When did lawn care become so exciting?!

Something strange has been happening to me lately. I don’t… I mean… I just… I don’t know what’s happened to me. Like I mean, I swear it was just yesterday when, but now I’m, and it’s like…

Okay, here it is… It would appear that, somehow, for some reason, I now not only get excited about tools, but I also get an absolute kick out of yard work and lawn care.

WTF?!?!?!

Seriously… what the actual f***?! Since when have I cared about tools and lawn care?

So just to give you some background on this situation, I can honestly say that I barely owned a full set of screwdrivers up until the last 6-12 months. In fact, my “tool box” for the past 3 years has been an old cardboard Huggies Nappies box. And if I pulled out all the tools I owned up until 6-12 months ago, it would consist of a handful of unmatched screwdrivers, a broken hammer, an electric drill with no drill bits, one pair of pliers and a bunch of allen keys that I’ve been steadily accumulating from various furniture purchases over the years. How pathetic is that.

But now… oh my word… Now, I simply can’t go to Bunning’s without getting a full blown, raging hard-on for all the goddamn sexy tools that are so beautifully displayed throughout their wonderfully glorious isles. I’d probably never use even a quarter of the tools that Bunning’s have in stock, but all I know, is that I need them ALL!

I am so obsessed with tools that I not only have a growing collection of sexy, tough, manly tools that I can use to do manly things in and around the manly house in a manly way. But I also have my first ever tool box. Yup, that’s right folks. At the ripe old age of 34 years, I have finally got my first tool box (early Father’s Day present by the way, thanks fam!). And not only that, but it would seem that every time I head to Bunning’s, I literally have to control myself so I don’t come away with a boot load full of new tools. Come to think of it, I actually think Renee has even had to tell me to step away from the tools, and leave the store on a couple of occasions.

And as if that’s not the worst part, in comes the yard work and lawn care.

The only lawn care I was ever even remotely interested in (and interested in is a big overstatement) was whipping around the yard as quickly as I could once a month when I begrudgingly had to mow the lawn. No grass catcher. Let’s just whip around as quickly as I can, leaving clumps of freshly cut grass in my wake. As for the edges, well forget it. I didn’t do edges! Who has time to do edges!

Now however, not only is our lawn beautifully manicured, but the edges are perfect and squared off, I’ve put a garden out the front of the house which I get in and weed regularly, and I’ve created a pebbled walkway with stepping stones out the back from the garage door through to the laundry door. Plus, my latest pet project is building up the inside of our fence for some additional sturdiness and privacy. And you want to know what… I HAVE ENJOYED EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF BEING OUT IN THE YARD DOING EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE THINGS AND I AIN’T EVEN MAD ABOUT IT!!!

Oh man, what has happened to me?

So I’ve heard it said that you go through three phases when it comes to yard maintenance. In your twenties you just don’t care because there are more interesting things to do with your time, so you do the bare minimum to keep it looking at least semi-respectable. In your thirties and forties, you are in PEAK yard maintenance mode. You love your lawn, you love lawn care, and your yard has never looked better. But then, once you hit your fifties and sixties, you go back to not caring about it and start seriously considering concreting over it all so that you don’t have to worry about maintaining it any longer.

Now I don’t know about fifties and sixties (obviously), but I can certainly say that I 100% agree with the fact that I, being in my mid-thirties, am knee deep in peak ‘I love my lawn’ territory. But not only that, I am just in peak I want to fix and maintain everything territory.

I’ve never felt so alive!!!

With that said, I need to go. I haven’t been out in the yard this week and I’m itching for some yard work to do!

Also… Bunning’s trip anyone?

When you hit PEAK DAD!

When do you know you’ve hit peak dad life (hashtag dad life y’all)?

Like, what was the turning point where you went yup… I have officially made it… I am at peak dad-ness right now. Like, I couldn’t get any more dad if I tried!!! Because I think I had that moment over the weekend god dammit. That’s right… I think I’ve now officially hit peak dad-ness (I’m pretty sure that a word… ADD IT TO THE DICTIONARY GUYS!!!).

