Hi, I’m Karen, and I’m a baby monitor-aholic

Question: How many times do I look at the baby monitor in a night?
Answer: Infinity.

This stupid piece of equipment is supposed to make me feel better when in fact it just makes me more paranoid than I’ve ever been. Besides that time I smoked something in college and was convinced I was going to die when the clock struck 12:00. Oh shit, now I can’t run for president, can I? Oh well, I was too female, Jewish, short, hairy, potty-mouthed, and agnostic to run for office anyway.

But I digress. Back to baby monitors. My husband and I actually have a long running debate over when we should take that stupid monitor out of our daughter’s room. If you ask me, this year. If you ask him, when she’s thirty. And a virgin. And a nun.

All of this technology is supposed to put us at ease, but it’s just turning me into the Jewish worrywart mother I swore I’d never become. Damn you, Sony! Like the other night we were out for dinner with some friends when a small vibration shook the table. Without skipping a beat all four of us quickly grabbed our cell phones that were all sitting face up on the table. I remember when my parents used to go out every Saturday night and they’d leave the name of the restaurant with the babysitter just in case. Can you imagine? You’re sitting in a restaurant eating when the maitre d walks over with a telephone with a ridiculously long phone cord and informs you your babysitter is looking for you. If this happened to me, I think I’d shit my pants and my shirt and my shoes.

The text was on the other mom’s phone. This is what it said.

Text: He just pooped again. Feeding him now.

“She texts us everything. Isn’t she the best babysitter?” the mom said.

Yes. Wait, I mean no. This was the first time in three weeks that I wasn’t wearing a ponytail, and I’m talking about in my leg hair. I finally had a reason to shave— a night out with adults. I was wearing lipstick as opposed to chapstick, jeans that required a pliers to zip up as I contorted myself into a Cirque du Soleil pose, and a purse way too small to hold diapers and pee-pee tee-pees. We were supposed to be out enjoying ourselves away from the kiddos and instead we were getting a play-by-play of her son’s bowel movements— the Super Bowel.

It all makes me wonder. When George Orwell predicted a society with Big Brother, maybe he got it wrong. Maybe he should have been writing about Big Mother. Because we are always watching. Always. Which brings me to my final question. Are our kids the ones on a short leash, or are we?

I’ll close with these two words: Arf arf!

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