Mission Impossible

Staging a passionate rendezvous with my husband has become an adventure!

"How about going to bed early tonight?" my husband, Rick, whispers in my ear.

I rinse the last supper dish and ask coyly, "What do you have in mind?"

"I want to carry you to bed and have my way with you," he says in a darn good Harrison Ford impression.

"I'll meet you in the bedroom as soon as the kids are in bed." With a wink of the eye and a wiggle of the hips, I saunter out of the kitchen … only to smash my toe on the doorjamb on the way. Actress Kate Capshaw helped Harrison Ford escape a doomed temple or something; I can barely make it out of my kitchen!

I hustle the kids through homework and baths. "Skip math tonight," I advise. "That's what computers are for. No, you don't need soap; just a quick rinse will do. I read somewhere that a little dirt protects you from ultraviolet rays. Pick out a bedtime story, a short one. Okay, Bambi. How about a condensed version: Bambi lives, his mother doesn't, he wins the fight, they all live happily ever after. Let's say our prayers. Hug, hug, kiss, kiss. I love you, too. And you. And you. And you. Good night. Good night. Good night. Good night." I'm glad I have only four kids, I think.

Finally, the kids are tucked away and the lights are out. I head toward the boudoir, where I slip into something slinky. At least it used to slink. Now it kind of snugs. Oh well. I dab my best perfume behind my ears, turn off the lamp, and light some candles. With the comforter turned down invitingly, I arrange myself in a glamorous pose among the pillows. I ignore the Snoopy pillowcase beside me; my bed linens haven't matched since the Reagan era.

The door opens. In a throaty voice I say, "I've been waiting for you, big boy."

"I can't sleep," a tiny voice whimpers.

Whoops! "What's wrong, honey?" I ask as I scramble into my robe.

"My tummy hurts. And my head. Can I sleep in your room?"

"No." I take Michael's little hand and lead him back to bed.

"You smell good, Mommy."

"Thank you." I tuck the covers around him securely. Would it be child abuse to nail the blankets down so they sort of immobilize him? Only temporarily, of course.

"Why are there candles in your room, Mommy?"

"Because she and Daddy want to smooch," says Josh, with all the worldly wisdom of a 12-year-old boy.

"Good night." More hugs, more kisses.

Back in my bedroom, I shrug off the robe and climb back into bed. I settle against the pillows just as a yawn escapes my mouth.

"Mo-o-omm," someone calls from down the hall.

"What?!" I bellow.

"Josh's arm is hanging down."

I grab my robe and stomp to the boys' room. "What's wrong with his arm hanging down?" I demand.

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May 25

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