Friday, September 5, 2008

Quiet

In my house, fewer things strike terror deeper into my heart than peace and quiet. This will only sound strange to those of you who haven't raised small children before. With the twins just a few short months away from their second birthday, peace and quiet are the harbingers of doom and destruction around here. The warning signs are entirely too subtle. I've heard that just before you die of hypothermia, your body becomes warm and comfortable, no longer cold at all, and that this false sense of well being is actually the final warning sign that your life is about to be snuffed out. That's what peace and quiet is like for me.

I've learned this fact the hard way, as I have learned nearly everything in my life, through bitter and chilling experience. Months ago, the wife went off to the grocery store and left her overworked and tired husband in charge of the twin tornadoes. I was all too happy to oblige, as she was due some "me time", although, I soon found myself dozing on the couch amidst all the noise and squalor of wild animal rogue children as only fathers can do. I have no idea how long it took for the deafening silence to jar me from my from my unconsciousness, but my spider senses were tingling as I cautiously arose to check on the children. Hmm, not in their bedroom, not in the kitchen. "Jack? Ella?". Not in the playroom, not in the laundry room. A quick glance at the newly installed cat door to the garage. Nah, couldn't be. "Jack?Ella?". The quiet was taunting me now. Let's see, not in the spare bedroom, not in the bathroom, and our bedroom door is shut. Don't panic. Remain calm. Retrace your steps. Not in their bedroom, bathroom, playroom, spare bedroom, kitchen, nor in the laundry room, and our bedroom door is shut. A long gaze at the cat door and a pit of despair in my stomach. Could they have possibly...

Out into the garage I go, the overhead door is wide open, and panic sets in. Up to the street, looking right, looking left. Don't call their names out loud or the neighbors will think you're an unfit Dad. This is crazy! There's no way they're out here! Or is there? Back inside. "Jack! Ella!". A crescendo of silence. Then a moment of clarity. Our bedroom. Have they learned to open and shut doors? My heart starts to beat again as the door slowly opens, and, lo and behold, there they are, quiet as can be, stuffing every lost crayon, loose screw, lone sock, and other miscellaneous debris into the VCR side of our DVD/VCR combo. My relief is only overshadowed by my mental exhaustion and the comforting thought that my wife will never know about this incident if I don't tell her myself. Which, of course, I did.

I have to tell you that from that moment on, I have never had illusions that my stay-at-home wife has it easy. In so many ways, her job is much harder than mine, and she never gets a day off. All she gets is a little help around the house every now and then from yours truly, and the occasional stolen moment alone at the grocery store, which from this point forward will be clouded with doubt as to the safety of her children in the hands of their narcoleptic father.

2 comments:

jomo12282 said...

you have learned well young Skywalker...love, The Wife

heather said...

hilarious Blaine!! you are a genius...look out Tucker Maxx. Just as funny, and you arent gonna burn in hell.