WHAT DO YOU MEAN I hear you all asking. Well, let me paint the picture for you.

We decided to do a Westfield run on Sunday. The idea was twofold… We were there to get out of the house, and we were there because Jesse wanted this Peppa Pig bag he spotted three days earlier (we did not hear the end of this f***ing Peppa Pig bag). So after days of Jesse walking around going “I want the Peppa Pig bag”, we finally relented and went on a family outing to Big W.

So we walk into Big W where Jesse spots the infamous Peppa Pig bag he wants, and with giddiness and excitement grabs it from the hook and shows it off to mummy and daddy like he’s just won 5 million on Gold Lotto. Mission complete! He jumps back into the pram with a smile, and we are ready to roll. F*** it, let’s just take a gander around Big W while we’re here. You never know…

Well, truer words have never been spoken. And this is also where you will see why, I feel I have hit PEAK DAD!!!

As we continue to aimlessly meander through the wonder that is the Big W department store, I decide to deviate from main path when we hit the men’s wear section. I wasn’t after anything in particular. But it never hurts to take a quick look.

Well, 6 minutes and 28 seconds later there I am, purchasing a Big W tracksuit. Yup. That’s right. I just bought myself a tracksuit from Big W and I ain’t even mad about it. PEAK DAD MOTHER TRUCKERS! Gone are the days of Nike sweat pants and trendy jumpers. Gone are the days of expensive “active wear”. With this $35 tracksuit purchase, I just hit peak dad-ness and I dare you to tell me otherwise!

Outfit
Big W Circuit Men’s Active Wear Range – Toddler Not Included

Now let me say this. Yes, it probably isn’t the nicest tracksuit you’ve ever seen. But if there is one thing I know, and I do mean there is one thing I know (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), it’s that there is nothing sexier to a wife and mother of two than a dad rocking a $35 Big W tracksuit! Plus… It’s comfortable as fuuuuuu*********!

So I will ask this. When was the moment that you realised, hey… I’ve actually reached PEAK DAD right here? I’ve hit the pinnacle! There is no higher echelon to achieve for as a dad.

And as I sit here, in my $35 Big W tracksuit writing this post, all I can think is damn… this feels good. This whole embracing the dad life really feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Gone are the days of trying to impress… well I don’t know who I was trying to impress. But gone are those days I tell you… GONE!

Now hold my beer because I’m off to K-Mart to buy some sneakers!

My week as a stay at home Mum

Last week, I took some recreation leave from work.

I would say that I had a weeks holiday, but as I quickly found out, it was about as far from a holiday as you could possibly get!

Let’s call it… ‘My Week As A Stay At Home Mum’.

Okay, let’s start at the beginning. Initially, I was thinking of just having the Friday off, as I was heading to the Broncos match Thursday night and considering I was planning on consuming one too many beers that night, I didn’t want to be hung over at work. I then offered my services to help Renee on Wednesday, and at that point I just though, bugger it, I’ll just take the week off instead.

So here I was coming out of the weekend excited about not having to go to work, and excited about a week of taking it easy and enjoying some down time. Well, after looking at the schedule I had been given I quickly realised that this week was going to be far from a relaxing weeks “holiday”. It turns out, that stay at home mums lead very busy lives. And it was my turn to experience the hectic, non-stop, balls to the wall existence that these mums live every… single… day…

So my schedule went something like this: Monday was play group. Tuesday was Kangatraining. Wednesday, Teddy Bear Picnic. Thursday, Kangatraining and footy. Friday was Music Class. Saturday I cleaned the house. And Sunday, we had Jesse’s third birthday party.

Holy f*** balls batman, how the hell do you mums do this every week!!!

Now I realise we only had one event on each day (except for Thursday, but the footy doesn’t really count), but the organisation, preparation, and even the wind down when you get home with two kids is exhausting! I literally required at least a 1 to 2 hour nap each day just to cope with the stress of it all!

