This may not be about what you think. It does not refer to making love to your wife without her even knowing it or using smoke bombs and rappelling ropes to liven up your marriage. This is about the art of slipping undetected into a bed with a sleeping wife or wife and baby.
To say Lizzie and I have different bedtimes is nearly an illegal understatement. She goes to bed around 9:30-10:00 pm and I go to bed anywhere from 1:00 am to 4:00 am. Sometimes I even meet her on the other side, when she wakes up, before I crash-land in bed.
Here’s the point though, there’s nothing quite like the guilt/terror you feel accidentally waking up a deliriously tired new mamma from the little slumber she can manage. And you always know when you’ve failed, the second you do. Her arm shoots up from the bedding, flailing like a penalty flag. A cellphone suddenly lights up as she checks the time you woke her up. The whisper-screamed “noooooooo!” followed by a savage rollover in bed. The little one sitting up and shouting “Daddy? Daddy?” FAIL with a capital F##K!
Over time I’ve developed techniques to evade detection. On the stairs that lead up to our bedroom, I walk on the outside parts, where they’re nailed in, to reduce the amount of creak. I take off my clothes before entering the room. I set my glasses on my wallet to muffle the sound. But this is all basic stuff. Child’s play.
Women with little ones tend to be set on a hair trigger. Something more professional is needed here, a secret art, an ancient technique. The skills of the ninja.
Here are some exercises – nay! – “ninjercises” that we dads can practice to become bedroom ninjas.
Approaching the Bedroom…
Ninjercise: The Soles of a Shadow’s Slippers
Lay out a long sheet of bubble wrap, then put on a pair of golf cleats and practicing walking the length without a single pop or puncture. Don’t bother attempting to approach the bedroom until you have mastered this. Whether you have carpet or hardwood, every untrained step you take will sound like the blare of an air-raid alarm to a wife caring for a baby.
Entering the Room…
Ninjercise: Defying the Ear of a Dog
Get a starving dog and place it near you in an open area. Then take a metal watering can and fill it with pet kibble. Practice twisting it around frantically without attracting any attention from the animal. Only when you are proficient at this should you try turning the doorknob to the bedroom. Continue to the next related ninjercise.
Ninjercise: The Bamboo Pretzel
Take a 6 inch piece of dry bamboo and attempt to tie it in a knot without making a sound. The man who would attempt to push open the bedroom door and still remain alive would do well to master this.
Getting Into Bed…
Ninjercise: Fooling Water
Fill a bathtub to the very top and practice getting in without spilling a drop. You may think this improbable, and it may take countless tries, but if you can fool a law of physics like water displacement, then you’re only just beginning to have a chance at getting into bed without disturbing a woman set to wake up at the bat of a newborn’s eyelash.
Practice these skills and you too can snatch the pebble from the proverbial hand and learn to become a bedroom ninja, Grasshopper. Practice these ninjercises until you are certain. Practice them until you have no fear!*
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