There was a time when I could leave TwoBert on the floor pummeling his toy piano, attend to something else for a second, and return to find him just where I planted him. Now, he's just as likely to have shimmied over to the waste basket and begun gnawing on the phone bill. Or come tantalizingly close to pulling the broom down onto his fuzzy little noggin. Or, worst of all, to have messed around with Robert's stuff.
My wife and I have two mobile children.
Pish-tosh, says you. The world is full of families with eight kids between the ages of 3 and 7 who walk and talk and sing while they do the daily chores. So TwoBert can crawl. Big whoop.
You're damn right it's a big whoop. It's a positively Brobdingnagian whoop within the confines of the Laid-Off Lair when 1) the weather reverts to its customary Januarian mid-30s and 2) your older son suddenly contracts agoraphobia. (To Robert, it's obvious that TwoBert is morphing into a newer, better vision of him, and if he ever leaves the house we will change the locks and transfer all deeds of toy ownership to his younger brother.) My wife bears the brunt of this daily mayhem, which is why she greets me each night with a look of equal parts despair and carsickness.
I keep flashing back to when I was first laid off, in May 2003. As an emancipated cube jockey, I was ecstatic at the prospect of being outside all day at the peak of spring--and we suffered through the wettest June in the history of New York City. We were forced to improvise a lot at home, so we spent lots of time competing in the LOD-lympics. Now that we have one more competitor (and Torino is only a few weeks away), we've added a few events:
- Fish Dish Wash-n-Dash: place TwoBert in the corner of kitchen and count the number of dishes you can wash before you must intercept his hand as it reaches into the cat's food
- Anti-Crust Floor Exercises: wrap Swiffer pads on TwoBert's knees and leave him to wander around the hardwood floors
- Diaper H-O-R-S-E: self explanatory
My wife and I have two mobile children. Let the Games begin.