First, housekeeping. The excellent pop-culture blog Largehearted Boy has published my Alternadad "soundtrack essay" here. Enjoy.
So Elijah woke up this morning at 7 AM. I was already at the computer, monitoring Amazon.com for signs of progress. He announced that, more than anything else in the world, he wanted to watch the "Volcano Sisters" episode of The Backyardigans, which was apparently hiding somewhere on TIVO. I acquiesed, despite the fact that The Backyardigans are my sworn enemies who must be killed.
Unfortunately, the TIVO was frozen because our DSL line had received some mysterious "servicing" the night before. Therefore, we couldn't access The Volcano Sisters. Oh, the middle-class tragedies of the information age! On the scale of human problems, this lies somewhere between "out of peanut butter" and "need to cut my toenails," but Elijah didn't understand that, and he began to bawl as though I'd just shot Old Yeller.
I called to the other room.
"Regina," I said. "Can you deal with this, please?"
When I next emerged from my Alternadad-cave, Elijah was running around the house, dressed for school, inexplicably yelling, over and over again, "PEENIE! PEENIE! PEENIE! PEENIE! PEENIE! PEENIE!"
And thus my publication day began.