The other evening, while TrophyHusband was making dinner and I was distracting HellBoy from playing with knives, TH's cell phone rang. I took over stirring the pasta while he went to answer it. You should know that I have a little problem with telephone phobia. I get anxious when speaking to someone I can't see. So TH will often let me in on his phone conversations by repeating whatever is said and then passing along my comments. (Another post sometime re this.) But this time, he got a funny look on his face and sort of wandered away, out of easy earshot. By straining my ears and picking up HB to keep him from whining, I managed to pick up something along these lines:
"... very narrow staircase ... 15 months old ... jerry-built ... cats need to be able to get through ..."
And I quickly figured out that he was talking to someone about installing baby gates on our staircase. So did I think, oh, how nice that he's taking care of this? No, what I thought was, that cheating son of a bitch.
See, I wield all the power tools in our house. I install shelves, fix faucets, replace electrical outlets -- and put up baby gates. We have a 100 year old rowhouse with a narrow staircase that has a lovely carved newell post set at a slight angle to the stairs. This created a bit of a problem when it came time to install baby gates. Most gates were too wide for the space. In addition, there was no way to fasten the latch to the slanted newell post without damaging it in the process. And, we had to make sure that BadCat would be able to get by (he's too big and clumsy to leap over). So a couple of months ago I spent most of a hot and frustrating day fashioning a solution to the problem. And I think I did a beautiful job, if I do say so myself, but you be the judge:
I realize that we can't allow HB unsupervised access to these contraptions, but then we can't allow him unsupervised access to anything.
So I start following TH around, making angry faces and gestures. Finally he hangs up and confesses that he had seen an ad for someone who custom-babyproofs houses and had wondered whether there was a better solution for our stairs.
He was cheating on me.
I did get some satisfaction from the fact that the guy told TH that it sounded like I had already come up with the best way to do it. "Jerry-built" indeed!
TH says that he now realizes he can't get away with anything.