Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pardon Me While I Get My Geek On

As any good Trek fan knows, there is a certain protocol in dealing with the Borg.

When the first couple of drones show up, you just nail 'em with your phasers. No problem. They'll go down like a sack of cybernetic wheat. You go on with your day, aligning phase couplings and whatnot.

But then the third or fourth 'assimilatedly disadvantaged' arrives on the scene, and you discover that your phaser blasts no longer do the trick. The Borg have sprouted personal energy shields, handy little devices that throw up windows of translucent, tessellated barriers that are genuinely phaser proof. They kinda look like your grandma's old shower door. Except, y'know, impervious to bursts of highly focused photonic energy.

Now you might get a little panicky, but all is not yet lost. You simply change phaser frequencies, maybe moving from your previous shrieky 90 million khz down to a nice robust Old Man Riveresque 40 million. And that will do the trick. For a short while. Maybe one or two more drones, which in Borg terms, is really a drop in the bucket. I mean, these guys have a better recruitment program than DeVry.

So, now you're down to some tricky slight-of-hand. You need to set your phasers to a constantly rotating, randomly selected frequency. This has the dual effect of popping through a few additional Borg shields while also making your phaser beam a bit more festive, which is definitely something to keep in mind during this holiday season. But alas, no matter how many glad tidings your phaser beam inspires, there will come a point at which all your tricks simply stop working. The Borg shields will repel anything you throw at them, and your phasers will be about as effective as a laser-pointer.

It is then that you will lower your weapons in creeping dismay, and somebody, usually Worf (though Data adds an ironic sense of emotionless detachment to the phrase) will intone, darkly:

"They have adapted."

Which basically means, Nice knowing you, redshirts, 'cuz we are fresh outta options.

At this point, Worf will usually run forward with a giant knife and just start can-opening the cybernetic freakshows, as heavy bladed weapons are apparently the trump card in this particular game of rock-paper-scissors. And if that's the case, then sign me up for bat'leth lessons, because you see…

My son has adapted.

At first it was easy to get this kid to fall asleep. A little rocking, a little white noise. But one by one, my little tricks stopped working. I would rock, the white noise would wash away the memory of his hectic day sucking boob and filling diapers, but he would just stare back up at me, with his big wide eyes. Lifeless eyes, like a doll's eyes.

Okay, actually, they're incredibly cute little eyes, not so much problematic because of their resemblance to a shark's as their tendency to be wide, wide open when it is clearly time for Baby to Sleep.

So I tried rocking him differently. Every way I could think of. Seriously, I am to baby rocking techniques what Derek Zoolander is to pouty looks. I've got The Jostle, The Swing, The Sway, The Dipsy-Doo, The Ketchup Bottle, The Bounce, The Lap Leaner, and of course, the ultra-difficult Rocking-Sway Combo Deluxe. We now generally have three different white noise generators in the room at any given time, only one of which ever has the magic key to dream land. They helped. For a while.

We then brought out the big guns. After quadruple-checking with every parent book and our own highly regarded pediatrician, we introduced the Binky. Oh the Binky. Cruel, clever, treacherous Binky. How quickly you soothe our Boy to sleep. But there is a price, cackled the little gnome. Oh yes, there is a price. For as soon as your child falls asleep, he will drop the Binky, and then, in his half-sleeping state, he will attempt to find the thing. With his face. Needless to say, this is an exercise in frustration. And waking up.

We tried the chair swing. This worked exactly once. Man, did he love that chair swing the first time we tried it. And man oh man, has he hated the living guts of out the thing every time since.

And on. And on.

It's as if we're not so much finding new ways to put him to sleep as we are inoculating him against them.

It has been an interesting year, kids.

Which is not a good sign, as it has actually only been four weeks.

Now if you'll pardon me, my son has adapted.