Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

It all started when my wife and I decided to just pay a professional to have the kids’ rooms painted, otherwise they would never get done. Plus the prep work involved scraping wall paper, and who wants to do that? So we hired John (from Big Green Painting, check him out!), who came right away and started prepping and priming baby Eli’s room.

Freed up from work and the stench of stripping chemicals and paint splatters, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity and go out for some drinks and appetizers later that night. Which meant taking advantage of our 15-year old and enlisting her to babysit her little brother.

She reluctantly agreed, so long as she could have a friend over and we stuck around long enough to put the baby to bed before leaving so all she had to do was listen for him in case he started crying. We accepted her reasonable demands, and waited patiently for the boy to grow sleepy. But by bedtime, we realized his room was still too noxious with paint fumes for him to sleep in there, so we quickly devised a plan to put his port-o-crib in our room and set up the video baby monitor so that his sister and her friend could keep tabs on him from her room.

Before leaving, I turned the volume on the monitor way up, knowing two teen-age girls can make quite a bit of noise with both the voices and their accoutrement of electronic devices, and didn't want any potential problems from the baby to go unheard.

Everything went according to plan. The wife and I went out, had a wonderful time, several nice glasses of wine, and came home to find freshly painted rooms and soundly sleeping children. We toasted our success with another glass of wine and then went to bed for some further celebrating. Things were going great (if I do say so myself) until Sarah gasped (not in that way) and said, “Oh my God, (again, not in that way)  “Where’s the baby monitor?”

The mood quickly changed, as did I (into some clothes) to slink off in search of the handheld unit that was broadcasting all the sights and sounds that the camera had been dutifully recording from our room. I'm not a religious man, but I believe I said a few prayers that the battery on the monitor had died, or that the girls had left it in the living room. Anything would be better than the alternative.  I was already adding up the therapy bills in my head, and rehearsing what we would say to the scarred friend's parents, when I found the monitor sitting unnoticed on the kitchen counter. 

Relieved at the unexpected happy ending (wink, wink) to this story, I rejoined my wife in bed. We laughed nervously at what could have been, and decided that if our walls could talk, then maybe we should have them painted too!


  1. Thanks for the laugh! I really needed one today :)

  2. Very cute....now just hope that the neighbors are not on the same frequency......aw..nevermind!!!

  3. that is hilarious and i hope spousally approved :)

  4. Whom's "unit" was it? (hehe) -Your Brother Joseph

  5. OOOOH. This reminds me of the time my hubby and I had a very, uh, nice but not necessarily quiet night. We woke to find our oldest, then five, missing from his bed. We found him curled up under our bed, fast asleep. Apparently he'd snuck in sometime before we locked the bedroom door. Well, there's another dollar into the therapy fund!