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  • Boundary Issues

    December 1, 2005

    Today, on the soft fleshy party of my right hip (as if there is place on me that is not soft or fleshy) I am sporting an exact replica of South America, only bigger and with more purple and yellow. And the reason I have this bruise is because my husband works at home.

    Antique Daddy is a WAHD (Work-At-Home-Dad) and I am a SAHM (Stay-At-Home-Mom) and we have a SWIFT (Sneaky-Wily-Incredibly-Fast-Toddler). WAHD + SAHM + SWIFT = boundary issues.

    We have both always worked from home together and it has always worked for us. The upside to this scenario has been that we get to eat lunch together in our jammies and grope each other when we pass in the hallway – both of which are frowned upon in a regular office. We established boundaries early on so that each of us knew that the other was working and not available for sex or help moving the furniture. The downside is that more often than not, the workday doesn’t ever really end, but working extra hours in exchange for groping your spouse in the middle of the day seemed like a fair trade.

    As you know, we recently added a toddler to the staff here at AntiquesRUs and the boundaries have shifted. There is far less hallway groping these days, maybe because the hallway is now blocked off with a gate and the grope-ees are both chronically tired. Now I know what you may be thinking when I use the term gate. You have pictured in your mind a device that prohibits the entry or exit from one location to another. Oh but you would be wrong. It’s not just a gate — it’s a baby gate, which means the only person in the house who can easily operate it or scoot under it is a baby.

    Now some of you may be wondering what Antique Daddy does that he gets to work at home and the answer to this question is I don’t really know. Here’s what I know: He sits in a chair all day playing Chopsticks on his laptop while wearing a Borg implant and speaking in acronyms to other members of his Collective whom I think are located in a galaxy far, far away, like New Jersey.

    So a few days ago, Antique Daddy informs me that he has a very important call and that he will be speaking to very important people about very important things and that it is very important that the boy not join the discussion. And because I have a college degree and he spoke very slowly making sure to enunciate the multi-syllabic word important, I understood the importance of what he was saying to me. So I made sure the baby gate was securely shut and latched leaving Antique Daddy to manage in peace all things important. But soon thereafter, the boy felt it was important that he speak with his father immediately regarding an important matter. And so he brought this to my attention by rattling the gate like a gorilla and screaming “DAHDEEDAHDEEDAHDEEDAHDEE” which means, “Father, may I please speak with you?” I informed Sean that Daddy was on an important blah blah blah important and that … It was then that I saw the vapor trail that lead under the gate and towards Antique Daddy’s office at the speed of light.

    I knew I couldn’t unlatch the gate without the assistance of a toddler, so I hurdled it Flo Jo style and sprinted after him hoping to tackle him before he reached the end zone. I congratulated myself on clearing the gate and managed to snag his shirt tail just before he breached security, but not before slipping on a Lego and landing squarely on my right hip with the boy on top. We both laid there on the floor for a moment, me unable to even moan in pain due to the lack of air in my lungs and the boy laughing hysterically saying “Do again Mommy! Do again!” At this point, Antique Daddy has completed the very important call, opens the door and looks down to find the boy and me lying on the floor. “Are you just going to lie around all day?” he asks.

    The next time I’m at the doctor’s office and he asks me “Is everything (doesyourhusbandabuseyou) OK at home? I’ll tell him no, everything is not OK. We are a WAHD-SAHM-SWIFT and it’s brutal. Is there a state agency for this?

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