Going Dark: Day 6. Raw Power

As I kinda predicted, today was maybe the hardest day without screens. A quick summary goes like this: woke up at 5:45 because Cyrus was asking to sleep in my bed. He kept coming in the bed room until 7:22. Got up to make coffee. Gaby got up. He and I started playing Monopoly Millionaire.  He chirped and quacked and made all sorts of annoying noises while we played. It was maddening. I drank coffee. Somehow, all of this, plus laundry and vacuuming lasted until 1:00.

That’s when the mail came. And we had two letters! We read them aloud and felt super touched that anyone would write to us. (Thanks Kim and Carla!) When we were done, it was 1:30. Gaby and I planned on taking Cyrus to see Star Wars, but he kept complaining that it was inappropriate for him. At one point, I heard him talking to himself or his sleep buddies in his room, “fine I’ll see it if you want me to have nightmares there are bad guys and people getting their heads cut off and i’m not supposed to watch it but okay fine if you want to make me have nightmares.”  He then came into our room while I was folding clothes, “Mom, it’s up to you if you want me to have nightmares.” Like. Totally guilt tripping me.

Anyway. You might be wondering how we came to know the movie time. WELL LET ME TELL YOU. I had to use the yellow pages, which, thanks to Natalie and Alison visiting the other night, Erika learned a little bit and I got a refresher. I looked under “movies,” and found the theatre. I called the number, a person answered, so I got nervous and hung up. I was expecting a recording of the movies and showtimes, but no, a person said hello. Hell no.

Then I told Gaby about the problem. You see, I have some phone anxiety. I admit it’s worse in the era of the internets. I just wanted to google the damn thing. But. This time, Gaby said she’d talk to the lady. I called. She asked about Star Wars. The woman gave us a phone number. We called. It was some medical appliance store and totally not the movie theatre show times. Gaby called the real person back. The real person told her the show times.

Anyway. We read the letter aloud and headed off to get some groceries before seeing Star Wars. The whole time Cyrus kept asking about the damn movie and when we were going home and reminding us how scary it was. So. We didn’t see the movie because we didn’t want to listen to him berating us the entire time or saying, like, “this is inappropriate for me” while we were trying to enjoy the film.

This is when things got hard. We came home. Between groceries and home, Cyrus had fallen asleep. Gaby and I admitted that tall we wanted to do was nap/ turn on the tv and relax. We knew if we cheated Cyrus would totally tell on us, though. We contemplated. We didn’t do it

The afternoon was filled with the two of us trying to nap while Cyrus ran around playing ballooony ball. Gaby made more bread. The house just smells like bread all the time now. It’s amazing.

After the bullshit nap, we went to the dining room table. I wrote a reply letter. Gaby made fancy envelopes. Like, tons of them, so be ready, people. Cyrus worked in his activity book, but mostly bothered me.

There was a glue stick crisis, so he and I went to Wal-Mart.

But then.

We got home around 7:00. Gaby was working on her envelopes and writing letters. Cyrus was making all of the weird noises he likes. I put on a record: Iggy and the Stooges’ Raw Power. I’ve owned it a long time, but I don’t listen very often. As soon as “Search and Destroy” came on, Cyrus was playing air guitar. He ran over to look at the album cover. It’s this:


“Wow,” he said, “Iggy Pop is really good. I want to learn this song when I get an electric guitar” For the next hour we listened, played air guitar, discussed garage rock, and played balloon baseball in the living room. “Is he friends with David Bowie?”

On occasion, Cyrus would go over to the turn table and look at the album cover. “Is he a boy or a girl?” I’d say he was a boy wearing a make up. “He’s really good, Mom.”

And that leads us up to bed time.

Without no screens, I wouldn’t’ve played this album for my son. Without no screens, we wouldn’t’ve both danced around while slapping a yellow balloon back and forth while Gaby crafted at the table and made bread.

This is where I end the writing. This is where I say something clever about today’s struggles and the wonderful time before bed and Raw Power. Raw Power is Gaby’s ability to make the dough rise and the bread to turn out. Raw Power is me slapping a balloon with all my strength to have it travel 5 feet while sipping whisky and pepsi. Raw Power is us operating this family with a corded landline phone and record player.

Raw Power lit something in Cyrus to make his eyes sparkle.

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