b Papa Dog's Blog: Daddy at Home Week: Day 4

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Friday, September 02, 2005

Daddy at Home Week: Day 4

A big part of Small Child Management is finding the way to make their schedule loosely agree with yours. Baby Dog, perhaps somehow sensing that this was the last day of Daddy at Home Week, went all out to see that no such congruency occurred today. Things started promisingly enough, with her eating well at both breakfast and morning snack. Then I decided to kill time between morning snack and lunch with a little stroll to the bank and possibly a trip to the park. Halfway to the bank, I found myself chattering desperately at her to keep her from nodding off hours before nap time for the second day in a row. “Look,” I observed trenchantly, “trees! And…uh…cars! They go vroom! Yep, there sure are a lot of trees and cars!” Perhaps understandably, she was fast asleep long before our arrival at the ATM.

Oh well, I thought, making the best of it. An early nap could b e a good thing. I had a bit of a backlog of stories I’d taped. I could maybe watch last week’s episode of Over There. I turned around and wheeled home. Baby Dog was still sound asleep when we got to our door. I’m a past master at getting her out of the stroller without waking her, so I did my thing. The dog cooperated for once and didn’t bark. I managed to pull off Baby Dog’s shoes and socks while still walking her to the crib, and slipped her out of her jacket like pulling off a blanket. She grunted as her head hit the mattress and flopped over into her deep sleep position. I went over to the computer, looked at my email, and heard her crying “Da-Deeeeeee!” before I could open the first message. Total nap time: 24 minutes.

We played in the living room for a while, then I fed her lunch. Changing her diaper after the meal, I saw that she was half asleep. Unsurprising, since it was now almost an hour after nap time and she’d only had twenty minutes’ sleep. I set her down in the crib and she started to scream and cry. I tried all of the usual things to get her to sleep, and nothing worked. Finally I got the bright idea of just going on another stroll. I bundled her up in the stroller and went over to Wally’s World to get some Coke. She was still awake at Wally’s, so I took the long way home, zigging and zagging around the neighbourhood. She chatted all the way, pointing out every tree we passed, and saying “Tree!”

In case you’re missing the irony here, I’ll summarise: while I was walking around trying to keep her awake, she fell asleep; while I was walking around trying to get her to sleep, she stayed awake.

I gave up after about thirty or forty minutes of walking, took her home, and set her down in the crib. At wit’s end, all I could think to do was let her cry it out, which she did. The “cry” part, anyway. The “out” part proved elusive. All she did was get hoarser and hoarser. Finally I couldn’t stand it anymore, and went in to rock her some more. At long long last, more than two hours after nap time, she fell asleep. I got to watch that episode of Over There.

Just as the episode was ending, Halmonie and C arrived, having driven up from Saint Babs for the long weekend. Their arrival was silent and again the dog mysteriously failed to raise an alarum, but apparently Baby Dog sensed a disturbance in the force, because she was instantly awake. At least I could at that point hand her over to Halmonie, who wanted nothing more than to have full access to the grandchild.

We had dinner at Shen Hua with Halmonie, C, and the Family Whippet. Baby Dog was good through most of it, but got a little fussy towards the end, so I took her out for a stroll up and down College Avenue. We looked at the window of Sweet Dreams, which is now featuring a display of stuffed dogs including one that looks a bit like Doggy Dog. “Woof,” Baby Dog noted. Mostly, though, she wanted to play with some balloons tied to a parking meter outside the shoe store. Balloons have been a big obsession of her since first encountering them at Mel’s. I pulled the balloons down to her eye level and she batted them about and grabbed hold of the string. I said to her, “Let’s let them up up up,” “Up up up” being a phrase she’s learned from Are You My Mother?. Evidently, she’s absorbed the meaning, because when I said that she let go of the string and watched the balloons go up, up, up. We repeated that a few times then went back for a quiet rest of the meal.

At nine, she still hadn’t gone to sleep. I don’t know where all this energy was coming from. She must have been exhausted, but she kept wanting to play. Halmonie finally gave up and passed her on to Mama Dog, who eventually called me in. It was clear that Baby Dog was cranky from lack of sleep but so filled with excitement about the arrival of her beloved Halmonie that she couldn’t go to sleep. I couldn’t get her to hold still on my lap or in my arms, but when I laid her down in the crib and sang to her from the chair, she calmed down. It took several continuous loops of Donald and Lydia, but out she did finally conk.

After that it was dishes, cleaning up the living room, and collapsing in a stupor on the couch to watch more of Willy Wonka, which we’d Netflicked to take the taste of the remake out of our mouths. We’d left off last night after the introduction of Mike TV and managed to stay awake tonight through the departure of Augustus Gloop and the psychedelic boat trip through the tunnel. Now Mama Dog’s asleep and I’m glazed of eye, incoherent, and unspeakably eager to join her. It was one hard-ass day and I’m really looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.


Blogger Judy said...

As my husband says, he sometimes has to go to work just to get some rest...being at home is exhausting!

7:06 PM  

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