About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.
Monday, February 16, 2009
It felt so wrong and yet so right
The plan for Sunday night sounded good: Our longtime friends Ron and Sandy would drive to our house with tequila. We’d whoop it up. Order take out. Maybe watch a movie.
They’d bring their nine-month-old and three-year-old.
Screech! What? A sleepover with four adults, three kids and two cats? What kind of freaky sitcom is this?
I’ll tell you what kind: a very long, tiring one in which two couples beat down by the New England winter and childrearing desperately cling to each other in the hope that frivolous fun can still be found.
It can’t. Especially not in Mulletville (I spent Friday’s lunch break eating a Burger King burger in the parking lot of TJ Maxxipad—that was my big outing and that’s how little this fucking town has to offer in the way of fun. Would it kill the mayor to put in an eatery other than the 99? Can we get a Banana Republic already?)
In all fairness, the four of us partied hard from the time the last kid’s head hit the pillow at 7:30 p.m. to the time the first adult’s head hit the pillow at 9. Chuck was the last man standing at 11. I think he went down to the neighborhood bar just to, you know, keep up appearances. That would explain why he crawled into bed at 2:30, which was just about the time the low moans and howls started.
We lay there and listened.
No, we're not perves. It was Junior. On the monitor. Gurgling and grunting and—wait! Junior doesn’t make those noises anymore.
“It’s not our kid!” I cried with joy. “It’s their monitor. We’re picking up their monitor. It’s their baby! We can go back to sleep! Oh, Chuck! We can sleep!”
Suddenly I was struck by the horrific mental picture of Ron and Sandy in the guestroom with a crying baby and cranky pre-schooler. Rubbing their eyes and wishing they hadn’t done tequila shots. Yawning and tired and wanting to lie down and sleep and have their children sleep and sleep and sleep and oh wonderful sleep.
And oh sleep was wonderful after I turned off the monitor and climbed back into bed. In a year and a half, that’s the only time I’ve been able to shut off the noise coming from the other end and not feel guilty. And holy shit, I was giddy. I still am. I’m all juiced up to play another round of turn off the monitor. The power! The rush! The fricken euphoria!
(Are you wondering about my fun barometer right about now? Cause I’ll admit it, the Maxxi Pad lunch break was a new low, and I am worried I won't be able to climb out of this sandtrap.)
Until next time, Mulletville.