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…