Married, With Children

 

 

My mother always said that having young children was the best birth control. Not only because their behavior made reproducing again a decidedly un-appealing idea, but also because it's nigh impossible to find any privacy. My parents had four kids in four years, then moved to a home where their bedroom was the second room of a shotgun house and functioned, essentially, as a hallway. I'm guessing the fact that they never reproduced again might be hinged a bit on that. Kind of makes you wonder if it was deliberate.

Now, I know that I have been intimate with my husband while we had toddlers. We must have, because our first three are 2 years apart. But for the life of me I cannot remember how this was accomplished. Maybe they were sounder sleepers? Baby Einstein? Duct Tape? At any rate, with the Amazing Velcro Baby we've had to adjust our routine. Since this kid will only sleep if his body is pressed against mine, or if you stick him in a crib until he falls over from exhaustion due to prolonged screaming, it kind of makes the bedroom the least erotic room in the house. Not that it was ever one of those sanctuaries they talk about in women's magazines anyway, with candles and  tons of pillows and NO TV. "The bedroom is for sleeping and sex only." Not for treadmills and laundry and dog kennels? Oops. I've been doing it wrong.

As exciting as it was at first, I was getting a little sick of living room trysts. I wanted to be in my own, comfortable bed. But what to do with the baby? Our usual routine was for me to nurse him down around 8 pm, then attempt to sneak away and if that didn't work, lay him in the crib and run away till midnight or so, when the slightest noise, or possibly the smell of me lactating, would startle the kid awake. This was challenging. Right in the middle of my brain-storming session my 8 year old came down the stairs and greeted us with a grin. "CUDDLE!" He announced with a flourish, and jazz hands. "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" I screamed, involuntarily.

I decided we weren't getting anywhere with that attitude, so I agreed for a brief cuddle time. Maybe we could all soothe the baby down together. Did I mention I'm not that smart? After an episode of The Twilight Zone and Pushing Daisies the baby was still awake, and was quite entranced with the whole being up with his brother and parents thing. Plan B. We sent Jarvis to bed, and decided that it was time to crate the baby...err...put him in the pack-n-play.

We have a small alcove in our hallway that we had planned to start using as a bedroom for the baby. I bought cafe rings and hung up an old sheet and put a lovey in the pack n play, determined to make it into nap central. It might have worked if we'd been consistent, but it's hard to be consistent when you feel like you are torturing your baby, so we'd kind of forgotten about it.

Hugh put the baby in the pack n play, so of course he started screaming. I suggested Hugh find a box fan for white noise. He set it up next to our bed, but I could still hear Felix's wounded yelps coming from the hall. Quite the buzzkill. I then suggested that we turn on my Thunderstorm ap on my phone. Hugh didn't think it would work, but I picked one with plenty of rain and thunder and turned it up as loud as it would go. Alright. You could barely hear any crying.  Now we're cooking.

I snuggled up to my sweetie and glanced around the room at our piles of laundry. "Let's pretend we're in a field looking at the stars..." I whispered, trying to set a mood. He began laughing. And laughing. So hard he couldn't speak.

Finally he choked out "We are looking at the stars...in a rain storm!"

Why was I trying so hard to be alone with this guy again?