Ever have a pair of toddler nostrils ruin your perfectly parented night?
You’ve had a great and filling meal. Shower, book then down on the bed for some quick snuggling to get kiddo in that perfect place. That contented place you know all so well.
You came to the bed prepared with a pacifier and kiddo’s most comfy blanket. You strategically deploy the blanket first. Kiddo cuddles and makes a sound only the happiest of little ones make. You take your time making damn sure you don’t time the next move too fast but keep a clear mind to not miss your moment.
When the time is right, in the middle of a yawn or coo, with a flick of the wrist you place the pacifier in kiddos mouth. It’s like a mute button and a pause button had a child of their own. Kiddo is ready. Time for the crib and sleep for tired parent. Rejoice!
You throw your legs off the bed and hold Kiddo tight. A few looks are exchanged bit you’re such an expert at this. Such perfection. Kiddo’s eyes quickly close and you walk to the nursery. One more move to make: crib placement.
A smooth swing from head on shoulder to cradling in your arms. Eyes still closed. Slow but steady lowering to the blankets and suddenly it is complete. Quiet happy child in their own bed. Perfection I tell you. Perfection!
You turn for the walk out and hear a short but loud *SNORT*. Your exhausted devil parent on your left shoulder says keep walking but the caring parent angel on your right convinces you to check it out.
The horror. Mount Vesuvius and Krakatoa have both erupted at the same time. Kiddo is covered but doesn’t make a peep. The surprise by the explosion of their own sinuses has left them speechless.
You tell Kiddo everything is ok as you quickly grab whatever is closest. Shirt, towel, wipe, rug… it doesn’t matter. Anything to salvage the night for that glorious sleep you’ve been fighting for. You were perfect. You worked your parent ass off.
You quietly pray underneath your breath that Kiddo will sleep. Pray to every god and goddess you can think of. Pray to people you don’t even think are gods in the fear you might miss one.
As you finish cleaning your eyes meet. The acknowledgement is blatant in Kiddo’s eyes. They know what has happened. Their surprise turns to fear and sadness.
Better luck next time. Go grab something to drink. It’s not fair but your night is over. Good luck starting again in the morning.
Exploring life with my son as an At-Home Dad.