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A harrowing weekend. But not that harrowing.

Thursday night, after spending the day in the basement, Bun Bun and I slept in the basement. It was a bit musty, and, um, scared the shit out of me, because I’m basically a two year old, but infinitely preferable to being boiled alive upstairs. In the morning Mr. Bunny came down and encouraged us to come upstairs, and I shrieked NOOOOO! THE MOLE PEOPLE REFUSE TO RETURN TO THE LIGHT!

We spent the day there as well. I mainly used the time to contemplate the crying baby moral dilemma. (Short version: it’s wartime, you’re hiding in a basement with some others and your baby starts to cry. If the baby keeps crying the enemy will find you and kill you all, so you [ostensibly] have to choose between smothering the baby to keep it from crying, or all dying.) And to hope with every fiber of my being that we would not have a power outage. The freezer is stocked with precious, precious breastmilk, and boy would it would break my heart to have to pour it all down the drain. But in the evening we got a tremendous thunderstorm. Mr. Bunny and I dashed around the house opening every window and door as the blessed coolness swept through the house, returning it to a habitable place. The storm passed, and still the power held.

In the morning, I was in a celebratory mood after sleeping in my own bed, and requested some of Mr. Bunny’s fabulous cornmeal waffles. After making the noises of cooking for a while, he suddenly asked me to come downstairs in a tone that I know means SOMETHING IS WRONG. It seems that while we had not lost power, the freezer was not working properly. Not the fridge, mind you, just the god damned freezer, which was warmer than it should have been. Panic and buying lots of ice ensued, and the (still frozen) breastmilk was transferred to a cooler, which was then filled with as much ice as it would take, wrapped in a blanket, and placed in the coldest corner of the basement.

Then we had waffles, and they were DAMN good.

Then a man arrived to fix the fridge.

Then a man arrived to tell us that our water had just been shut off as they’d had to do some unexpected thingy with the ongoing water main repairs in our hood.


Although it was not fun, it certainly reminded me that I live a life of incomparable luxury. I don’t have to go to work today, so if I lose my stash of breastmilk, it’s actually not the end of the world. I have clean running water, most of the time. And most important, I don’t have to live in a basement, hiding from enemy soldiers.

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oh yes. It's terrifying to think about how much we depend on all of the technology that makes our lives possible. I usually try not to think about it too much because when I do I start scheming about moving to the country where I can hoars large amounts of food, water and firepower.

    July 25, 2011
  2. Crazy weekend! You're absolutely right – although all this stuff sucks, it's really more annoying that anything, and nothing compared to many in this world. Mmmmm waffles…

    July 25, 2011
  3. Hives. I have hives just thinking of losing the breast milk. Law, go downstairs and check it again, will you? WILL YOU?I ever tell you about the time Rocco left a bottle on the counter overnight? Four ounces for the love of heaven. I called the dr to see could it possibly be ok? Please please please?The dr told us to taste it. If it tasted ok then it was safe to drink as BM is quite hardy.And THAT is how I got my sweet revenge: Rocco had to drink my BM.Needless to say, he never forgot another bottle outside the fridge again.

    July 25, 2011
  4. The wartime moral dilemma issue is certainly prominent in the mind at these times. When i posted about it back in March, people were like "you don't have to compare yourself with people hiding from Nazis!". But hey, it happens. N said she's spent some time of the dilemma herself.In The Zookeeper's Wife, a jewish couple had to put their infant son into an orphanage in order to go into hiding. So that's one answer to the dilemma, as long as it's not a Jewish orphanage and as long as your kid is nice and blond. It's really just horrifying to contemplate, isn't it?

    July 25, 2011
  5. Know how I manage to not worry about losing a freezer stash of breast milk? I HAVE NO FREEZER STASH. Because I am an irresponsible b-hole. No, I do have a couple of bags, but they are, like, as old as my baby. Perhaps I should follow Roccie's suggestion and taste 'em to see if they're any good? I remember reading about the crying baby moral dilemma when I read The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (about a refugee Hmong family who were hiding in the Laotian jungle before making it to a refugee camp and coming to the US) and it completely unhinged me. Scary shit, yo.

    July 26, 2011
  6. So has the heat broken where you are? It's still appalling here. I just got back from Thailand and it's actually cooler there.It sounds like you had quite an adventure in the basement, and I think it's always good to be aware of what we do and don't consider to be a necessity. I don't think it's a bad thing to "need" things that are readily available in our society but not others — you just have to flip the logic from "how spoiled am I?" to "what can I do to help make sure everyone has this?"

    July 26, 2011
  7. I dunno. This heat and the prospect of losing breastmilk seem pretty harrowing to me (and I hope that it all got sorted, and that the freezer is back to a'freezing). We've had a slight break in the heat in NYC and I hope the same has happened in Ohio.

    July 26, 2011
  8. Your basement sounds lovely in its coolness. We've had the crazy heat here too and while we have AC it doesn't really get to the second floor and we've put our sole fan in W's room. I'm glad you rescued your milk. I really don't enjoy pumping and would hate to loose the few emergency bottles I have in my freezer.

    July 27, 2011
  9. I've been wanting to send you a book written by our friend Alison Pick called 'Far to Go' (themed around the kindertransport). Today, it was nominated for a Mann-Booker prize. And today, I read this comment about the baby moral dilemma in your post. So the deal is sealed. Watch your mailbox for a new novel to read while on mat leave (because for heaven's sake, I hope you are not reading journal articles).

    July 27, 2011
  10. i spent a ridiculous number of hours of the bean's early life lying awake trying to decide the best way to hold him if/when i needed to run quickly and silently from the burning remains of my village. (the full skirt, tattered shawl, and wind-blown tufts of smoldering thatch go without saying, yes?) you can't be too prepared, i say. (and in your dilemma, i'm going with "stick a boob in it.") at least it's a distraction from my usual relaxing bedtime thoughts of planning the best route to walk overland from nyc to my parents' house in arkansas and how best to carry the cats (granny cart, at least until they're acclimated to the backpack.). i told sugar this the other day and she said, "why would arkansas be any safer?" NOT HELPFUL.

    July 27, 2011
  11. I tried to post the other day..but my post wouldn't take. I love reading your posts. I'm glad you saved your milk and I hope the heat has moved on so you can move back upstairs.

    July 28, 2011
  12. Do you know I've had that exact same thought about the crying baby in an attic scenario. We'd all be oh so dead.

    August 8, 2011

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