It was non-stop. Like Liam Neeson in that movie… Non-Stop. It was like trying to navigate and escape a skyscraper on Christmas Eve with the name John McClane. It was like… well you get the idea… it was fully hectic as bro!

I know that I’m sort of joking around about it, but in all seriousness, it really was exhausting. I have joked on occasions to Renee that when I go to work every day it’s like my break from the kids, but it really is like that. I now have mad respect for those mums (and dads) who are full time stay at home parents, because it’s a tough job. It pays nothing. And it’s a 24/7 job.

So well played stay at home mums. I take my hat off to you.

The question from here however, is would I do it again? The answer, is absofreakinglutely. I loved every single minute being able to spend every waking minute with Renee, Jesse and Jasper. And I think they loved it too.

Stop The Criticism

Paw Patrol… Paw Patrol…

Whenever you’re in trouble…

Paw Patrol… Paw Patrol…

We’ll be there on the double…

This is the song that has been on non-stop repeat for the past two weeks straight in our house. That’s right, Jesse is officially knee deep into not wanting to watch anything else other than Paw Patrol. Not that we mind, because at least it’s given us a break from Thomas the Tank Engine (They’re two, they’re four, they’re six, they’re eight).

And so watching as much Paw Patrol as I have over the past couple of weeks, I was curious to read more about the show that has become somewhat of an international phenomenon! So it was straight to the most reliable source of knowledge I could think of… Wikipedia.

Interestingly, one of the things I was most interested to find out, was what breed each of the dogs were. I mean, it’s easy enough to guess the breeds of Chase, Marshal and Rubble, but what about the others? Is Skye some sort of chihuahua type thing? And what the hell kind of a breed is Rocky and Zuma?

As I was reading through the details of this media powerhouse, I wasn’t at all surprised when I stumbled across a section detailing criticism the show has received.

The main criticism that has been directed toward the show, is regarding unequal gender representation because the team of dogs is primarily male, and includes only one main female. Some by the name of Cat Conway said “the police pup, firefighting pup, builder pup, sea-rescue pup and whatever the hell Rocky does are all coded male, because of course you couldn’t have a female police dog, could you?”

COME ON PEOPLE!!! It’s a children’s show about dogs who talk to humans and drive cars. This isn’t real life!!!

Why is it that we feel the need to complain about everything. Why can’t we just sit back and enjoy a television program, or a movie, or whatever it might be, without having to pick it pieces and find something to criticize.

Peppa Pig has been criticized for a number of reasons from having an episode where they treated a spider named Mister Skinnylegs as a friend, to Doctor Brown Bear setting unrealistic expectations for real doctors. Moana has received a raft of criticism ranging from accusations the movie appropriates Polynesian mythology, through to degrading the diversity of the Pacific.

WHY CAN’T WE JUST ENJOY SOMETHING!!!

I mean, getting back to Paw Patrol, it didn’t even occur to me that there was a supposed gender imbalance among the pups. And I’m sure if you go around and ask the target audience about the Paw Patrol crew, most of the kids that watch the show probably don’t see gender in any case. All they would see is a bunch of pups having fun and rescuing people.

I think it’s about time we stopped, and re-learn how to enjoy the entertainment that is available to us without having to find something to criticize.

So sit back, and enjoy Paw Patrol for what it’s meant to be. A fun children’s program about talking pups who help the people of Adventure Bay!

Oh god, maybe I’m a little too into this show myself!

Paw Patrol… Paw Patrol…

Whenever you’re in trouble…

Jesse’s Hat

A blankie… a teddy bear… a favourite toy… a dummy (or pacifier for you international readers out there)…

Most babies/kids go through the phase of becoming attached to that one particular item that they just can’t possibly live without it. They must know where it is at all times and if they don’t, well, you don’t really want to have to deal with the repercussions of that.

Well, it would seem that Jesse is currently smack bang in the thick of serious attachment mode. But not with a blankie, teddy or his favourite toy. Oh no, he is seriously head over heels in love with his hat!

