Three Kid Circus : Showing Up the Husband

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Showing Up the Husband

Just call me the fix-it Goddess. Actually, what happened was not exactly fixing.

We've owned our home for 4 years now. It's a basic tract home, built in the late 70s, a year after asbestos went out of style, and a good 40 years after quality construction became obsolete. Our entire home leans north with the warm and south with the cold. It's a bizarre seasonal change, much like daylight savings time. You wake up one day, and it's just different.

My two oldest kids have learned that you have to grab the door handle to any interior room on the N/S axis and twist hard while simultaneously applying a hip thrust to the door to get it to open in winter. In summer, they swing easier, but we all still do the hip thing out of habit.

A side effect of this is that our front door is loose on it's hinges, and unless we keep the deadbolt thrown, a good jolt will open the door. Donna the dog is some sort of terrier/basenji mix. She's a jumper. We don't have a doggie door, and since the kids have long since kicked out the screens on our front windows (subject for another post), when the windows are open, the dog enters and exits the house like a gazelle. A favorite pastime is sitting on the couch, chucking a ball out the window and watching Donna leap in and out of the house.

Donna has also recently figured out that if she takes the front door at a run, she might just knock it open. I keep it deadbolted unless the kids are in the yard, and it makes me leap a mile into the air every time the dog sprints into the house with a BANG.

On my recent burst of exercise enthusiasm, I purchased a mini trampoline, which I love. It's like jumping on your parent's bed when you were 5. I do pikes and kicks. I do spins. I yip, although quietly. The darn thing is too small to do a proper butt bounce, but believe me, if I could, I would. I turn on TiVo'd Queer Eye and boing away.

At issue is the foundation of our living room. I have to be very careful about placing the mini-tramp, because there are several spots in the room that cause the entire contents of the room to quake when you so much as shift from one cheek to the other on the couch. Merry rebounding threatens to upset the television armoire.

Recently, our TV has displayed degrading signals. Ghosting, acting strange. My husband, who suspects that my children sit in front of the TV ALL DAY accuses me of causing this strange disfunction. "No," I protest. "No, we only watch an hour a day, really." I've really got to work on that.

Right at the start of my hubs' beloved Giants game, the kids were monkeying around, rolling and flailing. Suddenly, the picture goes haywire. It was very I Love Lucy there for a minute. I was trying to deny excess TV usage, my husband is trying to see if all the channels are bad, the kids are whooping and leaping. The hubs collapses on the couch, remote falling dully from his slack hand. The kids tear off to remove the lightbulbs from all the fixtures in the house, and I stand there chewing my lip. Woe, woe... wait, whoa!

I stride to the TV and give it a resounding whack on the top. Instantly, the picture improves. Another whack, and we've got crystal clear reception. I turn to my mechanical engineer husband and with both hands on my hips, I try to keep the snarky grin off my face as I remind him to try not to wiggle too much.

Must've been all the jumping around that knocked something loose inside. I don't know what made me smack the top of the set. It was like one of those hereditary instincts, something built into the genetic code. But I'll tell you, my husband looked at me with a mixture of pure jealousy and awe, and I did my best Fonzi swagger back into the kitchen. I am so cool.