Good Night Son


We have two kids. My daughter is almost 2, and my son is two months old. We’re still working on teaching our daughter not to lay on her brother, poke his eyes, pick him up, push her head against his, comb his hair with hard objects, sit on him – you know, the usual kid stuff. She was trying to teach him to count this morning, though she only gets to 9 before getting distracted, and always starts on 2.

Yup, they’re bundles of fun. Our son’s still got to learn to sleep at night. He seems to prefer the day. It makes for an interesting pattern. After an exhausting day of work, I get home about the time he starts waking up bright-eyed and ready for a full evening of wide-eyed grunts and grumbles. I get ready and climb in bed – my wife’s already sound asleep by this time, totally oblivious to the whimpers and strange disgruntled noises coming from the bassinet, which I expend the energy of my whole soul trying to ignore. But of course, the intense effort begins to give me a headache, and leads my brain from exhaustion to a sort of wired, zombie-like mindset.

Finally I give in and leap from the bed with more vigor than I intend, swooping the poor little runt from his torture chamber, plop down on the rocker, and begin pumping with gusto. If this fails to lure him to sleep, it succeeds to induce the fall reflex, in which he stretches out shaking hands and wears an expression of suppressed horror.

Of course this only proves to waken him more, so I take him in the living room to change his diaper – the bane of my son’s existence (and he makes sure to let me know it every time). After re-wrapping him and stepping back to see if he shows signs of sleepiness, I realize that while he is now calm, he’s as awake as I would be at noonday. But noting that he’s being fairly quiet, I return him to the bassinet and slip back under the covers. Then comes the time of blissful sleep that I long for, and I feel myself slip gracefully into the comfort of my dreams. About this time, the noises from the bassinet return, tearing me cruelly back to reality. After another herculean effort to ignore the whimpers and grunts, I decide that for the time being, sleep is a higher priority than proximity to my wife, and I spend the rest of the evening on the living room couch. Good night son!

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