We bought our current house about five years ago. It was originally built in 1978 and had mirrored wallpaper covered with ferns and large blue birds, yellow linoleum kitchen countertops, white carpet everywhere and an insanely large blue bathtub in the master. Eight months after we moved in, we began the process of stripping it down to the bare bones and starting over. In an effort to save money and for my husband to feel at his manliest, he managed the whole project mentally and physically (with the help of contractors of course). I was pregnant with Colton when we started the process and gave birth to him LONG before the torture was complete.
For the first six months of Colton’s life I was on my hands and knees washing baby bottles in the bathtub because we didn’t have a kitchen. Well, technically we had a small stove top contraption and a refrigerator in a corner of the garage, which also housed all the construction crap, chemicals, paints, wood for the flooring, dirt and spiders. We called it the “kitage”. Kitchen plus garage. Weren’t we clever? Perhaps just delirious.
There were nights during my pregnancy when J would hammer up large sheets of wood so that we at least felt like we weren’t sleeping in our backyard. Then there was the time when I thought everyone was out of my house. I was seven months pregnant and completely naked when I opened my bedroom door to see our young plumber standing there. I imagine he still wakes up in the middle of the night gasping for air and screaming, “I’m blind.” How our marriage survived all of it, especially without the benefit of me drinking away the trauma, is beyond my comprehension.
FINALLY, three rambling paragraphs later, I get to the point. THE SWITCH. J had this brilliant idea when we were in “building hell” to put a switch upstairs that controls all the electronics in the boys playroom and their individual bedrooms downstairs. I clearly remember the point in which he brought this idea up. I was lying in bed with such horrible heartburn that I was pondering shoving a seven pound bag of ice down my throat.
He was very excited about the switch and I thought it sounded like the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard. Kind of like the time he came home from a drive at dusk and looked in the window of a house two streets over. Inside the home sat two adoring parents with their six perfect children at the dinner table (because all children are seemingly perfect if you can’t hear them) and my husband sped home to tell me he wanted a large family, “Maybe five kids,” he said. My response to both the five kids and the switch was the same, “Do whatever you want, just don’t involve me.”
Well, here we are five years later and The Switch just may be the greatest idea my husband ever had outside of deciding to marry me. It certainly beats the hell out of the five kid idea. Every night at 10:00, we hit The Switch. You can hear a collective, “Ahhhhhhhhhhh” every time, but what do we care? We are upstairs, and don’t have to witness the eyeroll or hear what they are mumbling under their breath.
There is no sneaking out in the middle of the night to watch television or play Xbox because guess what kiddies, THERE AIN’T NO POWER. And, they actually go to bed and READ. You heard me people, they read a book.
It gets better. We leave the switch off until they finish their chores in the morning. No electronics until the dishwasher is emptied, rooms are clean, etc. That means NO FIGHTING with them. It is amazing how quickly a fourteen year old boy can make a bed and empty a dishwasher when he wants to play Xbox live with his buddies.
Call your electricians ladies. Get them out fast and you too can have your own Switch. No arguments, chores done, books read. What else could a girl want?