I was feeling pretty good about this. I even wore my Rocky T-shirt to help me keep my spirits up. I was hoping to channel Balboa to get me through this first round. What was also helping me keep my spirits up was the fact that Ellie seemed to be back to her normal self this morning. She was eating well again. She was content after she ate, and was very playful too. She wasn’t crawling around whining and acting crazy. As she sat there smiling and giggling while playing peek-a-boo in the kitchen, I couldn’t help but think, you have no clue what’s going to happen later.
Today was Macy’s Monday at the museum. It’s only once a month, so I didn’t want to miss it. I also figured this would be a good event that would help tire her out making naptime a little easier for me. My mom was going to join so that would add even more excitement for her. My mom’s main job would be to keep Ellie awake to and from the museum. There was going to be no sleeping in any car. Not on my watch.
All morning I had this feeling hanging over me. I imagine it’s a similar feeling my boss had when he had to let go people. He knew what was going to happen, but the other people sure didn’t. The more she smiled and laughed, the worse I felt. I just wanted naptime to arrive to get it over with.
The museum was a successful trip and she did burn a lot of energy. As soon as we got home the plan went into action. While she ate her lunch, I gathered the books I was going to read to her. I got my naptime playlist ready on my iPod. I started to get her bottle ready. And while I did all that, she was just sitting in her highchair so happy eating her food. “Such a good day dad! The museum was fun, you even brought grandma, and now this food!? You’re too much! I can’t imagine this day getting any better!” I just smiled back without making any eye contact. I still have one more surprise for you Ellie.
After she finished eating, there was nothing else left to do but go upstairs. I couldn’t stall any longer. It was time. I looked down at my Rocky T-shirt and thought, Eye of the Tiger. Eye of the Tiger. We went upstairs. I changed her diaper, and closed the shades and the curtains. I turned on the naptime music and had her sit on my lap in the chair. I read her four books in my soothing night time sleepy time voice. All the books I read had a theme of sleep, too. It was time.
It really wasn’t a fair fight. I had time to prepare and train. I’ve known for awhile this was coming, but she had no idea. I picked her up and as we walked towards the crib I said, Ellie, it’s time for a nap. Remember the fun we had today. It’sll be ok, it’s time to sleep. I put her in the crib and walked out…
As I walked out, she cried and wailed. “What are you doing!? What is this!?” It wasn’t a desperate screeching cry though, so I was feeling confident it wouldn’t last too long. But that screeching “I hate you cry,” that would come later. About an hour later.
I went back in after 20 minutes. I opened the door and she was on her feet balling and looking pitiful. “Why?! I don’t get it dad… whhhyyyyyyy!?” I laid her back down and walked out. I was not feeling so confident this time. I was so distraught I didn’t even want to eat. I tried to watch some TV to distract me, but it didn’t help. After another 20 minutes I went back in. It was the same routine, but this time after I left, it was worse. That gurgling hurt your soul cry came out. I was getting weak. She was getting to me. Stay strong Matt. No pain… No pain… I wanted to go back in but I didn’t. She cried non-stop for about an hour. And then she started to cry on and off. And then… After an hour and half, she fell asleep. ASLEEP!
Dad is the winner of Round One!… I think.
She slept for only 45 minutes and woke up crying. Did I call the end of round one too soon!? I didn’t know what to do if she woke up early. That wasn’t in my play book. She was definitely awake though. I had to get her. I couldn’t let her go anymore. I don’t know if it was good or bad, but I think it was a monster dump that woke her up. I mean monster. It growled. I did not anticipate that.
After having only napped for 45 minutes, I was really expecting her to be cranky for the rest of the afternoon. But surprisingly, she wasn’t. She was very playful and happy. She ate really well at dinner and went to bed just fine. I was very puzzled by this. Round one brought all kinds of surprises.
Alright Ellie, let’s call it a draw.
But you better know, I’m ready for Round Two.
To continue reading to Round Two, Click here.