Where’s the Cheese?

Clay has been banned from our bedroom.

Well, not completely. Just during those times when we can’t be there to keep an eye on him. I’ve mentioned before that one of his favorite pastimes is to slam his body onto our bed. He already has broken the frame. (I’ve got it rigged with duct tape and basset hound saliva to hold together for now.) I may not have mentioned that he also strips off the bed covers, pulls clothes and shoes out of our closets, scatters night-stand books, yanks the not-so-precious gems out of my wife’s jewelry box and generally makes quite a mess.

There are times—a lot of times—when the room looks like a burglar came through the window followed maybe an hour later by a tornado. Then a swarm of rabid, underwear chewing wolverines stopped by. So, we said, “Enough. Wreak your havoc elsewhere, oh Lord of Chaos, oh King of Collateral Damage. The Dark Knight of the Achy Lower Back Shall Abide Thou Foul Knavery No More.”

Here’s the problem. We don’t have one of those fancy-dan master bedroom suites with a private bathroom and sitting area with large-screen TV. Maybe a vanity for my wife to sit and put on cold cream at night (if she did such a thing). Walk-in closets so deep the homeless could move in. Massage area. A custom designed storage unit for our socks. We have an old farm house and old farmers didn’t build that way. Farmers live one step above the animals in the barn. We have a room with tiny closets and off-center windows that was sectioned off from a bigger space a couple hundred years ago. Back when Feng Shui was a guy working at the blacksmith shop in town.

Here’s something else. Our room is a pass-through. Meaning one door leads to the hallway and bathroom we share with Clay and his older brother. The other leads to a sort of TV room above our kitchen. (The space where the “unpaid labor” lived in the old days.) Clay uses that room a fair amount to watch videos. He likes to pass-through. A lot. Sometimes he puts a video on in the sitting room and listens to it while standing on our bed.

Did I mention that we don’t have normal doors? Neither door to our bedroom has a conventional doorknob. Nor are they thick enough to hold one. They are just so rustic and quaint. So freakin’ rustic and quaint you want to take an ax and … well, never mind.

The result is that we have to lock both doors if we want to keep a certain Mister Busy Hands out. Of course, one door locks from the inside and the other from the out. And not in the right order.

So, lets say you want to take a shower. Something I’m told is a good idea to indulge in from time to time. (Those of us who work at home need to be reminded of such things.) Here’s what you do. You climb the stairs from the kitchen to the sitting room above and take off the spring lock that is holding that door to the bedroom shut from the outside. You gather what you need for the shower. Do you then go through the other bedroom door? The one that opens about two feet from the bathroom where you are planning to shower? Nope. You can only lock the door you came through from the outside. So, you get the clothes you need and go back out that door, replace the spring lock, and head down the steps, through the kitchen and living room, up the other steps and into the bathroom, where you take the shower.

Guess what? When you are done and need to finish dressing, you repeat your journey back through the house carrying your dirty clothes. Can’t get through that door that is oh-so-close. Can’t unlock it from this side. Need to return to the bathroom to finish grooming? Repeat above process.

The dog lies on the sofa in the living room watching your comings and goings during this process without even lifting his head. Just those sad eyes following you, wondering why you don’t sit down next to him for awhile. Maybe scratch under his oversized ears. Rub his belly.

Hey, with all that walking and stair climbing going on, at least there is no need to visit the gym. Which is a good thing because then you would have to take another shower.

Photo Credit: eduard_orbitron. Attribution.


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  1. #1 by autismmommytherapist on July 11, 2011 - 1:15 pm

    You and your wife deserve some boundaries. You two are brave for living in that layout!

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