Updating that for parents of the electronic age we might have, “TiVo is proof that God pities us, and wants us to know what we are missing.”
As parents of two very demanding infants, my wife and I often find ourselves sitting and holding the little ones who have finally quieted down for a minute, and catching up on hours of shows recorded during times when they were not so quiet.
One of my favorite shows is Burn Notice. It’s the story of former CIA operative Michael Weston who has been blacklisted and now operates as a kind of Robin Hood for hire, while occasionally carrying out contract missions in the shadowy edges of the world he used to occupy as a government agent.
Apparently the show was created by an ex-spy and much of it is comprised of tongue-in-cheek voiceovers that give step-by-step lessons in espionage, usually beginning with the phrase, “When you’re a spy…” and continuing with fascinating and usually humorous instructions on constructing bombs, tapping phones, etc.
What follows is an episode of my life written in that style.
Note: To get the allusion, you may want to check out at least the opening sequence of the show at:
Exterior. A quiet two-story house in one of southern California’s sprawling suburbs. As we dissolve to an interior, we see a middle–aged man intently mixing carefully measured powder and liquid in a small bottle.
VOICEOVER: “When you’re a dad, you will often be called upon to participate in infant feeding. While most mothers today embrace the idea of breastfeeding, the task can become logistically unworkable—especially with twins.
“That’s where we come in.
“The first requirement is a bottle. While some modern fathers go for the latest in gas-suppression technology and sterilized disposable liners, a simple bottle and nipple combination is still the device of choice for the seasoned professional.
“Next, you will need a nutriment. Breast milk, pumped and preserved by refrigeration, is ideal. But in a pinch you can mix an acceptable substitute using two ounces of powdered Similac and 120 milliliters of filtered tap water at 99 degrees Fahrenheit. The resulting mixture should be vigorously shaken for five seconds, unless you like having it regurgitated in the middle of the mission (and in the middle of your lap).
"The actual feeding is a simple, but time-consuming procedure. It can be uneventful, if you are dealing with a cooperative infant, or it can be nearly impossible if you are trying to feed a Tasmanian Devil.
"Which is why you should always have a back-up plan.
"Fabricating a sudden “emergency” run to the store for diapers and wipes is good, but If you want to log some serious away time you may need to take on a second job. On-call heart surgeon is best, but night watchman or pizza delivery guy can work if you sell it right.
"However you deal with the demands of the job, one thing is clear: until the baby is burped, you aren’t going anywhere."