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PARENTING

Bedroom Window

A month in the sex life of one real mother. (Warning: This diary is not for the kids.)

DAY 1: Hot biting and naughty slapping is the theme of the day. Not our theme – the kids'.

Our theme of the day: post-carb wallowing on separate pieces of furniture in the living room.

"You can sit over here on the couch with me," I say, patting the cushions. "I'll rub your head." Husband declines: "No, I like watching you on the new sofa."

DAY 3: Bedtime. He and I argue over who has more sex dreams. "I do," I insist. "No," says he, "I had that one I told you about the other day, the one with the . . ." "That was three weeks ago," I remind him. His hand slips limply off me. Our bedroom is steeped in the dark atmospheric tea of defeat.

DAY 4: Midafternoon. The girls are whisked away by another parent for an impromptu 40-minute play date. Husband and I convene in the bedroom. His hand returns. My hands return to my laptop – I remember that I have a deadline.

DAY 6: I peruse a catalog of sex toys at bedtime.

Hubby reads an art journal. I show him a fascinating Murano-glass thingie. "Tell me that wouldn't look good on the coffee table," I say. "We don't have a coffee table," he says, eyeing me nervously.

DAY 9: Weekend afternoon: We pop Disney princess eye-candy into the DVD player and slip nonchalantly up to the bedroom. The door does not lock. Hubby barricades it with an antique cedar chest. "That used to be my grandmother's," I say. Hubby rolls eyes. "Helpful." Somehow, a small child, using an overeager German shepherd for leverage, gains admittance. Hubby retracts into a naked, shivering ball of thwarted lust. "Why you snuggling with Daddy? Because you're married?" small child asks. "Something like that," I say.

DAY 10: Hubby and I speak only of homework, yardwork, office work, and the missing coffee filters. But I catch him looking at my tushie. "I think you sat on a magic marker," he says.

DAY 12: Hot sex dream about Kate Winslet.

Mine. Meanwhile, the hubby dreams of drowning in a swimming pool at a PTA meeting. I ask him if he spends enough quality time with himself in the shower.

DAY 15: Another dream: This time, I am toting around a mini-Michael Douglas on my hip while I simultaneously rehearse for A Chorus Line and try to sell a contemporary house full of packages of rotting meat. I tell Hubby about the dream.

"Does that turn you on?" I ask him. He laughs and laughs and then has a coughing fi t.

DAY 19: Back to the sex-toy catalog. I head to the website and put $300 worth of intriguing gadgets into the virtual shopping cart. Then I go back to CNN.com and forget about the shopping cart.

DAY 22: Hubby takes a very long shower. I wink at him when he emerges. "I was on the toilet," he says, perplexed.

DAY 25: Jackpot. Kids at school. I'm still in bed.

Hubby triumphantly scales Wife Mountain. "I didn't brush my teeth," I say. "Brush this, baby," says the Hub. After a minute of hysterical laughter, we get down to business. Score 1 for the parental units, and 1 for the dogs, who enjoy the show.

DAY 28: Small child busts in on Hubby in the bathroom, post-shower. He grabs frantically for a towel. Too late: Child gets a look at the goods and scowls.

DAY 29: Child wakes up cheerful and unscarred, performing usual a.m. shtick: "Good morning.

Pancake!" Hubby not faring as well. Still shuddering in horror over the bathroom incident, nervously visiting child psychology sites online.

DAY 31: Visit to the hardware store. Door locks win out over sex toys. Installation followed by adult high-fives and winks. Adult high-fives and winks followed by small child vomiting abruptly onto her Calico Critters collection.

This anonymous mother is a writer in the Berkshires.

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