Roll the Footage!

“Good morning”, Jack said with a big smile on his face as I walked into his room at 7:00 am. If you don’t know Jack, you might not have heard the words, but Jack speaks pretty loudly if you know how to listen. The words shine through him, no need for actual speech.

Jack was sitting on the floor, clutching a pillow. He was tucked between his bed and a chair. When I opened the barn doors leading to his room, I was in shock, but he wasn’t. He was calm and rather proud of his accomplishment.

A couple of weeks ago I shared that Jack managed to climb out of his bed one night and that I was getting side-rails for his bed to prevent further late-night escapades. I got the side-rails, but somehow he was able to figure out how to climb out, regardless of the barriers. Twelve years in the other house and it only happened once – what’s with the new house?

As I helped Jack up from the floor, I asked him how he managed this new trick. “You’re not going to tell me? I guess we’re gonna need to roll the footage!”


We sat down with the laptop and took a look at the camera footage from his room. I’ve been doing a lot of rolling the footage lately.

Last weekend Anna was home for a visit (she’s been back at Hopkins taking Organic Chemistry this month — poor child). She came home with a few friends and seemed to invite her entire high school class to stop by to check out “her” new house. Dan, Jack and I were heading out of town for a party on Saturday and I kept reminding Anna that our new house is full of cameras. “No funny business”.

As I sat at my nephew’s graduation party, I kept getting “dings” on my phone. From my phone I watched as Anna’s friends walked up to our front door with pool towels under their arms and people wandering around the house. I kept calling Anna, asking her who was there and making sure there was “no funny business”. By the end of the weekend every time she and her friends walked by a camera, they would wave and say hello.

When I sorted through the footage from last weekend there wasn’t (too much) funny business, and when I sorted through last night’s footage from Jack’s room I just watched as Jack scooted, little by little, through the small space between the end of the side-rail and the top of the bed. Easy enough to block off with a pillow.

I’ve got two incredible children and you might not think they have much in common, but they both sometimes need a little monitoring. I’ve been wondering what parents used to do. I know that pre-technology, kids got raised and everything worked out just fine, but it sure is nice knowing that Jack was only out of his bed for 45 minutes last night and that Anna’s friends are well behaved (ish) last weekend. I’m appreciating having the ability to check up on my kids when needed — I’m also REALLY happy that my parents didn’t have any cameras when I was in high school!

Love, Jess

P.S. Jack’s room is the only private space in the house that we have cameras. Our guests don’t need to worry that they will be filmed doing anything inappropriate. That said, I wouldn’t recommend sneaking into our yard for any skinny dipping or picking your nose while in the living room.



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