Geek Girl

They really do grow up fast, don’t they?

It seems like just yesterday that Ada was a helpless infant, but she’s grown in to a real live (albiet still pretty small) human being.

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Ada’s revisits her past

She’s the spitting image of her mom, isn’t she? She got my eyes, but the rest is all Wanda’s genes.

She is also, as you might expect from a genetic cross of Wanda and I, a pretty smart kid. School has opened whole new worlds to her. She’s been meeting new friends, learning new things, and I could swear she even enjoys her homework. That’s probably mostly my genes there… Although she’s going to grow into a knockout just like her mom, she’s also a certified geek.

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Like she even needs my help

It’s not just her love of homework that tipped me off. She’s also a huge Harry Potter nerd, and has read every one of the books — most of them in a single binge weekend. She can also possibly quote more lines from Monty Python and the Holy Grail than I can. While other kids were spending weekends with the Teletubbies and Sesame Street, my little Ada was watching my old DVDs, and now God help you if you ask her about the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow.

I can’t say I’m disappointed. There’s something comforting to me in the fact that my family line will some day be continued by someone who is a big a dork as I am.

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Kirk! Picard! Kirk! Picard!

Wanda’s been great about humoring us. When she can’t take another minute of our debates over whether Kirk or Picard was the better captain of the Enterprise, or picking apart all of the flaws of the Star Wars prequels, she just goes out and gardens for a while. It keeps her sane, she says. We’ll see. She can run, but she can’t hide. Eventually she’ll succumb to the peer pressure and join us in a debate over whether Schrodinger’s cat or Pavlov’s dog would win in a cage match. That’s a trick question, by the way. Clearly Schrodinger’s cat would win. Or it might not.

I’m Your Handyman

Not too long ago, I was amazed and somewhat horrified at how much a pregnant woman could eat. Wanda was a bottomless food pit, and as far as I was concerned there was no possible way anything could possibly eat more than she did. Then we had a baby.

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The New Champion

Ada eats during the day. She eats at night. It seems like she’s constantly hungry, and she’s not at all embarrassed about letting you know when she’s hungry. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the middle of the night on a work night and you haven’t had a decent night’s sleep for a week; if Ada wants to be fed, she wants it, and she will not be denied.

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A baby, and look, a kitchen!

Somehow, though, as indescribably frustrating as it can be to have your sleep interrupted for days on end by The Thing That Will Not Stop Eating, I can’t get too upset about it. Even if I wake up in the morning grumpy as all hell, one little giggle from Ada and it all just fades away. Playtime with Ada is the cure for everything from lack of sleep to work anxiety to a general lack of faith in humanity.  Seriously, if I had known years ago what a stress reliever peek-a-boo with a baby could be, I’d have made on of these things ages ago.

Ada, incidentally, is growing faster than a mold culture on a piece of wet bread. That’s really lit a fire under me as far as building out the home is concerned. You’ll note in the photo above that our outdoor kitchen has become an indoor kitchen. That’s just a small sample of the work I’ve been doing around the house lately.

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A place for family dinners

I’ve also been building furniture, fixing the plumbing, running electricity, and just generally working my ass off to make sure this is a home worthy of raising a child in. It won’t be long now before Ada has outgrown her cradle, and when she does, I want to be sure he has all those little things people look for in a home, like floors and walls and running water and stuff. It was my choice to camp out here in the wilderness, not hers. Forcing her to rough it when her friends at school all have actual houses to live in just wouldn’t be fair.

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Mr. Fix-It

So I’m willing to live with a little muscle soreness and some smashed thumbs if the end result is a place where Ada can grow up happy. And, hey, it’s not all for her. Wanda and I get to live here, too, so it’s a good deal for all of us.

Hardly Working

I love my job. Part of that is for the obvious reasons, like getting to spend my days doing cool sciency stuff like messing with hazardous chemicals and working with Sparky to build high-tech gadgetry. However, some days a geek just doesn’t feel like working. Those days, I get to run around the Omniscience campus screwing off, and I get paid for it.

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Working, sort of

Yesterday, for example, Mr. Seymour mentioned we were a bit low on fish oil. In case you’re wondering why that even matters, it gets used as an ingredient in a lot of the stuff we make, like laxatives. Yes, we make laxatives. You’d be surprised how much science goes into efficiently flushing your colon.

To make fish oil, of course, one needs fish, so I went fishing. In the name of science, of course. It certainly wasn’t the most efficient use of my time, especially considering I am possibly the world’s worst fisherman, but I had a horrible case of the lazies, and nothing goes better with lazy than sitting around waiting for fish that probably aren’t ever going to bite.

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Fish Substitute

They never did, incidentally, which is fine. Reeling those suckers in takes work, which isn’t what I felt like doing. Ada was in rare form the night before and kept Wanda and me up until daybreak, so I may have dozed off once or twice waiting for fish to bite. In the end, the closest I came to catching a fish was dragging in an old box someone had once thrown in the lake. Strangely, it contained an apple which somehow, despite being underwater for God knows how long, still looked pretty edible. I’m going to have to give it to Wanda to check it out.

