So there I am.
One foot up, one foot down. Balancing precariously as I slowly reach out one arm to lean against the wall. I have a half chewed cracker in my mouth but I am careful not to take a bite. Not to make a sound.
I just put my baby in for a nap and then stepped on the creaky floorboard. THE CREAKY FLOORBOARD. I knew it was there. Every mother knows where the creaky floorboards are. It’s the first thing we do when we move in: walk around with house with the blueprint and mark down all the creaky floorboards. Market value goes up if the floorboards near the baby’s room are creak-free.
But mine aren’t creak-free. They’re creak-full. And they just creaked.
I have my head cocked to the side and I’m using any muscles possible to try and stretch my ear out. Did I just hear her move? I’m sure she just sat up. Omigod, she knows. She knows I’m here. She knows I’m up.
What to do?
My second foot is getting tired now. DO. NOT. DROP. THAT. FOOT! I would make a good soldier. Or a sergeant. Maybe both. Why are you thinking about this now? You need a strategy. A good plan. My remaining brain cells are geared up for action.
Kitchen is only steps away. If you can make it to the tile floors you have smooth sailing until you get to the dining room. If you take a really big step over the threshold and make it over to the side, it’s only six steps to the table. Up on the table and down on the chair on the other side and then you’re nearly at the living room. One crawl will bring you to the couch and from there you can easily climb to the computer desk. You can do this.
Then my phone rings. MY PHONE.
The phone that’s silent all day. The phone that I often find in the pantry. The phone that registers six missed calls in the span of five minutes, all from my sister, who knows that the phone is somewhere in the house and hopes that if she just keeps calling, I’ll eventually trace the vibrations and pick up.
That phone. That phone rings. Except it’s not on silent today. Nope. Nu uh. It’s on loud today. Really, super loud. And it’s belting out an irish folk dance. And omigod she can hear it! She knows my phone is ringing. She knows I must be around. She knows I’m up.
The ringing stops. My breathing regulates. Okay, okay, she hasn’t made a sound yet. We’re still good.
The ringing starts again.
It must be my sister. Why is she calling? Who calls when it’s nap time? Doesn’t everyone know that I’m putting my baby to sleep now? Doesn’t she know that my phone is not on silent? Why doesn’t she know? Why doesn’t the whole world KNOW and PLAN according to NAP TIME?!
She’s going to call another 4 times.
I count to ten. I don’t know why. I don’t even get the whole counting to ten thing. What is the purpose? To see if you can remember your numbers in a crisis? Who needs numbers now? I need to get to that phone!
It hits me then that the phone ringing is probably louder than the sound of the creaky floorboard.
I get the phone.
I check the baby monitor.
That kid is fast asleep and it doesn’t look like she’s gonna surface any time soon.
I’ve got the blueprint in my hands and I’m crawling.
Just in case.
About the Author: Nechamy Rabin is the mother to 2 (both girls, one age 4 and the other is 21 months), wife to 1, teacher to 76, and student of 3. She works part-time as an American History teacher in a local Junior High and just started graduate school to achieve her Masters in Ed/SpEd (She started my undergrad when her first was 9 months, so it’s been a long ride). She has always enjoyed writing and laughing but only began to keep a blog Motherly Lies after her second baby was born and she suffered through Postpartum Depression. Writing (and laughing) keep her sane and she tries to make time for both.