I have this “formal” room at the front of our new house. Of course, we really have no use for anything “formal” these days, so it’s served various other roles since moving in. First it was a storage room for all the boxes we needed to unpack, then it was a staging room for all the painting supplies. We finally cleaned it out and stuck a desk in here. It’s supposed to serve as my office now. The room is huge and mostly empty due to lack of furniture. Though this once saddened me (especially knowing that it will be a long time before we can afford to properly furnish it), recently I started to see it for the great opportunity it was. I would turn the rest of the room into one giant baby jail for Kendall so that I could work and he could have all the room a baby would ever need to play with his toys while I do so. So I’ve plugged all the outlets, meticulously vacuumed, blocked the doorway into the rest of the house and scattered his toys about. Perfect setup, no? Turns out my plan is flawed, very flawed.
The scene goes something like this:
“Mommy needs to work so I’m going to sit over there at that desk that is an incredibly boring block of wood and absolutely not colorful or entertaining at all. They call it “work” because it’s not fun, but YOU are SO lucky because YOU get to play with all these FABULOUS toys. Look at them! They are so colorful, and make noises, and light up! There are dozens to choose from. Enough to entertain you for hours! So I’m just going to leave you in this pile of toys for a little bit, okay?
Wait… what are you doing? What are you putting in your mouth? Oh, look.. it’s the one piece of debris the vacuum did not pick up. Here, take this vibrating teether instead. No, no… do not pull on those curtains. Stop! Here, have this fabulously entertaining taggie blanket. Oooh! See all the textures! Much better than curtains. Okay, I really must send out this email. Do not, I repeat, do NOT try to follow me back to the desk. There is nothing to see there. Whee! Let’s play with this spinning top instead…. How the hell did you get over to the door so fast?! No, you may not gnaw on the window sill, and the blinds are not for pulling yourself up. Look! Here is a stuffed dinosaur, and a stuffed pig, and a ball that makes noises. Put any of those in your mouth that you’d like. I just really need to finish up this email.”
Type, typing away… I feel a tickle at my feet. He has somehow managed to break through the barrier I have set up between the printer and the wall and is now headed over my feet and toward the power strip and has the camera cord in one hand. I take him and put him back at the opposite end of the room. One minute later I glance up and he has successfully removed the nightlight from the outlet and is attempting to stick it back in, his chubby fingers dangerously close to the exposed holes. Again, I take him to the far corner of the room and sprinkle more toys in his path. He army crawls through them straight for the desk again. I intercept just as he’s reaching for the internet cable, lay him back in the middle of the room, then I wise up. I dart out for just a brief moment, return to find him huffing and puffing as he hurriedly pulls himself along, and stop him in his tracks when I plop an honest to goodness grown up electronic “toy” in front of him… the remote control.
After 30 minutes of this nonsense I finally finish up a 1 paragraph email and hit send while he squealed with delight and studied the remote.
This new determination and mobility has made many things much more difficult. I can no longer keep him in bed with me in the morning, entertained with a few toys, in hopes of catching some more sleep. He is determined to launch himself off the bed. I think he believes he might fly. And he is dreadfully bored by the once amazing exersaucer, so I was in quite a predicament when it came to brushing my teeth and getting some makeup on. That was until I discovered yesterday that our extra deep bath tub makes a fabulous baby jail.
Kendall is 7 and a half months old and keeping me on my toes
First, allow me to apologize for ignoring you this last year. A vacuum with no work to do must be a sad vacuum, and I’m sorry if I’ve hurt you. The truth is that there was plenty of work to be done, but I was too pregnant, tired, lazy, exhausted or otherwise indisposed to use you as often as I probably should have. Yes, we had our occasional fling, but from this moment on I am promoting you back from part time household appliance to full time appliance!
It seems, Vacuum, that this baby of mine has decided to start to move about. He is no longer the baby that would stay where I put him. I am afraid he proved this to me today when he log rolled from the center of his blanket all the way over to the entertainment center before I could fill a glass of water in the kitchen. In fact, I will be sending a letter to the entertainment center following this, detailing our baby-proofing plan of action, which will have to take effect immediately.
And, nothing magnifies just how much I have been neglecting you, vacuum, as my baby rolling around on the floor, especially when this new mobile phase is accompanied by the oral exploratory phase where he must put everything in his mouth or put his mouth on everything. I actually caught him, face down, sucking on the carpet just the other day.
As you know, we have a tough job ahead of us. The two large dogs and cat will challenge us everyday, but together we can achieve a semblance of cleanliness. I am sure that we will be great partners, and we can be proud of ourselves every night knowing that we prevented that dust bunny, and those flecks of lint and dirt, and, most importantly, the tumbleweeds of dog hair from ending up in my baby’s digestive tract.
So, what do you say? Are you with me? I am excited and enthused and promise to keep this level of passion for a clean floor until I come back to reality and realize that I most likely will find other things to do with the 15 minutes a day it takes to vacuum, like chase after a toddler. But until then, you and me buddy…. yes we can!
Overly optimistic, bordering unrealistic mom who just needs to deal with the fact that her kid is going to eat some dog hair
Kendall is 6 months and 4 days old (and so damn near close to crawling)