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04/06/2005

1800 seconds

In my head, Charlie's life is full of clocks: a clock starts ticking when he finishes his meal, so I'll have an idea when he might be hungry again, when he goes to sleep -- count every second gratefully -- or when he fills his diaper, so that I have some idea when he might be angry and straining again. Even when he's in his gym kicking at the toys, or watching his mobile, there's a little timer in the back of my mind ticking off the minutes till he starts getting those overstimulated shakes.

I try to think more in terms of chess clocks than of the blinking LEDs that grace every made-for-TV bomb ever created. You know, the bombs with all the booby traps so that they'll go off the moment you try to move or disarm them.

Which brings me to the longest half hour in Charlie's day: the time between when he gets a dropper full of Prevacid to control his reflux and when he can start sucking down his next bottle. (It took us a few days of complaining that his new medicine wasn't working worth a damn to read the warnings not to give milk less than 60 minutes before or 30 minutes after a dose.) But if you're Charlie waking up hungry and swallowing a nice gulp of what tastes like yummy food, only to be told the next gulp is in forever, package inserts are slim comfort.

How long is 30 minutes? Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi is a minute, and don't think he's not potentially alert and ready to blow for every one of them. We change him, we make him stare at his mobile, we give him a bath, today I slung him and took him for a nice sedative walk in the park. Tomorrow, who knows?

Perhaps I shall get him a watch and just explain calmly and reasonably that he can't eat until the requisite time has gone by. Do you think I should get him a digital watch or analog?

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