xbox…) to resume if only the power would come back on.
Boss was out and I was on the cordless phone hurrying around to serve Sammy and me dinner when the lights went out. A 2-year-old’s shriek filled the previously lit space. “Light on!” he insisted as if I had deliberately sabotaged our dinner with darkness as one of my typically contrary daddy-type tricks. I explained several times that we couldn’t turn the lights on. I opened the door and gestured out to the neighborhood in total darkness. “See? Nobody has any lights right now because they are broken.” Not quite mollified, he silently endured the inconvenience of being carried around by me while I groped through the dark trying to find candles or flashlights. The flashlights had all been converted to toys (and the batteries were out), I couldn’t find any matches, and the 72-hour kit was in the garage shut behind an electronically sealed garage door. Finally I found some matches and a candle in the bathroom. I lit the candle and Sammy celebrated by singing a chorus of Happy Birthday and blowing it out. Shrieking ensued. Then explaining. Lighting. Singing. Blowing. Shrieking again.
After relenting to the futility of carrying him and the candle at once, I put him down and kept the candle out of his reach long enough to equip a flashlight with some fresh batteries. There we were in the dim light of 2 double A’s waiting for Mommy to come save us. Surely she could fix our dark problem, we thought.
Ultimately we had to improvise. Our pattern of relying on flashes of electric light for entertainment (in one incarnation or another) left us coming back to the flashlight again and again for amusement. We stared at its luminous end as if we were waiting for it to project a high definition movie on the ceiling. Finally we settled for swinging it in patterns to spell letters on the ceiling. Sammy seemed to like that, and in the absence of an Xbox, I found it passable as well.