Dylan's schedule is pretty easy. She gets up early, naps everyday at 1:00, and goes to bed early. If one piece of that simple puzzle is messed with by, say, a chocolate fondue lunch or a sideways glance, then everyone suffers. Most days, we stay on track. Dylan's up by 6:00 whether we're hungover or not, drinks a glass of milk, pees, and watches Dora and Diego while we get ready.
Dora and Diego are slightly annoying children who live in jungles and rescue animals without being attacked and eaten by bigger, more aggressive animals. If Mogli, from "The Jungle Book," had a baby with a drill sergeant with a bad bowl haircut, the baby would be Dora. If Mogli then had an affair with a doe-eyed drag-queen, the baby would be Diego. Dylan doesn't seem to mind their constant high-pitched shouting, but I think I know why. There are no commercials during the shows, but one half-hour episode only lasts about twelve minutes (animal in peril, go through three obstacles, save animal), then the next eighteen minutes are devoted to commercials. And Dylan is infatuated. Damn the power of media.
Dylan sits, rapt, by commercials for toys and tampons (that's the early morning focus group). Regina and I hear, "I want that for my birthday," ten or fifteen times every morning. "What is it?" I'll ask, too sleepy or senile to guess what kind of product Nickelodeon is pushing. I'm not sure Dylan really knows either, but she makes some good guesses: baby? horsey? or, the honest, "I don't know."
Last week she told me she wanted a baby that pooped and peed. Trust me, you don't, I told her. "For my birthday," she pleaded. "First," I told her, "you already have a baby that does that. His name is Grady. Second, Mommy and Daddy aren't making you another one, so enjoy the one you got."
Grady's routine is a little more simple. It involves power-eating and food-coma naps. All the regularly-scheduled eating is really bulking him up. He's already eating a little cereal and his thighs are starting to look like an offensive lineman's. His belly looks like a college freshman's and he even has, what I proudly call, "side-belly." He was rolling over at four-weeks old, but I don't think he can do that anymore, although Regina swears he can. He eats, craps, naps, and grins, all on schedule.
I have to give all the credit to Regina. I'm not sure, okay, I'm positive, I wouldn't have been able to do such an amazing job with getting the kids organized and on a routine that we all can be happy with. I worry (Virgos are worriers too!) about the day that Regina decides she needs a vacation with "just the girls." I can imagine her face when she comes back and sees that the house resembles the suite in the movie "The Hangover," Grady has a bowl of dry cereal on his lap, and Dylan and I are parked in front of the TV, trying to see who can say, "I want that for my birthday," first.