- One baby
- Two parents, who haven’t had adult naked time in way too long
- pinch of neglect
- one leaf of fatigue
- one handful each of good intentions and missed opportunities
- a waft of long-held insecurities
- one teaspoon of dried resentments
- complacency to taste
Preheat oven to room temperature, in a house with rattling windows and corners that make blustery winds howl, thus keeping its inhabitants indoors and slightly ratty.
Take one baby, who has finally started going to bed at a reasonable hour so that his parents begin to luxuriate in some baby-free time, and even expect it at the end of the day. Allow the parents to rise in a covered bowl in a quiet space, where they discover that they are better, more attentive and patient parents when they have regular baby-free time. Grease the baby lightly with anti-sleep slipperiness for two nights in a row and dust with flour.
Bring piss and vinegar to a boil in a heavy bottomed, preferably cast iron. Meanwhile, grind aromatics in a mortar and pestle, until the aroma fills the kitchen. Spoon into piss and vinegar and let simmer on the back burner, the longer the better. Allow the miasma to collect. When the widespread stink eye and sighing reaches boiling point, remove from heat.
In a separate bowl, wrap the baby and set aside. (Amazingly, in the crib.)
Gently stir the simmering pot to allow the nasty parts to evaporate and keep the good bits in. Mix in a handful of love and affection, and pour in a litre of frank, occasionally angry, talk.
Very carefully, and very slowly, drizzle in an obnoxious neighbour honking a car while the baby is napping and the parents are continuing their earlier disagreement/discussion. Begin slowly, with a few beeps followed by just enough silence to allow parents to think that’s it. Follow up with a few more insistent and longer beeps and more silence. Stir constantly. Next, one very long and drawn out single, but very very annoying, note. This will induce the mother to walk to the front door, ready to give the neighbour hell, but be sure to stop the honk just before she reaches the door. She will wonder if perhaps she’s overreacting.
As you sound one final, plaintive, infuriating, very very long and even more drawn out honk, be sure to have an obnoxious teenage son waiting on the front porch. The mother will swing open her front door with only her housecoat on after a recent shower, and demand, “Could you maybe STOP HONKING?!?!? There’s a baby sleeping in here!”
With great precision, carefully fold in the obnoxious teenage son’s obnoxious and totally unapologetic words: Could you maybe just relax?!??!
The mother will simply close the door, shocked at the response, resigning herself to hope that the baby will continue sleeping, since he’s made it this far. Put the car horn away; its job is done.
Layer the marital discussion with equal parts hot button issues, defensiveness and honesty. Throw it against the wall to see if it’s done. When it sticks, you will also be surprised to find the air is clearer, without the pong of lingering resentments, and the parents will feel miraculously better.
Let chill several hours.
Rinse the baby to remove the anti-sleep grease. Drain. The baby will sleep for three hours (!!) without any parental intervention. In. The. Crib.
Top with dimmed lights, quiet music, quality time and pair with a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc. Finished with the added luxury of a spoon in the bed for the first time in 13 months.
You can thank Andrea's Monday Mission to mix it up for this bit of nonsense.