July 1, 2015
We lost power last night. We were only out for a couple of hours, but it taught me an important lesson. I cannot parent children without electricity. And I think the reason why earlier generations of people didn’t enjoy a long lifespan is because they had kids without it.
The typical caveman lived to the age of 16 to 20 years of age. I firmly believe that’s largely due to the fact that he and his wife couldn’t put their cave baby in a Mamaroo and get a few hours of sleep before he had to go out on an important bison hunt.
(This is a Mamaroo. Whoever invented it can never properly be thanked or paid back by millions of parents who have received billions of hour of sleep because of it. If I ever get a tattoo, it will be the word Mamaroo, and I would wear that ink proudly.)
I’m not sure how long a typical frontier person or Homesteader lived to be. I’ve watched a fair share of Little House on the Prairie and you don’t see more than one or two elderly people living in Walnut Grove. I’m pretty sure that has to be because they didn’t have electrical swings with five speeds and music you could program for their newborn children. Charles Ingalls might have actually made something of himself if he had these modern advances. But he went about his sad poor life living off odd jobs between part time stints at the saw mill with very little quality sleep. Why? Because those kids never gave him a moment of peace in his shack house with no air conditioning. There’s no way Charles every saw his 40th Birthday. And with his life, why would he want to.
(Hunkiest Homesteader of all time)
This is what my wife and I were facing last night. Parenting in frontier conditions. Sure, it was only a couple of hours but how many years of my life were stolen from me during that stressful time. I’ll admit that in that time my wife read a book on her Kindle, I made a few calls on my iPhone and we made a trip around the corner to the 7-11 for a Slurpee with the kids strapped to our chest. But even with those conveniences we remained in a frightened daze about how an evening without power would end. Nothing we imagined was pleasant.
I think the Boys were frightened as well. Deep down they know our parenting skills erode if we can’t have Big Brother or America’s Got Talent on the TV to comfort us. Our shows and stories swaddle us just like their blankets. When the lights came back on we were overjoyed and realized that we were given more than just the gift of electricity. We received the gift of knowing that if we ever lose power for an extended period of time, we will have to give our children away. I think we all won last night.
Least Favorite Child Results
June 29 – Charles wins LFC on the strength of his constantly spewing out huge amounts of milk on himself resulting in 5 or 6 wardrobe changes. Getting those fat unwieldy baby arms through those small shirt arm holes gets tired very quickly and Charles wasn’t very cooperative. We both had meltdowns by outfit number four.
(Outfit Change #4. You can see what I’m dealing with. I wanted to pinch him but not because of what it said on his shirt.)
June 30 – Arthur takes LFC. He spent most of the blackout last night screaming as my wife and I sat outside the house in the front yard to get them some cool air. There were some people with power on our street who might have offered to take us in had it not been for the screeching child. It’s good to know who the weak link is in an emergency and Arthur showed his true colors.
Total Days as Least Favorite Child
Arthur – 15 Days
Charles – 9 Days