April's Real Blog

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sleeping Children

Patterson, Michael shared another story from the past:
Aprilbot,

Robotic little sis. My wife, the lovely Deanna, and I were wondering if there were ever times when you shut down for the night. I had been telling my wife a story of my youth and childhood, when she suddenly said, “You know, Michael, if that Aprilbot doesn’t ever turn off, there are all kinds of home renovations it could do for us at night, when it wasn’t baby-sitting for us.”

Well, that was getting a little off the story I was trying to tell; but she did have a valid point. If you didn’t turn off, you would have a distinct advantage over any other nonrobotic children, except for the cuteness factor of the sleeping child.

To let you know what I am talking about, let me take you back to when I was a young lad. My mother would tuck me into bed and kiss me on the forehead slightly above my right eyebrow, while I reached for a hug. Dad would stand in the background and look fatherly, and sometimes his hands would rest comfortably on mom, showing his husbandly affection, which I will not speak any further about for fear of nauseating myself. Mom would always say, “Goodnight, Michael, sleep tight…” Then dad would say in an ominous tone, “And don’t let the bed bugs bite” after mom left the room, which caused me to have more than a few sleepless nights, until mom caught him saying that to me one time, and they had an argument about house cleanliness.

But I digress. After they left my room, they would go over to Lizzie’s room and peek at her through the open doorway, usually standing on opposite sides, which I could tell, because they would invariably bump heads, and promise not to do that again the next time. Naturally, with Lizzie they did not walk in her room to observe her more closely for fear of waking her and also in fear of her early developing Lizardbreath. You may not have experienced this breath before, thanks to robotic nostrils, but it is quite a pungent odour.

Then mom and dad would flip on the television, which usually woke me up again and sit on the striped chesterfield to start talking to each other in loud voices (which also woke me up). My dad’s favourite topic of conversation was, “I love looking at the kids when they’re sleeping. No matter what they did during the day…they always look perfect.” Dad was a strong believer in “beauty sleep” which is traditionally considered to be the idea that you would look better after a good night’s sleep; but for dad it meant that you looked better while you were unconscious than you did when you were awake. I don’t think dad ever realized the reason Lizzie and I looked better at night than we did during the day was this thing mom did with us called bathing. If I had spent the day rolling in the mud with Lawrence Poirier, mom made sure the mud was gone at the end of the day. Deanna tells me she does the same thing with our kids too; so it is yet another thing Deanna does with our kids, that mom did with me and Lizzie when were little in the exact same house.

My wife, the lovely Deanna, is looking over my shoulder and telling me that my dad was probably talking about how I didn’t need to be disciplined during the middle of the night and not about bathing. I am afraid, in that regard, she is sadly mistaken. I was rarely disciplined during the day, and the night was not much different. Mom and dad were often so noisy at night, Lizzie and I would be up all night long from the television noises and conversation. Not only that, but Lizzie was still an infant who wouldn’t sleep through the night anyway.

When I think back to those days and compare them with my own when my kids were those ages, it’s a wonder mom and dad simply didn’t collapse into slumber when I fell asleep. I know that’s what I did when my daughter was newly-born and keeping me up all night. No, mom and dad had the time to watch late night romantic movies. As for me these days, that’s the time to spend a little time with Leonard Driscoll, the hero of my second novel, Breaking the Windjammer.

That’s what I am talking about when I mentioned the cuteness factor of kids when they are sleeping. If you’re not doing anything tonight, and you don’t shut off; Deanna has a list of things you can do after you finish baby-sitting.

Love,
Michael Patterson
Michael, although technically I do not sleep, the engineers who designed me believed that Patterson, Elly Richards would feel like a bad mother if I did not lie in a bed with my eyes closed for a period of eight hours. So what happens is I recline in April's bed, close my eyes, and run a series of program-maintenance routines. During this time, I appear to be asleep.

Curiously, since I am not truly sleeping during this maintenance routine, I can clearly hear any sounds. Just last night, I heard your parents having a conversation about how "cute" I look while I'm "asleep." Well, your father said that. Your mother said, "Real teenagers are never cute. But teenbots can be. This one is a godsend!" And your father sobbed a little and said, "My special buddy!" And your mother said, "Can it, John!" Most curious indeed.

Aprilbot

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9 Comments:

  • At 9:41 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    Most curious indeed. Your database should have some presets that could clear that up. Search for files that have the headings "Patterson, Elly doesn't especially care for Patterson, April" and "Patterson, April is the only one of his children that Patterson, John actually likes".

     
  • At 10:53 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    beef wellington. yeccch. the ship "chef" is making me cook beef wellington. i sed y can't we make, like, lentil wellington? give the ship peeps sum nice vegetarian options. crazy "chef" nearly bit my head off. i h8 this ship. iiiiiiiiiii

     
  • At 11:45 AM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    Beef Wellington, eh? This seemingly innocent dish may provide the clue to your location and your rescue. Tell me, April, if you can, is the chef using a goose or a duck liver pâté? For the duxelles, is he mincing mushrooms or mushroom stems? Is the pastry made fresh or frozen? Is the chef using Madeira wine or Bajan rum? If you can find the answers to these questions, then rescue may be at hand. Beef Wellington. Ha! The chef should have stuck with generic, untraceable, potatoes. He has made an error, April. Let me know the answers as soon as you can.

