Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Five minutes, beep ...

Baby asleep on pillow on lap. Lap is in bed. Calf feels wet, getting wetter, spilled water bottle. Water starts where Chuck's back goes, rivers to where I will later tonight rest my sleeping knee. Swear. Set bottle upright. Scootch gingerly to side of the bed, so as not to wake baby. Creep slowly to crib, set her down, eyes pop open, mouth flips to frown, she wimpers.

Swear again, so discretely it sounds like I'm cleaning my teeth. Strip bedding. Push on mattress, doesn't seem saturated, phew. The whimpering increases in urgency. Promise her things to quiet her. "Back in a sec," hush, coo. Bedding is awkward. Like carrying a deflated hot air balloon. Trip from bedroom, down stairs. Burst of cold air. Parent's return from Sam's Club.

"What's that beeping?" mom twists face like it's a smell.
"You didn't turn off the monitor?" answering question with a question. Point at monitor on the table.
"Something something high-tech," she says.

Bumble down more steps. Beep. Squish wad into dryer. Beep. Start dryer. Beep. Blood begins to boil. Imagine drop kicking monitor into snowbank, hammering monitor with something with "sledge" in title. Beep. Wonder why no one has turned off the blasted beep monitor. Remember neither parent knows how monitor works. Beep.

Up steps. Snatch monitor from table. Strangle power button until light fades to dark. Plug monitor into charger. Wimpers are now wails. She's wailing. Back upstairs to wet bed and weeping child.

Later, while trying to wrap Chuck's present in too little paper, turn those horrific five minutes into delightful tale of misfortune for audience of parents.

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