Putting Ellie down for the night is a lot like a boxing match. Whether I’m fighting or my wife is fighting, every night at my house is fight night. It could be a one round knockout. Or it could be a long 30 round fight like in Rocky IV. Ellie always gets in some good hits, but I can take a beating. Sometimes you have to tag in another fighter. And sometimes you need to fight two against one. Either way, I come ready to fight. And ready to win.
In this corner weighing in at 15 pounds, 3 ounces, we have the Crazy Crawler, the Dancin’Destroyer, Miss Fancy Pants, the Drooling Machine, Princess Pei Pei… The one and only… ELLIE KOKOMI!!!
And in this corner weighing in at 160-ish pounds, the Bottle Distributor, the Book Reader, the Diaper Changer… The beaten, the weary, the many times defeated… DAD!!!
NOW LET’S GET READY TOOOOOO RUUUMMMBLE!!!
It’s right after the bath. Ellie is bright eyed and crawling all over the ring. This could be a long difficult fight. But, Dad looks very rested and determined to have a portion of his evening for quiet time. This seems like an equal match folks. Anything could happen. Dad has Ellie down, applying the diaper. Oh, Ellie breaks away and is heading towards the door commando! Dad grabs her and distracts her with a toy. The diaper is applied. Dad is trying to put her pajamas on and Ellie breaks away again! The speed and agility she has is amazing. Dad sneaks up behind her and gets the pajamas on. Ellie starts rubbing her eyes, and shaking her head. It looks like Dad has won this round! Ding Ding!
Ellie starts screaming, arching her back. She is coming out strong for round two! Dad manages to get her down on the Bobby pillow in the rocker. Ellie is twisting and kicking. She fights dirty, and yet no objections from the ref. The bottle is still not warm enough. What a rookie mistake on Dad’s part. What a set back! Ellie has now flipped over on her stomach, kicking and screaming. Dad needs to think quick or this round will be lost very quickly! Dad stands up with Ellie and is starting the standing rocking move. AND he’s humming Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! Ellie quiets down! What a turnaround! This is turning into a dog eat dog street fight. Dad wins two in a row! Ding Ding!
The bottle is warm now and Ellie starts to drink from it. She is squirmy. Her arms and legs are twitching. Dad starts rocking. Ellie is calming down. Her eyes are getting heavy. The bottle is almost finished. Her eyes are closed, but she’s still drinking. Will this be the final round!? The bottle is finished, her eyes are closed, and she appears to be sleeping. Her body is limp. It seems she really IS sleeping. Dad gently picks her up to take her to the crib… A hush falls over the crowd… You can hear a pin drop… The emotion and excitement in the room is overwhelming… Will Dad win in three short rounds? He takes one step towards the crib… two steps… three steps… Her eyes open, and she SMILES!! What a fake out folks! What a blow to Dad! He is visibly hurt! He’s going to have to really focus to take a hold of this fight again. Ellie is back in the game and she is more determined than ever! Ellie wins this round! Ding Ding!
Dad turns on the white noise. Flips Ellie into the sleeper hold and starts humming. Ellie is kicking and cooing and drooling. She will not go down without a fight! Dad brings out the big guns. He starts singing Yellow Submarine. The constant repetition of “We all live in a yellow submarine” is putting Ellie in a trance! It’s a constant pounding. She’s not able to retaliate at all. Her eyes are getting heavy, her body is going limp. Her eyes are closed. Dad puts her in the crib. 10… 9… 8… 7… Her head lifts up. It’s down! It’s up! She twists and turns. Dad is being constant with his finishing move of the gentle back patting. Her head is back down! 10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… She’s twitching but her headÂ is still down… 4… She’s kicking her legs, but she is still down… 3… 2… 1… She is down and out for the count! And that’s the fight folks! Dad has won this round and has finished with a knock out round! Ding! Ding!
10 minutes later…
Talk about a comeback! Ellie comes back full force from a knock out round with Dad! Crying, kicking, flipping, screaming. She is determined for a rematch! Dad, weakened and hurt, flies upstairs a broken man. A determined man. He picks her up and does the sleeper hold, the yellow submarine, AND the back pat all at the SAME TIME! Dad finishes the rematch with a one round knockout move! Ellie, officially defeated, sighs a sigh of defeat and falls asleep in her crib until the next rematch. Will it be at 1:00am, or 4:00am? Or in another 20 minutes? That’s the excitement of the sport. That’s why we play the game. Dad comes downstairs, bruised and beaten. He’s quiet and unsure of his victory and asks his wife;
“Do we have any ice cream?”