Where's the village?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Daj-O-Matic

The bigwigs at Microsoft and Apple, and various other technogeek lifestyle pundits, have been harping for a while about the next generation of home integration devices, some kind of central computer that will answer your phone, adjust your thermostat, make your coffee, download your mail, play your movies, and possibly even wipe your butt. However, to Bill and Steve et al, I say, pff. I've already got one in the works. I call her dajamou.

She already loves to answer my phone. So far I've usually been able to at least check the Caller ID, and tell her who's calling, so she can greet them by name. I feel it's more professional, and at the same time, adds a personal touch to the customer's calling experience. Anyway, I've got the home receptionist aspect down pat. Plus she likes to press the start buttons on all kinds of home appliances, so I'm sure that will integrate its way into the Central Task Database somehow too. And today, she started training (unbeknownst to me) on being my alarm clock.

Sometime between Painfully and Disgustingly Early, I awoke with a jolt, my Mother Instinct in high gear after hearing what sounded like a shriek from my baby. Now, I often have rather intense, Surround Sound dreams, so I lay still for a second, thinking that if it didn't happen again, I must have imagined it. But lo! From the dimness that was the predawn, again it came drifting through my closed bedroom door: The Shriek.

I was now in full Rescue Mode. Naked but for underwear (it's hot lately, remember?), I leapt from the bed (no easy feat since the bed is a mattress on the floor), dashed out of my room and into dajamou's. Where she wasn't. This was odd enough, since her typical waking up ritual for the past 18 months includes pitter-patting into my room to snuggle and/or nurse back to sleep (or to wakefulness, depending). But remember, I was in Rescue Mode so the only thought in my mind was, "Child. Mine. Trouble. Must. Find. NOW."

Next place to check, downstairs. I tore down the stairs, calling her name, and whipped around the corner into the living room/play room area. No dajamou. Still calling her name. Still thinking my girl needs to be rescued. Finally I dashed into the dining room. And there she was, sitting on the settee. Giggling.

Mother Instinct shut down, she's fine, no problem. Then, a long-dormant instinct reared its ugly head: the College Student Murder-Anyone-Who-Dares-Disrupt-My-Precious-Sleep Instinct. Fortunately I was too tired to do anything about it, so I just collapsed next to her on the settee, and asked her what in the world she was doing down here before dawn. And her answer struck me to the core in so many ways, both good and bad:

"Well, I went to your room, and I didn't hear any snoring, so I thought you weren't there. So I came downstairs and I couldn't find you so I started calling your name, but you didn't answer, so I started shrieking!" (You must imagine the proud little grin to accompany the conclusion of this impeccably toddlerish train of logic.)

Oh, and by the way? I don't snore.


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