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Please don’t eat my hand

I also spent some time just wandering the grounds. I went back to the spots where I’d found Herp and Derp, the alien I’d collected at work previously, and managed to find a couple more. My co-workers still aren’t ready to admit they’re alien, but it’s starting to look to me like the spot where Omniscience is now may be a hotbed of alien activity at some point. I can’t tell for how long, though, since it turns out carbon dating doesn’t work very well on lead-based organisms.

Finally, after a hard day of doing next to nothing, it was time to head to the ferry and go home.

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Home Sweet Home

Things are coming along nicely there, by the way. What was once a bare patch of ground where Wanda and I had to sleep under the stars is starting to become an actual home site. I sort of figured that, if we were going to have a baby in the house, it should probably be equipped with silly luxuries like a roof. I’ve even added on a second story so Ada can have her own room when she’s ready for one. Frankly, I’m about ready for it already, but Ada’s not quite at the stage where she can navigate stairs, so the cradle will stay downstairs with Wanda and me for now.

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Feeding Time

That’s probably a good place for her, for the time being. Not only can we hear her cry when she starts wailing in the middle of the night, but I think if I had to navigate the stairs half-asleep multiple times a night, I’d probably end up breaking my neck.

Parenthood

It’s said that if you go long enough without sleeping, you can go insane. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I’m sure I’ll find out soon.

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Ada and Dada

Not that I’ve got much room to complain. Ada’s a beautiful baby, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have her.

So far, she seems to be the spitting image of her mom, which is obviously a good thing. I’m sure it’ll cause me no end of headaches further on down the line, though. I’m already having nightmares about lines of horny high school boys forming outside the front door. Fortunately, that’s a long way off at this point.

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How do you hold these things when they squirm?

Wanda and I have been taking turns with a lot of the parental duties — particularly the ones involving having to get up in the middle of the night because Ada’s grumpy about something. And by “grumpy,” I mean screaming at the top of her tiny little lungs. I’m constantly amazed at the decibel level that can be produced by such a tiny person. It’s not just the noise level, either… there’s this parental instinct I’ve discovered I have that makes the sound of your baby crying raise your adrenaline levels by a staggering amount when you hear it in the middle of the night. Maybe it’s because I’m new at this whole dad thing, but when I hear Ada cry I am instantly wide awake and sometimes I’m rushing to her cradle before I even realize I’m out of bed. It’s like some kind of overprotective autopilot has taken over my body and all it cares about is whether or not the baby is happy. It’s like Ada has a little mind control device inside her that has taken over her daddy’s mind. Babies are evil. Cute, but completely, utterly evil.

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This rarely happens

Thankfully, as time passes, Ada seems to be getting better at the whole sleeping like a human thing. She’s still prone to the occasional random screaming at odd hours for a bottle or a fresh diaper or some other problem I’m often completely unable to determine, but lately it seems like the times Wanda and I are both able to be asleep at the same time are happening a bit more frequently.

It’s funny, but even something as small as noticing Ada is sleeping a bit more regularly is something I find vaguely terrifying. It means she’s growing, and developing, and getting just a little bit closer to becoming an actual functioning person. That scares me to death. The consequences if I screw this up aren’t something I care to think about.

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The Parental Units

Thankfully, I think the kid’s got a decent shot. She may have a clueless dork for a dad, but she’s got Wanda for a mom. If my calculations are correct, that means Ada’s got at least a 50/50 chance of turning out OK.

First Contact

Today was, quite possibly, one of the best days of my life.

It didn’t really start out that way. It was pretty typical, actually. I went to work, did a little experimenting on a new flavor for my energy drink, and spent some time working on the rocket.

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Almost Spaceworthy

It’s coming along very nicely. At this point it’s probably just a few pre-flight inspections from a test launch. I’ve already begun kissing all the executive asses required to let me be the guy who takes her for her first flight. I’m also going to have to be extra nice to Wanda, who doesn’t seem thrilled with the idea of her husband strapping a few thousand pounds of rocket fuel to himself and shooting himself into space, but I’m working on it.

That’s not the big news, though. That came a bit later in the day, as I was waiting at the ferry dock with Wanda. She was obviously uncomfortable, as can happen when you’re lugging around a small child in your belly all day. This evening’s discomfort level, however, seemed to be a bit higher than usual. Enough that not taking the ferry, and heading for the hospital instead, seemed like an excellent idea.

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Some call it panic, I call it excitement

She was definitely in labor. I handled it like any good husband would — I totally freaked out. Wanda was the model of calm, breathing just like she’d been taught, and doing an amazing job of keeping her composure. I, on the other hand, was running around like a chicken with his head cut off.

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Le freak, c’est chic

Fortunately for both Wanda and me, it was a pretty easy delivery. The huffing and puffing and panicking (the first two mostly from Wanda, and the last definitely from me) were thankfully only necessary for a relatively short period of time. From the front desk at the hospital, Wanda was taken almost immediately to a delivery room, where a crowd of masked health workers coached her on when to push and when not to, and when her husband might want to consider trying not to hyperventilate for a while. All of the activity culminated in a lot of pushing, a bit of screaming (admittedly, as much from me as from Wanda), and then the miracle happened.