That’s right… his hat! This is a kid that used to hate wearing hats so much that whenever you put one on him, he would rip it off strait away, throw it to the ground and give you death stares as though it was the absolute worst possible thing you could have ever done to him.

He is so attached to his hat in fact, that there isn’t a single moment of time from when he wakes, to when he sleeps, that it isn’t glued to his head. Oh yes, that’s right. As soon as he gets up in the morning… BANG! On goes the hat. And there it stays right up until bath time where his head gets a 5-10 minute reprieve. But as soon as he is dressed and ready for bed… BANG! On goes the hat again.

He even wears it to bed, and will only remove it once he feels like he is ready to fall asleep. Don’t you dare try to take it off his head before then. Because you will be told in no uncertain terms that you are in trouble for touching his hat.

I mean look at that thing… it doesn’t even look like what’s it’s supposed to look like any more. He’s worn it that long that it’s completely lost its shape. The brim has the major droops going on. And if you can believe it, it’s actually supposed to be a fedora, not a straw bucket hat that looks like it’s come from a bad scarecrow Halloween costume.

But with that said, every single day when he wakes up only to make his way over to his hat to put it on for the day, all we can do is smile and giggle at the absolute adorableness that Jesse and his well-loved hat brings.

So the question of the day is, have your kids become attached to something? And if so, is it something unusual like Jesse’s hat, or something more common like the family teddy or blankie?

And with all that said, I am no sitting here wondering how Jesse will react when the hat no longer fits, or finally falls apart on him.

Shit… I don’e even want to think about it…

So, you going for round three??

“When are you going to have another baby?”

“So, you going for round three?”

“You should have another baby. Just one more!”

“Go on… just one more. You might regret it if you don’t.”

“Don’t rule it out. Because you never know, it could happen.”

When you’re a young, married couple as we once were, the questions about when you are going to have kids seem to be inevitable. It’s as if society just automatically assumes everyone who fits the above criteria wants to have children.

However, that one simple questions can cut deep in a couple, especially if you’ve been trying for a long time and have been unsuccessful (as we’ve mentioned in the past, it took us 18 months to conceive the first time round), or have found out you are unable to have children at all.

And then you have kids. Two beautiful, healthy, happy boys who both look like dad (much to his delight) but are actually mummy’s boys most of the time (much to her delight). They are loved by everyone, and they love everyone.

Jesse Jack Barton 1
The day after the birth of Jesse

And then, as if someone has hit reset on the console, the questions start coming in yet again. “When are you going to have another baby?”

Now it’s not entirely a rude question now that we have children. In fact, its a pretty standard question when engaging in small talk with parents. I know we’ve asked it completely innocently.

Well we were sitting down having a chat about our baby boys (is Jesse still a baby?) and the conversation took a turn into the territory of more kids. We’ve both been asked the questions about having another baby. But had we ever sat down and really discussed it?

“Tell me the honest truth, do you want to have another baby?”

I asked Renee as we sat there discussing our perfect little family.

“If your asking me right now, my answer is hell no!”

Well that’s a relief! It seems we’re both feeling pretty maxed out with two children. A toddler and a baby can be hard yakka!

P4190276
The birth of Jasper

And then we began to think… why is our desire to procreate again or not of so much interest to others?

One of the typical reactions I’ve encountered when speaking about how we are happy with two children, and don’t want any more babies is, “You never know, you could change your mind…” or “It could happen…”

At the end of the day, those with children have a choice to make. And that choice, being whether or not to have more children, is a personal choice. It’s their choice. And it’s a choice that is made together, as husband and wife.

I don’t know how many of those of you reading this post are at that point in your life, but how did the conversation happen in your house? Have you discussed having more children? And most importantly, did you both agree with each other?

For us, well Jesse is our handsome, sweet and loving big boy. And Jasper is our chubby and cheeky sequel. Why mess with perfection?!

And besides, any more kids and we’d be outnumbered!

