Sunday, September 18, 2005


Adventures in Astronomy

So in the process of trudging back and forth to set up the telescopes, the eyepieces, the laptop, the cabling, the camera, finding the extra battery, I returned to find the sliding glass door shut. Odd, I thought to myself, since I left it slightly open.

I pulled on the handle. Nothing. Locked. How extremely odd, since it's only me and Geneva here at the cabin, and surely she couldn't have...

...ah, but there she is, asleep on the living room floor, about 10 feet away from me, on the other side of the locked glass door. She has a blankie wrapped around her, and her milk cup nearby.

I look down at the doorframe and see it. The piece of wood that is the backup to the lock. She must have be so proud of herself for fitting it right back into the doorframe. And now, I was locked out.

Now, for those keeping track, this is twice. The first time, Michael locked the door while I was planting a potted lavender in the garden. The temperature then fell 38 degrees and it started raining. Then sleeting. We cowered in the honda and covered up with floor mats. Ken decided to finish an Everquest raid instead of driving straight up to the mountain, so it was nearly four hours of cold, thirsty waiting. With Geneva locked inside, crying, wet, and hungry.

This time, I was on the balcony. The only way down is to jump. There is no outside lock for the sliding glass door. The only real way to get back inside is to pound on the glass door until Miss Princess Lock Mommy Out wakes up. Which, of course, didn't work.

So, I pondered the universe for a while through the telescopes, although the last bit of equipment for photography was still locked inside. I looked at nebula, and stars, and the milky way, and saw satellites, and star clusters. I took a nap on the balcony, and then finally Geneva woke up.

Now, trying to get a toddler to pick something up is usually not too hard. However, she didn't get it.

"Pick the stick up, Geneva. Pick the stick up please. Pick the stick up, Geneva. Pick the stick up please! Pick the stick up, Geneva. Pick the stick up NOW!" etc.

She picked up her toys and showed them to me, through the glass. She picked up forks, an AC converter, part of the tangled mess of fireplace implements, the FRS radios.

Then finally she understood. She reached down and grabbed the small stubby handle to the lock-stick. And pulled. And pulled. And pulled. And, the little handle part popped right out.

Oh no! Next, coach child to put handle back in slot. Pull sideways on stick to lift it. Move out of the way so door can open.

This took... a while. A long while. She got bored. She got lonely. She cried and cried. "Mommy come back!" She wiped her sad little snotty nose on the glass and put her plump little hands up in a pathetic appeal for me to stop fooling around and come back inside so I could give her more milk. She brought her milk cup over, and dumped it onto the stick.

Believe it or not, she did finally lift the stick up a bit. Enough to slam the door back and forth to wedge it up out of the way. Thus averting me getting stranded until daybreak, which was only two hours away at this point.

Lesson learned: Little children WILL outsmart you, no matter how many cool techie toys you have.

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