I’m no babysitter, but I almost felt like one the other night.
During our work week, I’m the morning parent and Bex is the nighttime parent. That’s been part of our routine since she went back to work. So far, it’s worked out pretty good for us. Famous last words, right?
On Wednesday, Bex picked up an extra evening shift which meant that I would be taking over bedtime duties. I didn’t think much of it until she started going over the routine with me, again, and again . . . and again.
“Bathtime, Books, Bottle, Bed. Start at 19:00 and he’ll be down by-“
“Honey, I’m not a babysitter. How hard could it be to put my son to bed?”
Again, famous last words.
So we kissed IncrediMom goodbye and went to the park. My thinking was that if we played hard enough, I’d have him tired out by bedtime. So we leap onto the swings in a single bound (we’re still working on those powers of flight). They’re his favorite thing to do at the park. On this particular day, he found them so exciting that he fell asleep in the middle of our swing session.
He napped on the entire walk home, as I carried his stroller up the stairs of our apartment, and for another hour after that. So much for that. I guess my plan was a little too effective.
Later on, he woke up with big bright smile on his face. I looked at my watch, it was only 18:30. Bex made such a big deal about sticking to the bedtime routine, I didn’t want to her to think I was incapable of handling this simple task. She would be home by ten. I figured that, if I was lucky, I could get him to fall asleep the minute before she walked in the door and she wouldn’t be any wiser. “Nah, he fell asleep an hour ago honey. I just…uh…love him so much. Didn’t have the heart to put him down.” Who wouldn’t buy that line? My wife. She’d see right through that sappy sentimental mush.
So, into the tub he went. We had a blast! Boy Wonder got to practice floating on his back (with a helpful assist by yours truly), washed behind his ears, and got treated to a performance of Shakespeare In The Tub by the Rubber Duck Players of Quackford, Avon. They performed Quackbeth to squals and giggles, the highest honor in our tub. But when The Taming Of The Goose ended in tears, I knew bath time was over.
Boy Wonder cried and cried as I dried him off, gave him a fresh diaper, and put on his pj’s. He continued to carry on as I laid him down in the playpen so I could fix a cereal bottle. I don’t know what possessed me to do it, but I told ALEXA to play the Star Wars Lullaby Album. The crying stopped immediately. Most parents would agree that there is nothing more suspicious than a silent kid, so I peeked over at playpen. His eyes were closed and his mouth was hanging open! I couldn’t believe that he went to sleep that easily.
So I picked him up and carried him into his room. His eyelids never wiggled. Then I laid him down in his crib and said goodnight. Suddenly, his eyes pop open and he giggled loud and hard at me. The little stinker faked me out! So, I picked him up, planning to rock him back to sleep, but by the time I cradled him, his eyes were closed again. I didn’t put him down, expecting another fake out. A few minutes later, I heard snoring. This was the real deal. He was out cold.
I checked my watch. 19:30. Not to shabby. So what if I didn’t exactly stick to the routine Bex had wanted me to. I still got Boy Wonder to sleep around the right time. IncrediDad saves the day again!
Bex came home later that night and found me half asleep on the couch. She asked me how everything went and I considered telling her that everything went according to plan. She never would have been the wiser. But the true story was too funny not to share. Plus, it proves that I’m no babysitter.
I’m the IncrediDad!