NGP_7462
Our Family Unit

RANT: The biggest problem at concerts

RANT WARNING:

Last night, I went to a rock concert.

That’s right, a concert. A concert is where you go and watch a band, who can actually sing and play musical instruments, perform a selection of the own original songs, unlike DJ’s who can’t sing, can’t play instruments, and stand behind a laptop the entire time.

Anyway, I went to a concert last night. Parkway Drive to be exact. They played the last of 3 sold out shows there, and I was lucky enough to be able to attend with my brother-in-law, Mat.

So, imagine this… you are gearing up for a concert where you get to go see one of the bands you love play. They might even be your favourite band. It might be the first time you’ve seen them. It might be the fifth. Regardless, you are excited and looking forward to heading to the venue.

It’s a Monday night and you have to work the next day, but that’s okay. One late night won’t kill you. Besides, it’s Parkway freaking Drive!

You arrive at the venue and immediately head to the bar. You decide to get Red Bull to so that you have a buzz, but don’t get drunk. You head to the nearest entry onto the floor and chill to the side while the support act kills it on stage.

The mosh pit is mental. There are circle pits and walls of death. People headbanging and crashing into each other. There’s drinks flying everywhere and sweaty bodies pushing there way through the crowd of people to get as close as they can to the stage.

Then, the main act comes on. The lights dim, the guitars start to rev, and Parkway Drive appear on the stage from the darkness.

The cheers go up, as do the fists. The singer shouts out a quick introduction, the music starts, and then its on. The mosh pit whips itself into a frenzy. People are jumping around. The music is so loud that it almost bursts ear drums.

And then, the phones start to rise. One by one by one, phones make there way into the air as people start to record what’s happening on stage… in the mosh… on the balcony… and not just one or two phones. There’s dozens and dozens of phones.

And you are now standing there, unable to watch the band you paid good money to see live in concert on stage. You are now watching them through the iphone screen of the people standing in front of you.

It’s okay, they’re only going to take a 30 second clip for Snapchat. Or a quick video for Instagram. 4 songs later, the phones are still in the air and your anger is rising.

Let me say this, if you are one of those people who go to a concert and the proceed to film the whole thing on your phone, you are in fact a massive asshole. Also, let me give you a tip, nobody gives two shits about your dodgy, shaky and distorted iphone footage from the Parkway Drive concert you just attended. In fact, I can almost say with certainty that you’ll probably look at the footage once, realise everything you recorded looks like shit, and will never look at it again.

When you film concerts, all you are doing is pissing the people off who are standing behind you! Live in the moment! Watch the concert you paid good money to see through your own eyes, not through your iPhone while you’re trying to record it. By doing this, I can almost 100% guarantee that everyone, yourself included, will have a much better time.

In other words… PUT THE F***ING PHONES DOWN ASSHOLES!!!

Oh yea, and by the way, I don’t have a photo of me at the concert last night to add to this post, because guess what… I LEFT MY PHONE IN MY F***ING POCKET!!!

Setting goals for a BIG 2018

Happy New Year!

It is now 2018. The start of a fresh year. A ‘reset’ of sorts. Well, at least that’s what most people do when you start the new year.

And I feel like I (and we) have taken the same approach. I (we) have hit the reset button. I (we) have started fresh. I (we) have taken a new approach to 2018.

And one of the first things I did to make sure 2018 would be different, was write down my goals for the year. That’s right, I put pen to paper (remember the days when all you had to write with was a pen and paper… and yes I’m old enough to remember those days) and wrote down a list of goals that I want to achieve in 2018. A list of short term goals, long term goals and open goals that include making changes to my health and wellbeing, my family, and surroundings.

Goal Setting

A lot of people don’t set goals, or often make the mistake of not putting pen to paper and recording them down. As Mark Victor Hansen said:

“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.”

If that doesn’t resonate with you, Fitzhugh Dodson said:

“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”

I have no idea who Mark Victor Hansen or Fitzhugh Dodson are. But they, along with many others throughout the years, have spoken of the importance of setting, writing down, and making plans to achieve goals.

