It’s all about trying not to get caught. Seizing the right moment and being discreet — these were important life lessons I learned when my high school boyfriend and I wanted to make-out.
With our lips locked and the door cracked, I was a master multitasker. I could listen for the tiniest of coughs or the lightest of steps on the staircase up to my room. And then one day, I lost it. I lost my edge. I figured as a married adult I wouldn’t need to worry about being caught while being intimate ever again. But I was wrong.
“I feel like a teenager,” I told my husband as I was pulling up my elastic pants.
“Because we're so much in love?” he quipped.
Really it had more to do with all the sneaking around. For the last two years we’ve been sneaking around our house trying to find the right moment to have all the sex. This time around, I’m not trying to avoid my parents. It’s my toddler. The thought of him catching me naked in the middle of “exercising” with my husband is almost enough to make me stop sneaking all together. Almost.
Sneaking feels inherently naughty, and that wreaks havoc with my Catholic school girl conscience. Even sneaking around playing hide-and-seek makes me nervous enough to pee my pants. I was the girl who made her curfew and never smoked in the girl’s bathroom. My fear of being caught kept me in line. Plus, I’m not all that great at being sneaky. I’d assumed all those days were behind me, but then we had a baby, and I’m sneaking around all over again.
Now that my husband and I must steal our private time from our parental time, it requires some sly moves on our part and some keen hearing on my part. This is why I’ve learned to hone my listening skills and keep one ear attuned to my child at all times. No matter what I’m doing (the dishes or my husband), I can always check-in with the toddler. I must make sure he isn’t trying to disassemble the table lamp or stir-fry his cheese crackers.
Hubby and I must be creative in our escapades because we never know exactly when the right moment will strike — when I’m awake is a good start. The best time for us has been in the morning when the kid is happily playing in his gated play area. My husband shuts the dogs away in his office (I love our dogs, but I don’t need an audience), and off we sneak to our bedroom.
While alone in our bedroom my husband concentrates on his task at hand (thinking about baseball), and I’m multitasking. I’m trying to enjoy myself and listen for my kid. I can hear him rustling around safely in his play place, so that’s usually when I divide my focus concentrating on my kid and my task at hand (thinking about baseball).
So, imagine my surprise when one morning while my husband and I had snuck away, I looked down to see our dog happily panting in my face. At first this didn’t register much. She's always taken a keen interest in our love-making. (I’m sure her interest is purely anthropological.) But then it hits me, Why is she out of the office?!
My mind was playing catch-up with thoughts like, Did my husband forget to close the door all the way? Has my dog figured out how to open doors? Cool! Will the Sox win the Pennant? And then just as the reason for her escape hits me, I hear a tiny voice from downstairs call, “Mom! What are you doing up there?”
I’m out of the bed and in my T-shirt before my husband can figure out what’s happened. I race down the stairs before we are totally busted by my two-year-old.
“What are you and my Dad doing?” he asks assessing my unusual outfit choice.
I start trying to prepare answers about my lack of underwear in this exercise routine, but there are no more questions. He bought it. Leading him back to his play place, I now understand how he escaped: this kid has masterfully figured out how the hinges work and manipulated them in such a way that they failed. After finding his new freedom, he toddled over to the office, and in looking for us, inadvertently let the dogs out. I hadn’t heard a thing. I've definitely lost my edge.
One day I will have to explain sex to my child, but hopefully that explanation won't ever be accompanied by a visual aid.