We have a Superyard. If you’re lucky enough not to be intimately acquainted with its form and function, a Superyard is a plastic fenced area for your home in which your child(ren) can play safely.
We put the babies in the Superyard for varied periods of time each day. If we did not engage in this practice, the babies would crawl around the house relentlessly, and we’d spend the day extricating them from tight places and sweeping their mouths for (insert gross thing one can find of the floor of a house full of children and cats). For us, that’s enough reason to have a Superyard. Plus, let’s say I have to pee, or get dinner ready, or make a phone call, it’s a huge help, and I can walk away knowing the babies will be safe.
There is a problem, though. My family hates it.
If there’s one thing my family is good at, it’s criticism thinly veiled as sarcasm. And making meatballs. But that’s two things, so I’ll back up. Anytime one of them walks into our house and notices the Superyard in use, someone is generally compelled to make a smart remark like, “Aww…are you in prison?” or “Can I break you out of there?” or “How long are you in for?”
Inevitably, this leads to melodramatic begging and pleading with me to “help them escape”. They ask me if they can “spring Matthew now” or when they’re “allowed to get out of the cage”. My answer? If you’re willing (and physically able, you old crow) to chase them and keep them from eating handfuls of cat fur, go for it.
My aunt, to add another layer of perceived parental incompetence, also offers to “take the kids out for a walk so they can get some real air.” You got me. Ours is totally artificial. It’s helium, actually. And we subsist solely on molten silver.
Another bone of contention is the wearing of socks. We are all of the consensus here that baby socks don’t fit very well, yes? If not, get on my team. My family, I’m reasonably certain, has some sort of internal alert system that is triggered by the removal or partial removal of a sock. If a sock comes off, Lord have mercy. It’s time for the third-degree sock beating. Why don’t you have socks on this kid? It’s freezing! Well, you know, it is July, and I figured, since we don’t breathe real air…
Anyway, we’re gearing up for Halloween tonight, so here’s a preview of how doing the rounds with the babies is going to go: “Oh, look! The babies! Trick or Treat, babies! Why did you bother getting them costumes? They don’t even know it’s Halloween! And look, they’re so uncomfortable! Who wants that (hat, collar, button) near your face like that? Take it off! And where are their coats? Why did you wear that scary costume? You’re scaring the babies! Oh yeah, we forgot to buy candy. Now, go home! It’s cold and it’s too late for these babies to be out!”
Fun, right? And worth the hassle.
If my intuition is correct, we’ll come home this evening with no candy, a container of meatballs, a bagful of socks, and a cake with a file in it.