Looking back through our blog posts, there is a couple of things that I noticed. Firstly, there has been a lack of posts, and secondly, there has been a lack of quality in the posts that I have written. In fact, the last post that I published was on 13 November 2017… almost 2 months ago. Call it writers block. Call it laziness. Call it what you will. I know that I’ve been lacking the motivation to write for NSSLOU.

So one of the goals I have set for myself for 2018 is to write posts more frequently, and to write about the things that I am passionate about. By setting this as a goal, I feel like I have reinvigorated my passion for writing for NSSLOU, and that this will show through the posts that I publish in the future, all for your reading pleasure.

So stick with me (stick with us), because I think that in 2018 you will see a reinvigorated NSSLOU full of fresh content that is interesting, fun and maybe a little cheeky.

And more importantly than that, if you haven’t done so already, I challenge you to take 15 minutes to sit down and write out your own goals for 2018. You never know, you may end up achieving more than you think!

Going on holidays with kids

Last weekend we went on a weekend holiday up to the Sunshine Coast with Renee’s family. It was the first “holiday” we’ve had with two kids. I say “holiday”, because what holiday.

You know those posts you see on Facebook that pop up every now and again because one of your Facebook friends has thrown it a like. You know the ones. Where it has two photos side by side, on the left it says ‘before kids’ and the right it says ‘with kids’. Well they’re all true. Every single one of them! Holidays… date nights… meals… you name it. If there is a meme out there with a before and after photo and it shows what a couple does before kids and with kids. It’s 100% accurate.

traveling-before-and-after-children-Epic-Parenting-FB

And this “holiday” certainly did open our eyes to what life is now like when we are on holidays with kids.

Our weekend holidays up or down the coast would usually go something like this:

Pick a destination, anywhere will do. Book. Pack a bag for the weekend. Drive there. Relax in or by the pool. Have a few drinks on the balcony. Go out for lunch and dinner. More drinks on the balcony. More relaxing by the pool. Game of mini golf. Relaxing in bed. Late night champagne with a movie. Go out for breakfast. Anywhere will do. More relaxing by the pool. Maybe we could go to the beach. More drinks on the balcony. Go out lunch and dinner. More relaxing. More relaxing. More relaxing.

Our holidays no longer look like this. Because kids… So now, a simple weekend away, looks more like this:

Pick a destination, but somewhere that close to amenities or is kid friendly. Pack your bag for the weekend. Pack the kids bags. Pack toys for the kids. Triple check you haven’t forgotten anything, especially nappies or wipes. Pack the car. Get the kids dressed. Get the kids in the car. Hope the 6 month old doesn’t have a tantrum in the car the whole way there. When you get to the hotel, make 3 trips up and down from the apartment to the car because of all the stuff you now need. Put ABC Kids on the television to keep kids occupied for 5mins while you plan your attack on the weekend. Order dinner to eat in the room because the kids won’t deal with a restaurant environment while they’re this tired. Try and find a kid friendly restaurant for lunch the next day. Hope they don’t throw tantrums or run amok while eating lunch. Go to pool. Change kids into swimming nappies. Try and get sunscreen on them. Run after them so they don’t slip and break an arm or don’t slip into the pool and drown. Generally run around after the kids when they need you. Pack the car back up on last day. Drive home. Unpack everything. Put kids to bed for the night. Fall in a heap on the lounge and realise you haven’t actually had a holiday at all.

And that is only just scratching the surface!

But with that said, it really was a fun weekend away. Hectic fun. But fun none the less.

Holidays are just different for us now. But we wouldn’t change that for the world.

Jesse

The Dead of Night

His eyes opened.

The sound of crying rang out through the dead of night. It was loud. Too loud to be coming from the opposite end of the house. But then again, everything seemed louder in the dead of night.

