Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"WARNING: This Building is Under Baby Monitor Surveillance"

Our house is fairly small in it's structural frame but it boasts a sound barrier feature few homes are capable of possessing. And though it is ideal for certain times of the day, there are other times when it's not so nice.

I'm thinking specifically of the 9pm to 9am time frame that's it's not so nice.

In our house, all members of the juvenile category typically take up residence at 9pm in their segregated rooms: boys go to the boys room and girls go to the girls room (we only have one girl; the plural part of "girls room" is something yet to be born.)

Then the adults have free time to relax, clean, sleep, do a project, etc. The sound barrier feature in our house is so functional you could even take up a vacuuming hobby or tackle that Tchaikovsky piano piece you've always wanted to play.

But, then when all is dark in the house and everyone is in their own respective beds and rooms, it is physically impossible (without sonar hearing) to detect any sound coming from the juvenile quarters of our home. So, unless the child in distress shrieks loud, long cries from his room or just comes upstairs, turns on all the lights, strips his night clothes off and sits at the dining room table screaming his head off while re-enacting an alien abduction, his cries are not heard. (A scene played out more than once by a certain child in our home.)

That's where the Baby Monitor comes in.

A great invention, the Baby Monitor is, keeping parents informed of all subtle and secret noises coming from rooms undetected by the natural ear yet not transmitting any sounds into the sleeping children's rooms.

And last night was the first night we slept with peace of mind knowing our home was under the listening ear of the Baby Monitor.

As the last glow of light dimmed to complete darkness, Toby fell asleep and I was attempting in my feverish pursuits to follow soon after. The quilt and down comforter and other quilt and heavy pillow sitting next to me coupled with the warm, sleeping man on the other side of me, all were helping relieve the shivering air I felt in my cozy bed. And just as soon as I began to feel comfortable and a bit dozy, a sound began to come through on the Baby Monitor.

That was when I wished we had a sign on the outside of our home saying, "Warning: This Building is Under Baby Monitor Surveillance" because all non-illiterate potential intruders would read that sign, and would never succumb to the title of "Intruder" but would remain innocent bystanders or perhaps be part of the Moonlight Joggers Association.

The sound was identical to a steak knife chopping a bedroom window lock. Or similar to a screw driver hacking a hole into plexi-glass window panes. I never heard the aluminium window blinds hanging on both children's bedrooms windows for security purposes give their signature metallic rustle. I also never heard gun shots either so I assumed if the intruder was indeed using pre-historic measures to enter the premises of our home, I predicted I had ample time to address the situation in a post adrenalin frame of mind.

That's when the sound stopped.

The warm, sleeping man laying next to me let out a guttural sigh in his sleep about 7 minutes later. It was identical to what the potential intruder downstairs would've made and in a mad frenzy, I almost grabbed a broom went in stealth mode and snuck down stairs just to make sure the intruder didn't take another breath really wasn't an intruder after all but then I remembered that the sound didn't actually come from the Baby Monitor but rather from the warm, sleeping man laying next to me.

My heart resumed normal beating.

Several minutes later, the chopping sound began again. Apparently the potential intruder had taken a bit of a coffee break between attempts at breaking open my children's windows. I laid there wondering how long it would take for the steak knife to get dull or the aluminum window blinds to send me their signature signal.

The sound stopped.

Several other mysterious noises transmitted clearly over the Baby Monitor for the next few hours. A machete scraped a metal lock somewhere in our basement. The classic metal on metal made me realize the intruder had upgraded his tools-for-the-trade and would soon make an appearance.

Alex cried a time or two and in my fitful sleep I failed to recognize the risk his life was in considering that if an intruder would be lawless enough to break into a sleeping home, he'd be cruel enough to pluck hair from my baby's head leaving him to writhe in agony.

With each vocal sound heard over the Baby Monitor, the warm, sleeping man laying next to me would jump from his pillow and loudly declare a string of unintelligible long words at the Baby Monitor. A sense of urgency would overcome him but he'd always fall back on his pillow and toss himself back into a fitful slumber of sleep.

At one point, Alex made himself known loud and clear on the Baby Monitor and shivering under the blankets held tightly around my neck, I poked the warm, sleeping man next to me who was uttering garbled English words at me that I didn't understand. I plead with him to check on the youngest member of our prodigy who was being heard routinely over the baby monitor but my requests were met with noncooperation.

He stubbornly refused since he's a second born, you know.

As my fever progressed into the night, my mouth became perpetually parched. Weird dreams playing over and over in my head finally thrust me to the edge of my bed in a sitting position. I groped to the bathroom and then to the kitchen for a cool drink.

Disgusted that my second born husband was too stubborn to go down and check on our wailing child earlier, I clung tightly to a heavy bathrobe and stumbled down stairs, shivering with a fever.

Amazingly, all was well in each child's bedroom.

As I was just turning around to leave the girls room, a wild haired and wild eyed man dashed into the room. His manly composure signaled he detected certain danger yet he groped undirected around the room.

It was Toby. I scolded him quietly, expressing the fact I would've never come downstairs to check on the kids if I would've known he was going to do it anyway.

He apologized profusely, explained he never heard me ask him to go downstairs. He seemed quite sympathetic towards his feverish wife so I excused his behaviour and forgave him because I'm just that way.

As we headed back upstairs, he scratched his head and with a confused look on his face said, "I came downstairs because I thought I heard something."

A wonderful thing, that Baby Monitor is.


Ranelle Del Belle said...

I think I've said this before - but I love your writing style! :)

Ruth Ann said...

oh dear.that's all I could say...

pat ve said...

What a laugh!!! You just went down for a drink, remember. :-)

Jean said...

Don't know which is better - a sound proof house with children sleeping in various far off rooms or a house where all the sounds inside and out carry all over the place with out a monitor.

Good laughs anyway.

J Gerard said...

Smart move! Knowing your children's whereabouts is a must as this ensures their safety at all times. Gadgets like baby monitors are so helpful and practical and should therefore be used by parents out there. :)