I'm still blind, increasingly deaf, and only becoming more confused even as I become less groggy. Doesn't the red light mean that it needs charging? But wasn't it sitting in the charger? Why does this happen when I'm the only adult here? I'm lifting it off the charger and replacing it, lifting and replacing, but neither the noise nor the red light of doom relent. In my non-resolved blindness and the room's unmodified darkness, I try tracing the power cord from the charger to the wall. The cleaning lady was here today. Maybe she unplugged to vacuum and didn't re-plug sufficiently? Has my life gotten so out of control that to maintain order I need to dictate to Silvia which outlets she has permission to mess with? HELP ME!
Finally in desperation, hiding again alone under the covers in a much-less-satisfying re-enactment of Childhood with Book and Flashlight, I turn the damn thing off. I'm so busy worrying about will I hear the girls if I fall asleep? E, yes. She's closer and she's loud. But the baby's room is further away, and she doesn't start out too loud, and by the time she gets to loud it's usually too late for swift resolution. But it doesn't matter. Because even as I'm working through these panicky thoughts I hear bup buup buuup BEEP!
What the hell is going on and where are my glasses already and it's cold out here with no pants. The second monitor unit in the kitchen is having the same seizures. They can't both be improperly plugged in. Pathetic that I'm still not all the way awake. I grab an empty amazon.com cardboard box out of the recycling and invert it over the monitor to buy time. It doesn't make a bit of difference. And in an otherwise silent house save for the friendly patter of rainfall, I'm convinced that these monitors, intended to be a parental aid, are instead going to be my ruin. This unit is plugged in directly under L's crib and of course it doesn't occur to me to move it, just to be more jumpy and confused. All my vulnerabilities, all my lack of confidence in the world of gadgetry and electronics, plus the hour, the dark, my acute awareness that if M were home I would have woken him up when I heard the noise and he would have fixed it, my knight in shining armor, and if it took a while I probably would have slept through it, plus my cold legs make it very hard to think. And, there's still that not-at-all muffled bup buup buuup BEEP!
Finally, I figure out that the receiver piece in L's room is not working well, and clever me, finally locate that it's fine at the wall end, but that the cord is loose within the base of the unit. All, miraculously, without L waking up, despite my fumbling noises 18 inches from her sleeping head. But now I am, sadly, there's no denying it, WIDE AWAKE.
So I return downstairs, wearing glasses and pants, and decide after a minute to clean up the Play-Doh. Earlier this evening I cleaned it up in a perfunctory way; I made sure all reusable chunks were in containers so that they wouldn't dry out. But E and our neighbor Maddie who had been here to help out this evening had been playing with lots of colors, and I knew they were mixed in the pots. And as much as I sometimes wish I were more carefree, that I could be, for example, the kind of mom whose hands didn't get a little jittery at the acknowledgement that the colors were in the wrong pots, only complete exhaustion let me leave it that way earlier. Maybe this is how karma works - the universe knew I felt a blemish on my soul for unresolved color cross-contamination, and woke me up so I could set my affairs in order as they should be?
So I empty Play-Doh and I fill Play-Doh and all is more or less well with the world again. And then: gold. Well, if gold is blue. In the bottom of the Play-Doh box I find a treasure that's been lost. The missing Silly Putty! Oh, in the morning I will be such a hero to my elder daughter. It promises to be a wonderful day.