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07/29/2005

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time

Every night at around 9, I ask Paul, "Do you want early or late?" This is when we decide who wakes up with Charlie for his first feeding, which takes place any time between midnight and 4, and who takes on the later shift, which might entail a feeding around 5 and includes his waking for the day around 7:30.

Paul usually chooses early. And so to bed. We both make sure our baby monitor receivers are charged, and we put them on the headboard, Paul's on, mine off. After Paul's done his shift, he turns his monitor off and mine on.

This sounds like neurotic overkill, each of us needing our own receiver, but our system evolved because neither unit holds enough power to last through the night. When they run out of juice, they make a terrifying scratchy feedback noise that sounds like the very hounds of Hell are demanding their 2 AM feeding, waking us both in a bleary panic and sending me flying — well, stumbling — naked down the hall to give Cerberus a tasty hit of puréed carrion.

Why not use an AC adaptor? Each monitor has one, but they stay permanently plugged in in our offices, where the monitors see the most use. Couldn't I get a spare? I don't know. No. Shut up. I'm trying to tell you a story.

So: two monitors. When I wake in the night, I can easily tell what Charlie's status is by checking my receiver for the glowing green "on" light.

Last night I woke several times — bathroom; more covers; nasty taste from prescription mouth rinse; paralyzing, free-floating anxiety — and looked at the receiver. No light.

Midnight. 2:30. 4:15. 6:00. No light.

8:30. No light.

For the first time in his carrot-loving life, Charlie slept through the night.

Take that, you slavering demon dog. Get your own damn bottle of gore.

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