So, I’ve been married for almost five years now, and we have two beautiful kids (Grant, 3; Gracie, 1) with another en route (Graham, -2 months). My wife has long suspected our children are out to get us so they can come into their inheritance early (Said inheritance consisting of: two dumpy cars we don’t quite own outright yet; plus or minus 500 books; 4 boxes of comics; and approximately $2,587,000 in debt. They don’t have to kills us to get all this. All they have to do is ask.). I never believed her, thinking it all a product of her pregnancy-hormone-deluded mind, but the other day an incident occurred which convinced me she may be onto something.
We have baby monitors in both kids’ rooms, with the receiver for the girl’s on my wife’s nightstand and the one for the boy on mine. We’ve frequently half-joked about what would be the most horrifying thing to hear coming through on the monitor: animal noises, the sound of the window sliding open, the child quietly reading a Michael Moore book to himself You know: the stuff nightmares are made of. Well, a few weeks ago, we had our worst fear come true. I’m talking a Defcon 1, Homeland Security Level Red, pick-up-the-Batphone emergency: adult voices coming in over the boy’s monitor.
“Honey, do you hear that?” asked Wifebread in hushed tones, so as not to disturb the kidnappers’ concentration.
I don’t even answer, I just jump. I’m halfway down the hall before I gain full consciousness, at which time I briefly wonder if I should stop by the kitchen and grab a knife or apple corer or potato peeler or something.
I decide not to stop. I’ve heard about these kidnappers. They can have a kid out of his bed faster than an auto thief can short-circuit a car alarm. As I sprint my 25o lb. ass up the stairs, all the horrible things they could want my boy for flash through my mind. I’ve worked in law enforcement before, and I know they probably don’t plan to fly him on an all-expenses-paid trip to Disney World, where they’ll feed him ice cream and grape juice all day, then return him safely back to his bed with a new teddy bear and a voucher for college tuition at the non-state school of his choice. It would probably be something less savory than that.
My fat butt barely makes it up the stairs. Between the panic and the adrenaline and the running, I start running scenarios on how to kill whoever’s in there in under 10 seconds, because I’m pretty sure that’s all I have left myself.
It stagger into the boy’s room, panting for breath, and there’s…nothing. No one. Window’s closed, boy’s sleeping soundly. Then I hear the voices again…coming from his radio. Apparently, in the process of randomly pushing buttons on it that day, he’d set the radio alarm to come on at midnight. I try to laugh with relief, but it comes out as a sad wheeze, like the last breath of a slaughtered cow.
I slowly make my way back to the room, tell the wife what happened (Of course, she thinks it’s hi-LARIOUS.), then lay quietly in bed for the next hour, waiting for my heart to either come to a sudden and complete stop or fall below 150 bpm so I can get back to sleep. While I’m awake, all I can think about is what the odds are against him setting the alarm like that. Just before I doze off, I make a mental note to lie to the boy tomorrow and tell him he’s been written out of the will. Not that he did it on purpose, but there’s no use leaving temptation in his way….