Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Really, it's not as horrible as it sounds

It all started with the air-conditioner. It was hot and muggy, so I installed the portable in the boys' bedroom. They observed that it was "vewy wowud" and "don' need it mommy", so I uninstalled it and dragged it away. Then I opened the connecting door between their room and ours, as our window unit can manage both rooms in a pinch. I turned on their fan and left them to fall asleep.

A few hours later I checked in on them before we went to bed. The air from the open door didn't seem to be doing anything so I shut it - I thought they might be scared if they woke up in the middle of the night and saw it open.

2:00am. I wake up enough to hear crying, and to poke Daddy with my foot. Then I fall blissfully back to sleep. He heads in to find two very hot little boys. Apparently Mommy clicked on the heat instead of the fan. It was the lowest setting, but still... Lots of water, snuggling and cool facecloths later he tucked them back in and went back to bed, carefully closing the childproof door behind him.

They woke up again a short while later, dismantled the child-proof doorknob, and went downstairs. At this point their stories verge. Max says he was "goin' ouwside," thus providing an explanation for the half-unbolted front door. Vanh was "cweanin," as he found a broom, used it to hook down everything hung up out of reach, and emptied a storage bench. Eventually they headed back upstairs and passed out in their beds. I found them this morning, door wide open, sprawled out and sound asleep.

Okay, so, I understand why this is so bad. Especially after the first time. I would like to point out that the other situation occurred under completely different circumstances... and also to call your attention to the fact that if you analyze the above report you will note that those boys were checked on every two hours throughout the night. What I am concerned about, what makes me have those "Wouldn't a good mother be more upset about this?" feelings, is that imagining them getting the front door open at 3AM doesn't scare me. Maybe it's just that I know them, but I don't believe they would have come to any harm. There are no wild animals on our street. I believe humanity is such that even the sort of person wandering around at 3am would be kind to lost little babies, or at worst ignore them, although the likelihood of them even encountering anyone at that time would have been very small. We live on a very quiet side street, and the idea that they would go out into the middle of it and wait for a vehicle to come along is ridiculous. They would have poked about a bit and come back inside. Even if they had suddenly developed a wandering streak, I'm not even sure that the police would charge us, once they saw the trail of deconstructed child-proofing, and had a chance to learn that we are responsible parents...

Not to say I'm not very, very thankful that none of that happened - and there is a new hook-and-eye lock on the outside of their bedroom door.

And not to say that it wasn't a "bad parent" thing to do - but I feel a lot worse about the sunburns because I didn't follow the instructions on the sunscreen properly. Sigh. I read a mommy blog post a while ago about mommy guilt, and I was all excited until I realized she was talking about isolated examples, not the pretty much daily experiences I go through - anyone else?


Donna said...

Wow!! Those two! I think I may just have to pass my "Mother of the Wildest and Craziest Boys" baton over to you guys!

The boys are alive. No permanent damage done. All are happy. No need to waste time on Mommy guilt! ;-) There will be plenty of time in both our futures to exhaust our energy on some super mommy guilt, I'm sure!

Rebecca E M Charron said...

The mommy guilt stuff is strange I've noticed. You hit the nail on the head with the sunscreen thing, when Léo got his little ankles burnt because I didn't get the sunscreen down their my stomach just twisted into knots but it never occurred to me that you'd feel bad about them escaping. I would have felt worse about the heat thing.

For me I think it is because there are things you can control, mistakes that can be avoided if I take my time, like the little burnt ankles. How much longer would it have taken for me to make sure I got those ankles? But the dismantling of door knobs and such, that wasn't oversight or a mistake, it was life with boys happening. Parenting can really mess with your head!

Kelli said...

Oh yeah. The mommy guilt is pretty much daily here too. The ped recommended turning the door lock around on Aiden's door. However, I can't seem to get him out of my bed so it's not a problem right now. I'd say you're doing a pretty amazing job!

Francesca said...

I continue to feel guilty everytime I can't get to Matteo as fast as he wants or wants me to do what he wants when he wants it....sometimes it is so hard to try to get dinner ready, laundry etc...and all the many other things when he is only asleep...I have to do some of it when he is awake. Sometimes he's great and playing and needs only to hear me singing or talking and he's fine, other times he wants me to be within a few feet of him while he ignores me and plays but wants me there!! that brings on guilt when I don't accommodate his needs all the time....... Also want to mention about the outside door....I really do think you should make sure that you get a very secure lock on that door. We live in the same neighbourhood, not the same street, but I remember a few summers ago when I was dogsitting my sister's you know I have no backyard, so a few times at 3 or 4 in the morning I was out with him and it was really beautiful and quiet...but I bumped into this neighbour who is a very early riser and he told me to be careful as very strange things and strange people are around at that time of night and in our neighbourhood. I don't like feeling afraid however sadly this is the world we live in. Did I tell you that for a year and a half the house next door was a crack house and people were coming and going at all hours of the night and sometimes knocked on my door or window...this was before the dogsitting and my neighbour's better safe than sorry!!...