I awoke to happy giggles and a warm sounding “Dada!” through the baby monitor. It was 8:30am. I did a double take. 8:30am!? She slept through the whole night? There was no visit from the Midnight Monster!? Yes! I managed to do the impossible, and in only three days! I happily got out of bed and was ready to tackle the day. Day three ended up being a piece of cake, so all I had to do today was repeat it and seal the deal. I was back! Back in charge and back on top! Watch out Ellie, I’m feeling fierce today! Rawr!
And feeling fierce I was. Fierce and in command. My new found confidence had carried over to all my parenting duties. When I said it was time to change her diaper, we changed her diaper. When it was time to change her clothes, we changed her clothes. She ate what I wanted her to eat, and when I told her to. “You don’t want eggs for breakfast? Aww too bad, that’s all I made. Yeah, that’s right. Eat it, that’s what I thought.”
Naptime was a breeze again. I barely even looked at the clock because she fell asleep so fast. “Yeah, that’s right, I said sleep.” And that’s how it’s done. With the extra time I had, I prepped dinner, watched some TV, and ate lunch without having tiny hands pawing at my legs or stealing my food. I forgot what this felt like. Bed time would be a breeze.
Breeze, it was NOT. Bedtime was a whole other story…
Okay, so maybe I was a little too confident. Maybe I should have prepped a little bit before bedtime. At least taken the time to stretch. But nope, I didn’t. And I paid for it too. I got annihilated! She must have been planning it all day long. While I was telling her what to do and when, she was quietly plotting against me. “Excellent. He’s right where I want him to be,” she thought while smiling sweetly at me during lunch.
I was expecting bedtime to be quiet and easy. I wouldn’t be in the room and there would be no crying. So that’s all I prepared for and all I could handle. When I left the room with a smile and a wave, that’s when it started. She was quiet at first, but then she started shouting for dada. And then for mama. And then she was crying hard, and pounding on the door even though it wasn’t even closed. Ahh! She was crying, and crying hard! If I was prepared and had a thicker skin at this point I might have been able to wait it out. But I couldn’t. I felt myself being sucked in against my will. NOOOO!
I walked in, wiped her tears, sat in the chair, and read One Fish Two Red Fish Blue Fish for what seemed like hours until she fell asleep. The whole bedtime routine from start to finish took two hours. Ugh! This was not progress and I had let myself get sucked into her madness. She totally pounced on me when I least expected it. I didn’t see it coming. I fell for all her tricks like a putz.
I came downstairs a defeated man. A broken man. I was hurt emotionally and physically and I needed comfort. So I went to get ice cream. What would have been my celebratory ice cream was now my woe-is-me treat. Aya was insistent on taking over the next day to give me a break but I wouldn’t agree to it. My ego was bruised and I wanted one last show down to reclaim my victory. I had a score to settle. This wasn’t over yet.