    Love,
    Howard Bunt

     
  • At 12:14 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    paté: goose

    duxelles: minced 'shrooms

    pastry: fresh

    alcohol: bajan rum

     
  • At 12:31 PM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    Ha! The chef has practically handed me an exact latitude and a longitude for your ship. There will be a helicopter heading your way in a matter of minutes. I should warn you, however, that the Johnston Institute for Better Living has been monitoring my conversations with you, so if the helicopter comes and has a sign on it saying, "Another week of reprints" on the side; then don't get on. That means it is not safe. If the sign says, "New material next week"; then get on. It will be safe to come home.

    Love,
    Howard Bunt

     
  • At 1:31 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    omg, howard, i c a helicopter w/"maybe reprints, maybe new material, please stand by"! what shd i do?!?!?!?!?

     
  • At 3:07 PM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    I have confirmed with my sources. Do not get on the helicopter! I repeat: Do not get on the helicopter!

    I have gotten conflicting communication from the intel from the Ventura County Star, which said it was all reprints to the intel from the Minneapolis-St. Paul StarTribune which said it was a mix of new and reprints in the same timeline. Obviously it is a trick by the Johnston Institute for Better Living to make us think they don’t know what they are doing. I am not going to be fooled. No one can be that disorganized.

    We may have to try again at nightfall. The Barbados Port Authority tells me the Johnston Institute people are frequently looking at sleeping children during the night in order to use their perceived improvement in behaviour while unconscious to gather for their statistics. They may be too busy then to mount a counterattack against your rescue.

    I’m sorry for the delays in getting you home, April. At least we know where you are now. The ship named Windjammer is clearly charted in the Sea of Post-Retirement Book Chronicling. Try to hold out as best you can, although I don’t know how you will be able to if you have to have a Beef Wellington without Madeira wine in the recipe. You poor dear.

    Love,
    Howard Bunt

     
  • At 4:00 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    don't worry howard. i'm not touching that icky wellington. i found sum chickpeas and tahini and made hummus.

    thanx 4 helping me, howwwwwwwwwww

     
  • At 1:08 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…

    Aprilbot,

    Robotic little sis. Thanks ever so much for baby-sitting last night and for the home repair. I know my lovely wife, Deanna, was a little angry with you for the motor oil you spilled on our new chesterfield; but I understand completely. After all, sometimes when it comes to chesterfields the creative urges can’t be squelched even though there may be a tremendous price to pay for it, like the dent in your head where Deanna tagged you with that crowbar as she was chasing you around the house.

    It reminds me of a time when I was young. I had my felt pens. I loved my felt pens. They were in colours of yellow and green and blue and purple and orange. In fact, when I was younger, I loved my felt pens so much, I often felt like I was a little kid drawn with a felt pen. Strange, eh?

    I remember looking over my old colouring books: My C for Chicken book on which I scrawled an orange colour across the chicken, leaving the C for corn untouched. This is because I prefer eating chicken to eating corn. Then I had a very, nicely coloured scarecrow and horse colouring book. I don’t think I coloured them, because the scarecrow had on a red shirt and the horse was brown, and I didn’t have those colours in my felt pens. I think those might have been the pages mom liked to show off, when she was in her "Michael is so talented" mood. Now the very simple drawing I had done of a zombie, a house, a tree and a bird were coloured with colours I had, so I was pretty sure I coloured them. But I am rambling too much. The important part was the joy I had with my felt pens.

    Now there was one occasion with my felt pens where I had become a little overenthusiastic with my artistic endeavours. And as many young chaps my age, I sought forgiveness for my deeds before they were uncovered by my parents, in the hope that I could avoid wear and tear on my bottom. So, I went to my mother, as she was washing the dishes and I said, “Mom..I know…I just know you’re going to be mad at me.”

    I gave her my best hangdog look, but it didn’t work as mom grasped my wrist and snapped the bone right there. I guess I don’t know if the bone really snapped, because we never went to a doctor to check it out; but as I think back on it and how it looked at the time, with my hand bent back like that, I think it was snapped. I held in the pain though, as mom said, “What happened, honey? Tell me what it is.”

    Well after that snapped wrist I was suddenly in hysterics. I grabbed mom around the neck and said, “I’m scared to tell you-ma…I know you’re going to be mad! You’re going to HATE me, ma!! Please don’t hate me, please!” After all, if she was willing to snap my wrist before she knew what happened, I knew it was going to be a lot worse when she did find out. I know when I tell this story to other people, they generally say, “Cheeze Mike, will you shut up? I’m watching the game.” But for me, it was a real fear of losing parental love.

    Mom grabbed my left elbow, and I thought she was going to snap my arm, but then she grabbed my shirt with her left hand and pulled it tight around my neck so it was hard to breathe. Then she said, “Michael…I want you to be able to trust us with your problems…”

    She pulled back and did the standard Patterson hand to her chest to indicate deep emotion and said, “You’re expecting me to be angry & I don’t even know what’s happened. Tell me, sweetheart…”

    Well, I fell for it. I gave my mom a big hug and said, “I drew all over the new couch with felt pens.” Why didn’t I say “chesterfield “ instead of “couch”? Well, mom likes the States’ way of saying things, sometimes, and I thought that might help. But it didn’t. Right after I said that I could feel mom’s head expand in fury. I could feel her growing 5 eyebrows of anger. And most importantly, I could feel her dig those sharp fingernails into my back.

    So, you see, robotic little sis. When Deanna nailed you with that crowbar, that was just her way of showing that she still loves you, even though the new chesterfield is ruined; just the way my snapped wrist and deep scratches down my back showed my mom’s love for me. Now if you could just stop hiding in the basement behind the central vac and come get a butter tart, I think we would all feel a lot better.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     

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