Clara and I have been discussing ways to get her to sleep in her own room all night. She habitually sleep walks through the hallway to our room at night. And now, I habitually don’t even wake up when she comes in. She gets very frustrated by this. Like a werewolf that wakes up in the morning and realizes they ate half their neighbor’s sheep the night before. She becomes quite embarrassed and apologetic, offering money as compensation and making sure that although the event was quite delicious, she regrets everything. She is open to suggestions. Chains, manacles, silver bullets. We invite all options.

So I mentioned to her the other day that we needed some kind of motion detector. I said I knew of these mechanical frogs that would sit on the floor and croak really loud when you walked past them. Maybe we could put one of these in the hallway, and it would wake us up and remind her to go back to her own bed?

She thought this was a fabulous idea.

This morning I was using the computer across the room when she sat up suddenly in bed and glanced around in frustrated confusion trying to figure out what deserted hay loft or back alley she had ended up in this time. When she saw me, she groaned and mumbled something about how we needed to find a frog soon.

I agreed. I was in fact awake because I had grown tired of being kicked in the belly. Since I was already browsing Amazon, I called her over and we searched for mechanical frogs together.

Most of what we found in the motion detector section of the site were not frogs though. And after four pages Clara was complaining that she didn’t want to be woken up by a Robot. But on page five I stumbled upon something that made me scroll past quick and hurry onto the next page before Clara noticed.

“What was that?” She said.

I played dumb. “What do you mean? The robots?”

“No.” She made her interpretation of what Go Back would be in sign language. “What was that red thing. The thing with the gum balls in it.”

It was too late. She speed reads the language of gumballs. I was forced to return to the page and look at the item with her. It was a gum ball machine. A large clear balloon full of gum balls, that was motion activated. When you moved your hand under it, a colorful ball of gum would fall out into your hand. The machine was big enough that you could do this possibly twice every night for an entire year before you had to refill it.

Clara’s eyes glazed over slightly. She was turning into a wolf as I watched her. Finally she said, “So… I have an idea.”

I nodded, “Yeah. Does it involve putting a motion activated gum ball machine in the hallway?” I asked.

Her reply was a glassy eyed growl, “… maaaaaybeeee.”