It was on a Saturday, just after lunch, around Timothy’s nap time, and we had an event to attend mid afternoon, and so I needed T to get a 90 minute nap before our event.
Okay, wait. Step back a sentence and find the word ‘needed’. That’s the problem.
As soon as you ‘need’ Timothy to do something, a chemical is released in his brain (underneath all of that red hair), that tells him that he has you exactly where he wants you. And then you’re done for.
Now, the best way to ‘encourage’ the little man to fall asleep is an early afternoon drive in the car. So I loaded him into his car seat, and jumped onto the highway and just started driving.
After ten minutes, he was still in the back seat babbling away — which to the untrained eye looked adorable, but is not so cute to me when I need him to be counting sheep, not making sounds like sheep.
I looked back at him, and maybe he saw something in my facial expression (most likely ‘fear’), but the look on TRBL’s face suddenly changed from innocent (‘yeah, we’re going for a car ride’), to double crossed (‘wait a minute, my own father is trying to get me to go to sleep?’).
And you could tell that the not-so-incredible hulk was not going to make my job easy.
I tried every trick – the silent treatment, turning on soothing classical music and finally, cranking up the heat to turn the car into a mobile sauna.
Finally, after thirty minutes on the road, having absorbed a lot of heat and classical music, (note: I believe that future global warming pacts/emission standards will limit fathers to a maximum of 15 minutes of driving to get their kids to go to sleep), Timothy’s eyes were closed and his head cocked back and to the left, like a bored student in an econ class.
I pulled into the driveway, pleased that, yet again, good had triumphed over evil.
I removed T Rex from his car seat and laid him down in his crib.
…. and ten minutes later, sleeping beauty was up and running around the house.
Speaking of sleep and good and evil, here’s an observation about attending church with young kids. When you go to a church (or other religious) service, if you happen to have older kids or no kids, you just walk into the church and find a pew and sit down. And that’s all that the pew is to you– a seat where you’ll sit for the next hour. But when you have a toddler, it’s a whole different level of commitment. It’s more like a vacation rental. You walk in, look around for a pew, maybe ask an agent (usher) for suggestions on different areas and how well sound (from your kid) travels and the location of bathrooms, and then you make your selection. And then you walk into your pew and meet your neighbors and apologize for any future noise. Finally, you make yourself at home by spreading all of your stuff out in the pew – because you know that while this service may only last an hour, it could feel like a lifetime (for you or maybe for the people around you), and so it’s best to make yourself comfortable and also make it a little tougher for them to kick you out.
Timothy is getting ready for Christmas at our house.
The most fun for him so far has been sitting in his high chair and playing with – and occasionally throwing — a small set of tiny nativity characters (Mary, baby Jesus, etc). He’s also developing other important Christmas skills, such as pulling the skirt from underneath the tree and redecorating (read: removing ornaments from) the Christmas tree. We’re so proud.
However you celebrate this time of year, we hope that you can spend it with people you love and that you have a wonderful Holidays and a Happy New Year!