Tuesday, December 09, 2008

12/9/08 The alarm

Last night, around 3:30am, I was startled awake by a terrified cry. Gabriel came carefully into our room -- because even in an emergency, his sense of order is still strong -- crying hard, holding the buzzing and chirping wetness alarm in his hand. "I can't turn it off!!" he wailed. It's designed not to be easy to shut off, and it worked.

He wasn't really that concerned that every night, he's been going backward in the night-training. The first two nights with the alarm, he was dry. The third, dry without the alarm. The fourth, wet, without the alarm. The fifth: wet, with the alarm. Not just wet, but soaked. And that was with waking him up before we went to bed!

Well, Gabriel is nothing if not persistent. We're hoping the experience rattled him, but there's little precedent in his life for that. Gabriel of all kids could turn around the wetness alarm thing, like by deliberately going on it just to see how it works. Humiliation is an important motivator in nighttime training, and this just isn't in his DNA. He really doesn't care that much. He's mildly curious if he can do it, and that's all so far.

We're pretty much nowhere with potty-training Katrina, though she is much more consistent about telling me when she has a stinky. She's even more consistent about refusing to sit on the potty.

I stopped by the jobsite house today, to bring by a tile shelf I wanted to add to the downstairs bathroom and to deliver the grout colors. Now that we're entering the finishing phase, there are thousands of details that can be answered by being there. I pointed out a door that swings the wrong way, and that the living room base trim is too low. I felt like shrinking when the finish carpenter asked, "Why aren't all the doors the same?" (most are stained, some are painted) and the jobsite foreman, the door guy, and another guy all shrugged and looked at me. Hey wait, you guys were all in on these decisions! Not all situations are the same -- the dry-erase/magnetic pantry door, for instance, is necessarily an oddball. The only cookie cutters used in this house are in the kitchen! So lemme 'lone!

I overheard the finish carpenter mutter something to the effect that after this job he'd be standing outside of Home Depot with his buds to look for work. We must look awfully wealthy to the crews of guys working on our house everyday. I sure don't feel that way these days, but that's because of my seriously skewed standard of living based on the roaring 00's. We are a lot better off than most of the guys busting their rear ends to build our cushy house. I'm always a little guilty and self-conscious about that, and try to be as respectful and grateful as possible. I'm glad they see me drive away in an utterly average car.


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