Living in an old house is wonderful. Everywhere you look there are charming details, like amazingly tall baseboard trim, bay windows, little nooks and crannies perfect for hide and seek, and lovely old stairways.
My favorite spot in our old house is the leather chair tucked in the living room bay windows. In mid-afternoon, the sun streams in and warms me, no matter the temperature outside. If we had a cat (shudder!) that is where it would sit, basking in the sun. Then there's the fact that both Jude and Dawson were born in this house, which of course adds sentimental value.
But you know what does not add sentimental value? The creaky sixth stair.
Of course the stairs all creak, to some degree. They are original to the house, so almost 140 years old. If you were 140 years old you'd creak, too.
But that stupid stair has been responsible for waking all three of my children at some point or another, and so is the inanimate object of all my wrath when a nap is interrupted.
Sound travels in an old house. Right up the lovely old stairway into the bedroom next to it, sounding like a gunshot to the sleeping infant.
CREEEEAAAAK . . . wait for it . . . WAAAAAAA!!!!
Right about then I want to take an axe to those stairs.
There are a lot of infuriating things in life . . . the middle aged guy in a hurry who cuts you off because he doesn't realize that THE ROTARY BY WALMART HAS TWO LANES!, or discovering that your laundry has sat in the washer for four days and smells insanely musty, or a potty training child pooping in multiple locations in the house and not telling you so you have to go on a scavenger hunt (those were the days).
But nothing, NOTHING, is more infuriating than a baby being woken from their nap prematurely. When a sibling does it they know they may as well walk themselves to timeout, because they will be living there until they hit puberty. And if the postman does it, there better be a really great reason, like a giant box of chocolate just arrived in the mail. But what can you do about a stair?
You can't fix it. No amount of nailing or screwing down the board changes the level of creak.
So we tiptoe.
And strategically dance up the stairs, touching down in just the right spot on each one so as to avoid the particularly creaky parts. Taking a trip up the stairs looks like you are trying to avoid deathly lasers in a 007 movie.
Enter the white noise machine. Thank God for the white noise machine! Living in an old house without a white noise machine would decimate my sanity completely. Because while it's a nice idea to train kids to sleep thru anything, the reality is that our kids wake if a feather falls on the floor, and have since birth. Jude can sleep thru Sophia coughing all night, and Sophia can sleep thru Jude screaming bloody murder from a nightmare, but they both wake up if you step on a floorboard wrong. Go figure.
Just know, if you are over during nap time and I shoot a death stare at you before I rein it in, it's probably because you stepped on THAT STAIR. And I still love you, but I just need a minute . . . deep breath . . . WHEW!