Nanook and the Night Owl

Nanook of the North. That’s what my co-worker Harry calls me when I step out of the freezer on delivery days. I’m dressed for the conditions of the freezer; gloves from another co-worker and the hooded sweat jacket my in-laws gave me about two Christmases ago. (The BEST hooded sweat jacket on the planet, I may add. It keeps me very warm in that freezer on truck days.) But it’s days like today when I best earn that nickname. You see, today I had to do my pre-counts for inventory. Most of my inventory is kept in the freezer, 15 of 28 pages worth of count sheets to be exact. So, I’m bundled up because I’m not only counting but also condensing cases of product to make space for the next truck as well as obtain an accurate count.

But there are dangers in remaining in a freezer for an extended time without full freezer gear. The first is pretty easily conquered – go potty before entering and don’t drink during freezer breaks. Well, as one who likes to  keep his fluids up I drink a lot of water. Once the cold hits it pretty much doesn’t matter that I emptied my bladder before the first sojourn into the arctic. I invariably have to go again. And again. I could just find a hidden corner in the freezer, but if it freezes fast enough and I get stuck there, that would be embarrassing.

The other danger may cause me to get stuck in the freezer. Getting stuck in the freezer was never a fear of mine, the only way for the door to become truly jammed is for someone to park a pallet of freight directly in front of it while I was inside. Even if that did happen, all I’d have to do is unplug the motors to shut off the freezer fans and coils. That would trip the temperature alarm and, viola, I’d get rescued when they came to examine the issue causing the alarm. The problem is I’ve been working here almost seven years and the temptation to stick my tongue on the frosted metal racks is only growing. It’s a simple matter of time before I pull a Harry Dunne; you see, I’m a guy and not too bright. Not the ideal combination. One day someone is going to walk into the freezer and find me firmly attached in a position where I can’t disconnect the freezers – thereby sealing my fate.

Fortunately I was able to avoid that temptation for one more month. Upon arriving home my poor wife needed to go straight to bed due to a headache. I’m the type of person who doesn’t get bad headaches. Sometimes hers will really put her down for a while. If you are not in that category, I’m sure you know someone who is. That left me to care for the baby. She’s a night owl like her daddy, especially when she’s had a nap during the day. She doesn’t even need a long nap – a mere half-hour is enough to keep her up until 11 or 11:30. And that’s great bonding time for us.

Even though I’m a night owl myself, my job forces me into the role of early bird as well. I have to get up and into work by 5AM frequently, and inventory Monday is one such day. (Why am I still up typing at 12:45??) But the baby would allow no early-to-bed evening for Daddy. She kept us both up until 12:10!! Where does she really get this energy? She’s not even two, for crying out loud! It was still a great bonding night for us, but perhaps a little less bonding and more snoring would have been better, huh, kiddo?

I feel that the baby and the five-year-old are on a mission to make sure we no longer have anymore children. Even though the five-year-old talks about the next baby regularly, she’s doing nothing to facilitate that from happening. She is a challenge to get to sleep in her bed all night – heck she often falls asleep in our bed before I move her – thereby limiting romantic opportunities for daddy and mommy. Not to mention her propensity for jumping knee first into daddy’s lap when he’s dozing away on the recliner. (More effective than any alarm clock in the world.) And with the baby staying up into the wee hours of the night there’s pretty much no energy left for nookie.

Well, I’ve had my night owl wind-down time since putting the little one to bed. Let’s see if I can keep the other one in her bed for the rest of the night. Shouldn’t matter if she creeps back over in a few hours, I have to get up for work, anyway.


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