Blinded by the light

12 04 2007

Every night for the past 8 months, Jeff and I have gone through the same de-babyproofing ritual: put boy to bed, pick up all bajillion toys boy owns, pull down blinds that boy has such a fondness for wrecking (and thus the reason they are left up all day), remove baby gates, break out booze. (What? What? Parenting can be rough.)

But it is on the removal of the gates that I would like to focus right now. You see, now that Ethan is sleeping in his big boy bed, in addition to waking up 47 times a night to go ensure that he isn’t under his bed, we also have another worry: is he even in his room still? Could he have sleep walked into the living room? Is he in there playing with his cars? Gambling online? Finishing off the cans of Natty Ice we’ve undoubtedly left lying around from our earlier “celebration”? Or worse, is he in the kitchen TOUCHING THE GARBAGE CAN LID?

And so, since Sunday night, when all this craziness first began, instead of simply taking down one of the gates, as we’ve always done, we’ve reassigned it to the end of the hallway, allowing Ethan the freedom to roam between his own bedroom and ours, should he decide he needs to get out and find some adventure. Not that I expect he will; each time I’ve gone in to get him after a nap or in the morning, he has pointed to the floor and asked, “Can I get out of my bed now?” Well, his actual words are “Eugh?” But I like to consider myself fairly fluent in Ethan and I’m pretty sure that’s what “eugh?” implies.

So while I don’t think that he’ll be packing his bags and leaving his bedroom for the bright lights, nightlife, and other entertainment our unchaperoned living room has to offer in the dark, we still reassign the gate at night, just in case.

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(Ethan, probably on his way to Las Vegas.)

And just like every other day for the past 8 months, I return the gate to its normal, day-shift position when I get up in the morning, blocking the living room from the kitchen. As I have done every morning for the past 8 months. Did I mention that I do this every day? Ok, just so we’re clear on that.

It isn’t a difficult job. Were I ranking the 700 jobs I do on a daily basis, I would put it at about second to last on the list- right after flipping from E! True Hollywood Story to Dr. Phil, and right before eating all those bon bons we housewives are so famous for consuming. So, just keep in mind, for future reference: not only do I not find the act of putting the gate up (nor the remembering to do it in the first place) difficult, but I have never made any type of reference to this job, never said anything that could lead Jeff to think that I find it in any way difficult, annoying, nothing. At all. Ever.

That said-

Tonight, while getting ready for bed, I was walking from our room to the kitchen, in the dark because Jeff turns off all the lights before I’ve had a chance to get everything done, not that that bothers me in the least… when all of a sudden I walked smack into something and fell over. What did I walk into? The baby gate blocking the living room from the kitchen. The same baby gate that comes down at night after Ethan’s bedtime. The same gate that has recently been getting put up at the end of hallway when we go to bed.

“What the heck is the baby gate doing up, Jeffrey?!?” I calmly asked. I mean… I bitterly snarled.

“I put it up for you,” he answered. He put it up for me? So that I could severely injure myself in the dark? That was for me? What?

“I was doing you a favor. So you didn’t have to put it up in the morning.”

Number one, if you want to do me a favor, why don’t you try… oh, I don’t know, doing some laundry? Or cleaning the house? Or doing the grocery shopping? Or any number of other things that actually require work on my part. Where he got the idea that putting the gate up would be saving me work, I DON’T HAVE A CLUE.

Number two, why was the gate not at the end of the hallway?

I shared these thoughts with Jeff in a not-so-nice way, and his response? “You shouldn’t go walking around in the dark.”

Number three, I WOULDN’T GO WALKING AROUND IN THE DARK IF YOU DIDN’T TURN ALL THE LIGHTS IN THE HOUSE OFF.

Um, what? That was my fault? For not looking where I was going IN THE DARK? For not looking for something THAT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE THERE? Oh. Stupid me.

I guess the next time Jeff’s trying to sleep and I get up to pee or something in the night, I’ll make sure to turn on all the lights. Wouldn’t want to stumble into our car, now would I? Would I, Jeff? Oh, I’m sorry, Jeff- can’t answer with ALL THOSE LIGHTS SHINING IN YOUR EYES? Huh?

Yeah. That’s what I thought.

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Yeah, that’s right, you’d BEST BE WEARING YOUR SUNGLASSES. You’re gonna need ’em once I start TURNING ON ALL THE LIGHTS.


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One response

12 04 2007
rene

tell us how you really feel… 😉

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