|From 5 Minutes for Parenting|
I was sitting in my toddler’s room last night, surfing the Internet and waiting for her to go to sleep, when I heard the faint toot of a horn. “Beep, beep, beep.”
Then an over-enthusiastic voice added, “Let’s go!”
At first, I chalked it up to one of the older kids playing a game when they should be laying quietly in their beds. I jotted a mental note -- “Must go take away game as soon as Teyla is asleep” – and went back to scanning the headlines.
Then I heard it again. And again. And again.
And then I recognized it. I wasn’t hearing a game or an electronic book. I was hearing the cloying sounds of a baby toy, deposited deep in the bottom of the box of infant toys stored under Teyla’s crib.
Why was it going off now, at 9:30 on a wintery night, when it had been stowed and silent for the previous six months without incident?
I have no idea. I only know this toy – a small steering wheel, for the record – has annoyed me since the day it was given to me. Not only does it have more buttons and baubles than my first car, but it lacks one crucial element that betrays it was designed personally by Beelzebub in the very bowels of hell.
It doesn’t have an off switch.
That means, there was no way to make the beeping sound (take it either way) stop without digging out the steering wheel and pounding it with a sledgehammer .
So I did (except for the sledgehammer part). In the process, I had to turn on the lights, take the toddler out of her crib, move most of the toddler’s bedroom furniture, take the toy – and its neighbor, a stackable tower of stars also without an off switch – to the kitchen to remove the batteries and then spend five minutes trying to stuff the Junk in the Box back to its proper place while simultaneously shutting the lid.
By the time it was over, the toddler was wide awake, the wall was dented from the crib slamming into it and I was a sweating, quivering mound of incensed pregnant lady.
That box, stuffed with rattles and blocks and the bouncy seat and a red-black-and-white play mat, used to make me nostalgic. All those baby memories, stored in a blue bin. I couldn’t imagine the day I’d get rid of it.
Suddenly, now, I can. Not only can I imagine it, but the thought makes me smile.
And that’s how I know this is my last baby.
Kelly is pregnant with her fourth -- and oh-so-final -- baby. She's excited about having one more infant, but she's getting a little overwhelmed with saving all the stuff. You can read more about her life at her personal blog, Love Well.