Saturday, December 2, 2006

Life as a Run-on Sentence

A few questionably insightful thoughts have occurred to me recently. Let's pause for a moment for Deep Thoughts with Timberly.

"Supposedly life is a story. If that is true, then right now I'm caught in a run-on sentence."

What does that mean? Well, here are the days of some folks described:

today i woke up somewhat earlier
i pressed snooze many times. it seemed like the alarm was going off every 5 minutes. i got up around 10am and showered. i brought my cd player upstairs to listen to the modest mouse cd while i shaved. i turned it up so i could hear it over the shaver.
i put on an extra jacket in case the weather stayed cold. i felt like i looked good, with my collar poking out over my jacket.

Copied from


David Copperfield
Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o'clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.
Copied from

Note the concise, matter-of-fact sentences of the first example. Observe the evocative prose of the second (ah! Dickens!). Neither of these passages in their eloquence were written by me nor in any way relate to my life. When one's life is a run-on sentence, eloquence is not necessary. In fact, it's a near impossibility.

So, here is my day as a run-on sentence. Like so many badly written stories, the first and last few sentences are calm but the middle is a jumbled progression of thought and activity. (Note: For those who may demand a little more truth-in-advertising, please be advised that "my day as a run-on sentence" is meant euphemistically. This is really more of a run-on paragraph.)

It's 7:52 a.m. I wake up feeling groggy today to the wails of my youngest child, Castor, in the crib as the oldest one, Pollux, cuddled closer to me in my bed clutching at my neck looking for additional comfort. I need to use the restroom. Pushing Pollux gently to the side, I roll out of bed taking half the covers with me, then turning to ensure that some fraction of the warmed covers still rest over my child's body. I walk into the baby's room and check in on the smiling baby inside who reaches up for me, then grabs my shirt. He smells of sour milk, warmth, and baby urine blended with baby powder-scented diapers. I change Castor and he giggles as Pollux stumbles in, rubbing his eyes, asking for cereal, his voice repeating the request over and over again until I give him the affirmation he needs by repeating his request ("Yes, honey, you want cereal. Just a second!") and then continuing with what I was doing before which was ['One second, I've gone into auto-pilot...what was I doing? Oh, yes, changing a diaper'] changing a diaper that is heavy and must weigh at least a pound ['that's 16 oz. of urine approximately,' says my internal voice that just now is coming to wakefulness without the luxury of coffee or breakfast, 'which means,' that voice continues, 'that originally it was probably about 24 oz. of milk, so you should weigh at least a pound lighter today, but of course you've had stuff to eat and drink so maybe you shouldn't weigh yourself until after you've used the restroom this morning just to make sure you weigh as little as possible but then that means you can't eat or drink anything today yet either so how will you have breakfast with Pollux like a good mother should?'], which I now drop into the Diaper Champ, the tool of yuppy moms everywhere, where it drops softly with a resounding plop on decaying older diapers that are piling every day higher in the diaper pail until finally the entire bag is removed, cinched closed, dropped in the garbage dumpster where every Friday it is picked up by our local friendly garbage collector ['actually,' I muse, 'I think they're called maintenance engineers and I believe they make more money than I do. Well, really,' I correct myself, 'they make more money than I did since now I'm unemployed!' But that line of thought is part of a totally separate run-on sentence that is playing presently on Timberly Internal Dialogue Channel 102.7] where it is then taken off with the diapers of countless of other children and then dropped in a landfill where my children's diapers have the opportunity to live sub-terraneously until the time that cockroaches claim dominion over the earth and Twinkies are the only viable food product to have survived some sort of impending nuclear fall-out that will be no doubt the result of some ridiculous diplomatic climax that is the product of some piss-poor diplomacy between the Bush administration and Kim Jong Il that will surely send us all to hell in a hand basket...


I digress. Where was I? Oh, yes. My life is a run-on sentence.

It is 7:56 a.m. I'm unemployed presently ['No,' I sardonically remind myself, 'I'm pursuing other opportunities or POO'] so that allows me plenty of time to "sleep in." With one child on a hip and the other child plastered to the front of me, we proceed downstairs to breakfast. Put Castor down in bouncer. Put Pollux down on the floor to run around like crazy. Walk to the refrigerator and remove frozen wheat-free waffle (check), veggie bacon (check), orange juice (check), and fruit (check). Turn around and remove from cabinet Nemo drinking cup (check) and Nemo plate (check). Pause. Notice uncomfortable feeling of abdominal pressure. Hmmm. Restroom? "Mama, waffle. Bacon! Oooooooo juice. NEMO! NEMO! NEMO!" Pollux runs around the kitchen chanting. "Pollux," I say humbly, "Mama needs to use the potty. She'll be right back." Since when did I start talking about myself in third person like Elmo? Probably around the same time I welcomed an Elmo-in-a-chicken-suit-that-dances-to-the-chicken-song in my house. "Mama? Mama!" comes the whine. Ooooooohkay, I guess the restroom will wait a bit. ['Isn't it interesting,' quips sardonic Timberly on Timberly Internal Dialogue on Channel 99.2, 'that you complain that Pollux resists potty training because he doesn't want to take the time away from his toys to use the toilet, and yet you do the same thing?'] Waffle in toaster oven, juice in cup, add water to dilute sugar in juice, slice fruit, place on plate, toaster oven dings, put bacon in microwave for 90 seconds only otherwise it burns, pick up hot bacon gingerly inevitably burning tips of fingers, break up bacon into bite-sized pieces and do the same with the waffle using a fork and knife, give plate full of food, juice, and fork and knife ['Wait, not the knife', I remind myself] to Pollux, strap him in the booster (this is inevitably the result of me having first chasing him down to get him into the chair which seems to be a ritual game in the morning), and then tell him, "Mama is going to use the potty. She'll be right back." Pollux snarls with displeasure but it's quickly managed by the stuffing of food into said child's mouth. Castor is now bored with his toys ['What did children in the 1500s do for entertainment? They got a freaking leather ball wrapped in some cloth to play with and they were content for hours!'] and is starting to whimper but, frankly, I'll just have to risk irreparably scarring his psyche for a few moments whilst I heed the call of nature. Hopefully my 401k cash out will cover the cost of his psychological counseling. And so, now, I take a moment to rest on the porcilean god and come, at last, to the close of this run-on paragraph.

It is 8:22 am.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am honored to be your first blog commentator.