Stop me if this sounds familiar: you’re hanging out with the kid, the eye-rubbing/ear-pulling/yawning/fussing starts and you think, oh cool, nap time. So you go into bedroom and start the routine (for us, it’s reading 2-3 books, and always the same one right before the nap) and about 3/4 of the way through, sleepy baby turns into WILD CHILD.
This seems to be the age of resistance. In a car seat? Wants out. Sitting down? Wants to stand. Time for bed? No, time to play!
This morning at nap time, Declan started laughing halfway through the final book. The part where wild animals getting ready for bed aboard a boat finish brushing their teeth–and to the delight and surprise of everyone–decide next to go upstairs… to exercise! The book features a moose doing a pull-up, so I’m in. Declan has been laughing at that part of the book all week. At first, I wrote it off. Then I thought: maybe he understands the ridiculous sequence of events and, like me, embraces absurdist imagery such as an elephant cranking out a couple high-octane sets of jump rope.
Now, I’m pretty convinced he’s just stalling. He knows the routine. He knows I’m seconds away from finishing the book, turning on the white noise app, and putting him in his crib. And he is trying to convince me that he is SUPER AWAKE AND COULDN’T POSSIBLY SLEEP NOW!!! LOOK HOW AWAKE I AM, DAD! HA HA HA! FUNNY ELEPHANT! HA HA HA!
I admit, I second guess myself a bit. Did I miss the sleep window? Am I going to put him down, only to have him cry for the next 45 minutes?
And then I decide… I don’t care. The boy will go to bed. And so I pick him up, turn on the noise, turn off the lights, rock him in my arms for a minute while he paws at my face and makes gurgling noises, and then put him down in the crib and leave the room. What happens next? About 2 seconds of fussing, followed by silence and an hour-and-a-half long nap. Who’s your daddy? Yes, I am.