December 9, 2005
The Case of the Missing Remote Control, or, Hatchling and His Devious Plan for World Domination
Someday, I will conjure the energy to tell you all about my first day of babysitting. My first day of having 3 boys, age 5 and under, running helter- skelter around my house. My very clean and pretty house. With nice furniture.

But alas, not today. Today, I write of the case of the missing remote control.

When Hatchling was but a wee lad (you know, before he was 22 months), he was interested in the attractive group of remote controls which adorns the table between mine and L's recliners. What child wouldn't be drawn to them like a beacon?

I didn't want him touching them for several reasons. These reasons included, but are not limited to:
  • I didn't want him playing with other people's remotes when we took him visiting, which could only end in fewer invites for the husband and I. We desperately need invites. We don't get out nearly enough.

  • I didn't want him figuring out how to change all of our channels to Spanish only. Much as I would like to master (ok, seriously, I mean Sesame Street mastery) Spanish, this is not how I envision tackling it.

  • I didn't want him messing up any recordings I had planned. I mean, if he did something that kept Lost from taping, I might seriously consider sending him out to live on the streets. This may seem harsh to you, but as I said, I don't get out much. TV is all I have.

With all this in mind, I applied myself to the problem of H's constant remote envy. He is, after all, a small man. What man worth his salt doesn't have to have control of the remote? This could be an important part of his development, and to stifle it could have devastating future effects!

We had an old DVD player up in the attic which didn't work, so one day, I climbed up there and fetched its remote. After removing the batteries and doing a quick inspection to make sure there were no obvious baby hazards, I handed it over. I would sell him, but I don't want him choking on my watch.

All was good. In no time at all I had trained H to salivate at all remotes, but to touch only one. Like Pavlov's dogs, you understand? There can be only one (remote for the baby, that is). We have lived in relative remote happiness ever since.

And then I went to Mexico...and left my mother in charge....

I am told that Hatchling was, one evening in my absence, using his remote as a hammer on the coffee table and walls. I find this hard to believe. My son would never hit anything with a hard plastic object! Ok, what really is unbelievable is that my mother took actions to stop H from doing something he so clearly enjoyed, i.e. destroying the house. She did, though. She tells me that she took the remote away from him and put it on the mantel.

Next day, our "nanny for the week" saw the remote and gave it back to him, knowing (from my copious notes on how to care for my son) that it was his. She later told my mother, during the intense investigation which followed, that he ran off with it. It was never seen again.

And indeed, it has not been seen since! I have looked everywhere for that dang thing. I am not a "junky" kind of housekeeper. There are not that many places it could be where it would blend in well enough that I shouldn't have found it. But here I am, a month returned, and still the remote is AWOL.

I ask Hatchling daily if he knows where it is. Most days he nods yes. I ask him to go get it for mommy, and he gives me a sly smile and continues on with whatever he was doing. Thank goodness he isn't allowed to touch the 'real' remotes!

Oh yes, my little Hatchling has obviously figured out that you can control the world on your own terms, if you are smart enough in your approach, and if you have the remote with which to do so.

Bravo, Hatchling! May you never get mad enough to hide something Mommy really needs!

Anonymous sara said...
your a great writer, slush. so funny!

Blogger SlushTurtle said...
Oh Sars, you know just what to say to make me go "Aw shucks". Love ya!

Blogger Carbon said...
It's like those socks that disappear. It's always one and not the other. I have a heck of a time finding it's matching pair and sometimes never do... Maybe your remote went to the same place?