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The new addition

Wanda and I are pleased to introduce the newest member of the Poindexter family. Ada weighs 8 pounds, 2 ounces, is 21 inches long, and is a happy, healthy, bouncing baby girl.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Wanda and I are both going to pass out for a while.

The Hungering

My home has been taken over by an insatiable eating machine. I refer, of course, to my beloved Wanda. Pregancy has turned her into a sarlacc pit.

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I think she’s having an affair with the fridge

I have to hand it to her; she’s still going to work every day and I know she’s be trying not to complain about the sore feet and back, and everything else that comes along with lugging a child around with you everywhere all day, but man, can that girl eat. I mean, all the time. Except when she’s peeing, which she’s doing an awful lot, too. No, scratch that — even that doesn’t stop her from devouring anything within reach. I haven’t actually seen her chowing down on the can but I did step on a sharp corner of a taco shell on the way into the shower this morning. It hurt like hell.

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The Ravenous Beast

Ever see Little Shop of Horrors? I’m living it. I’ve got this ravenous monster of my own making sitting in my house bellowing “FEED ME!” every five minutes. I’ve had to be really careful when setting down plates in front of her to withdraw my arm quickly, because I’m afraid of losing a hand.

Don’t get me wrong. I adore my wife. I admire her for carrying our baby. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me. But if I suddenly stop posting updates, well, you’ll know what’s happened. Hopefully there will be enough left over to identify me.

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Better living through chemistry

I’m doing what I can to be a good husband during what I’m sure is a difficult time for Wanda. I even whipped up a batch of hunger-eliminating energy drink for her, but when I got it home she refused to touch it. She’s got all these silly concerns that my concoction of 37 chemical compounds might be bad for the baby. Can you believe that? I mean, 32 of those chemicals have been certified as safe for human consumption by the FDA. The rest might be on the “unknown” list, but come on, that means it’s at least 86% non-toxic.

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Michelle Obama would be proud

Instead, she’s decided she’s only going to eat food from reputable stores, and produce from the non-GMO, pesticide-free section of her garden. It’s a tiny little section, but it’s there. Well, it’s there for now. I fully expect the plants to be completely decimated before the week is up at the rate Wanda’s eating things. She’s friggin’ Pac Man, I tell you.

At this point, we’re about halfway through the gestation process, and I’m not sure this is sustainable. I’m going to have to start having food air-dropped every few hours if this keeps up. A black hole has formed inside my wife. For now, it’s just food, but soon even light won’t be able to escape her gravitational pull.

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In the Midnight Hour, More! More! More!

Sorry, I’ve got to run. We’re out of yogurt. I hope the ferry is still running at this hour. Running out of yogurt is bad.

Two New Friends

The bun in Wanda’s oven has begun rising. To continue the baked goods references, I’ll mention that she’s bearing a striking resemblance to the Pillsbury Dough Boy, though unlike that jolly corporate mascot I’ve found poking Wanda in the belly doesn’t often result in a giggle so much as a slap to the side of my head.

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Poppin’ Fresh

Honestly, I think pregnancy looks great on her. Sure, she’s a bit more round than I’m used to, but how could I not look at the woman carrying our child and not think she’s the most wondrous thing in the world? She’s like some kind of walking miracle… not that she hasn’t always been one. And, let’s face it, Wanda is hotness incarnate. She could have a belly like Seth Rogen and she’d make it look good.

We talked about finding out whether it’s a boy or a girl, but after lengthy discussion we’ve decided we’d rather not know ahead of time. Maybe we’re overthinking it, but the world is full of prejudices and preconceptions, and we think it’d be nice if our child came into this world without any expectations on day one.  Maybe it’s silly, but it’s what we’ve decided together.

Speaking of mysteries, a short while back I got a call from Peter Crockett asking if I’d mind if he came by for a visit. If you’ve been following along, you may recognize that name. He showed up at our birthday party and I couldn’t remember where I’d met him before.

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The mysterious Mr. Crockett

I now know we met at Omniscience. When he told me he’d met me while he was doing a tour of the facility, I went back and look at my past entries here, and sure enough, there he was. I think I remember now having a discussion with him about genetics or something. I have no idea how he got my number, but he does know where I work and plenty of people there have it. Someone was probably a bit loose with my personal information.

Still, remembering where we’d met didn’t explain why he was suddenly asking to visit my home. He seemed like a friendly enough guy, though, and we geeks are a naturally curious sort, so I told him to come on by.

It was a nice enough afternoon. We chatted quite a bit about inconsequential stuff, Wanda made some terrific fish and chips, and we played a little cards. Peter and I had a few beers and talked about guy stuff like football and roofing materials. It was all very friendly, and by the end of the day I felt like I’d made a new friend.

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Selfie Time!

Still, as the day came to its eventual end, I realized I still had no idea why Peter had wanted to visit. I finally just came right out and asked him.

You know, it’s the oddest thing, but I can’t for the life of my remember what the answer was. Must be all the beer.