Phoebe is pretty much the best napper in the world. And by “the world,” I mean “our family.” She goes down at roughly the same time each day and can be counted out for at least a good hour if not three. This is plenty of time for me to get into the some real trouble, you know, with two free hands and my bad guy sidekick Lucy. (Last night, BGSL (that’s “bad guy sidekick Lucy” for those who weren’t paying attention) informed me that she had a debit card “for doing bad guy things” to which I said, “That’s exactly what debit cards are for.” And Dave said to BGSL, “Your mother would know.”) Phoebe naps in her crib, so we keep the baby monitor with us while she rests as our bad guy adventures take us all over the house. (Yesterday we fought the laundry monster in the basement. We defeated it with our Time Washing Machine!)
Our baby monitor not only has sound, but video. The camera is mounted to the wall above the crib with electrical tape because Julia broke it playing iCarly. Also, we’re classy. There are two channels – A and B – and we get to choose which one to use to transmit the audio and image over wireless technology from the camera to the receiver. I usually choose B. (A seems like the obvious choice and I’m all about the road less traveled. Dave just goes with whatever.)
One day not so long ago, Dave put Phoebe down for her nap, grabbed the monitor receiver and marched down the stairs . He plopped into his desk chair, flipped the switch on and blinked hard at the screen. “Uh honey?”
“C’mere and look at this.”
“What is it?”
“You can’t tell me?”
“Oh for goodness sake,” he huffed, stomped over and shoved the monitor in front of my face. “Where is our baby?”
“She’s not there!”
“Did she crawl out?”
I jumped up and started toward the stairs.
“Wait! Wait a minute.” He flipped the channel button. “Here she is.”
I peeked over his shoulder and there she was. “Phew! But what was, I mean, what the- what? What?”
He flipped the channel back and there was an empty crib. We leaned closer.
“Yep, see? That’s not Phoebe’s blanket.”
“Whose crib is that?”
“We’re picking up someone else’s monitor…but from where?”
“No one around here has a baby. No one. I mean, our neighbors have grandkids, but – OH NO.”
“David. If we’re picking up someone else’s monitor, could someone else be picking up ours?” I felt a rush of panic. “Seriously. COULD THEY?!?!?”
“So what? No one’s going to sit around watching our baby monitor.”
“Oh no? The camera for that monitor is on most of the time.”
“What do we have to hide?”
“It’s like Big Brother.”
“It’s not like Big Brother.”
For some reason, I just couldn’t get the image out of my head of a couple sitting down with a bowl of chips listening in on our bedtime routine.
“Man, that mom has some lungs on her.”
“Well, she has told them to get their pajamas on, like, six times already.”
“Hehehe. Who do you think farted?”
Someone out there has probably heard our Why Open Mouth Kissing Is For Grown-Ups, NOT KIDS, Sisters or Pets discussion and now knows that I tell as many fart jokes as the kids do. (My current favorite? “Knock Knock. Who’s there?” And then I raspberry someone’s belly and accuse them of farting. It’s a hoot! Or a toot! Ha ha!) But the idea of a camera transmitting from my house? I now switch the camera off when it’s not being used for its intended purpose. It saves electricity anyway.