Save for the light coming up through the hallway, it was almost pitch black. The dull light barely enough to make out the shape of her in bed next to him. He could feel her there however. Safe and warm with the duvet pulled up to her chin no doubt. Her knees tucked up and her hands finding warmth between her thighs as she slept.

He felt her begin to rouse.

He didn’t often wake during the night. Even when the baby was crying. So he figured he must have just been sleeping lightly tonight. His senses more aware of his surroundings than they usually are. And as she began to roll out of bed, he shut his eyes again. As he knew this was just going to be like any other night. The baby was hungry he thought. She would feed the baby. The baby would stop crying. She would come back to bed.

And with his eyes closed he listened as she left the room and fumbled her way down the hallway. He listened as the crying stopped. All that was left was the sound of his breathing. His chest rising and falling gently with each breath. He drifted back to sleep.

His eyes opened.

The sound of crying rand out through the dead of night. It was loud. Too loud to be coming from the opposite end of the house. But then again, everything seemed louder in the dead of night.

Save for the light coming up through the hallway, it was almost pitch black. The dull light barely enough to make out that she wasn’t in bed next to him.

He sat up and hit the home button on his phone which was laying on the side table next to his side of the bed. The screen came to life. The brightness both illuminating the room and momentarily blinding him at the same time. The numbers of the clock glowed. It was 2:09am.

He looked around the room. He was alone. As the glow from his phone began to fade back to black, he thought that she must already be down in the room trying to settle the baby once more. He lay back down and closed his eyes, trying to ignore the cries that continued to ring out.

He lay there for what felt like an eternity. The crying continued. It seemed to be getting louder and louder and louder. He sat up and clicked his phone back on. 2:09am. He stared at the clock with confusion. He was sure that the time should have changed. Something just didn’t quite feel right. The time. The fact that she wasn’t there when he woke up.

He slid his hand under the sheets where she would normally be sleeping. It was cold. It was as if she hadn’t been sleeping there most of the night. He swung his legs out of bed. The hair on his legs stood up as the cool air hit his bare skin. A shiver ran down his spine. The hair on the nape of his neck bristled.

He made his way to the bedroom door and looked down the hall at the door to the nursery at the other end of the house. It was sitting ajar. The dull light from the room sneaking through the crack and sailing up the hall to meet him.

“Is everything okay down there babe?” he called.

Nothing.

“Is everything okay? Can you hear me?”

Again, nothing.

He slowly made his way down the hallway to the nursery. As he placed his hand on the doorknob to open the door, the crying stopped. The house fell completely silent. He stood there. Not sure what to do. Not sure what had happened. His heart was beating faster and faster with each breath. He wasn’t sure if this was because he was scared of disturbing the baby, or if because he wasn’t sure what exactly had happened. He decided to proceed, if only to check on them both.

He pushed the door open. It lightly creaked. The dull light began to seep through more as the door opened wider and wider. He could make out the furniture in the room. The cot. The dresser. The change table. With the door open, he stepped into the nursery.

It was empty.

There was no sign of the baby, or his wife. He looked around both confused and at the same time wondering if this was all just a dream.

As he stood there, staring down at the empty cot, the sound of crying rang out through the dead of night again. Only this time, it was coming from their bedroom.

He slowly turned around and looked back at the room from which he just came. There was a dull light coming from the room. It was just enough light to be able to make out moving shadows as the crying continued.

He took a step forward. The light at the other end of the house went out and the crying stopped yet again. Another step. This time the light in the nursery cut out. It was now pitch black. In the house.

He stood there, frozen from fear. Halfway between the cot and the nurseries door. Suddenly, the crying started again. This time, it was coming from the cot behind him.

He slowly started to turn around toward the cot. His eyes struggling to adjust to the darkness that had engulfed the house.

The crying continued.

Still frozen with fear, he finally managed to whisper out… “Hello?”

At that very moment the door to the nursery slammed shut. At the other end of the house, the phones screen once again came to life. It illuminated the empty bedroom. The numbers of the clock glowed. The time finally clicking over.

It was 2:10am.