Wait, let me back up a minute and share with you how I used to spend my day, way back in the old days. I'd get up with the birds, pack myself on the Commuter Rail, and commute 1.5 hours each way to work. I was a Clinical Trial Manager. Meaning, I managed clinical trials. Like, ran studies for NIH or pharmaceutical companies. I've been published a few times, including in the New England Journal of Medicine. I regularly sat in on meetings with the most brilliant researchers you could ever hope to meet, at one of the top institutions in the world. I solved big problems. Sometimes serious ones.
Today I got rid of Mad Guy.
Backing up again...last night Miss E called me into her bedroom at midnight and asked me to lay there with her. She ALWAYS wants me to lay with her, so this wasn't anything too out of the ordinary. She was chatting my ear off--again, not out of the ordinary--while I pretended to sleep and then she asked me this: "Mama, why is the gate mad?" I picked my head up, sure I misunderstood her and asked her to repeat. "Why is the gate mad? Who is the Mad Guy on the gate?" I dragged my sorry butt out of her bed and examined every part of her safety gate, looking for this Mad Guy. "Is this the Mad Guy? What about this? This?" Until I pointed to two screws:
|Do you see Mad Guy? Good, 'cause neither do I.|
And she screamed. I hit the nail on the head. Or, the screws on the head. Whatever.
Dude, I was looking for something MAD. Like, super mad. If it's going to keep you up until after rock stars go to bed, it better be freaking MAD. This Mad Guy isn't even facing the right direction! He's not mad, he's dumb! But I had to find a temporary solution to covering up Mad Guy, or no one was going to sleep.
|I would have been happy to go with this solution permanently because if you|
squeeze Mr. Bunny he sings a super annoying song and no way Emmie
would squeeze him while he's on Mad Guy.
We covered him up, and sat the singing bunny on top, and all was good with the world. Of course I went to bed wondering if I was doing the right thing...by covering him up, was I conceding that there was indeed a Mad Guy? Should I be telling her, no, she's crazy, it's two screws and go to bed, kid? Now I'm losing sleep because I'm worried I'm messing up my kid by agreeing to protect her from two screws that don't even look mad.
Today, the first thing when she woke up, E asked what I was going to do that was a more permanent solution to Mad Guy being in her room. Clearly, Mr. Singing Bunny could NOT live there forever, and a breeze might come in and knock him down, so there had to be something better.
So I spent half my day coming up with different proposals until Miss E heard a solution that was acceptable to her. Sort of like presenting a plan to a Principal Investigator for a new recruitment strategy for a clinical trial...NOT. We finally landed on smiling stickers. How could Mad Guy be mad if there were smiling stickers? We stuck them on as tight as possible, and then re-stuck them again and again after little Miss R tried to pull them off. (I'm not sure she was aware of the gravity of the situation and that she was disturbing Mad Guy...)
And that was my day. Well, half the day. I spent the other half brainstorming how to combat another problem. When E went down for her nap, she looked so contently at the stickers and Mr. Not-So-Mad-Guy and said, "But, Mama...what if Swiper comes in and swipes the stickers?"
You've got me. I'm stumped. How DO I keep Swiper from swiping them? Close the windows? Lock the doors? Swiper seems to come from out of nowhere, so how could I possibly protect us from him?!
So now I have the Swiper problem to work on. Different than the kinds of problems I used to work on? You betcha. But I wouldn't change it for anything. (Although I better get some New York Times crosswords or something so my brain doesn't turn to congee...)