b Papa Dog's Blog: Good Night, Moon!

Papa Dog's Blog

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Monday, November 14, 2005

Good Night, Moon!

Yet another unanticipated consequence of fatherhood: I’m paying more attention to the night sky than I have since a unit in a junior high science class required me to locate Ursae Major and Minor from the comfort of my own back yard. My current interest in astronomy is no more sophisticated than that, but it’s much more personally motivated. Baby Dog seems to have decided that she loves above all other things the moon. Now when I come home from work in the evening I find myself looking to see whether or not it’s overcast and, if the moon is visible, where exactly it is. When the night is clear and there’s no building interposed between our house and the moon, I take Baby Dog out on the steps and point her in the right direction. She reaches out both arms, grasping with her fingers, keening “Moooooooooon!” The last few nights have been good moon nights. It’s bright, unobstructed, almost full. Tonight, I took Baby Dog out on the steps right after I got home from work. Mama Dog bundled Baby Dog up in something she loves almost as much as the moon, her soft and fluffy “moo coat” (actually a Dalmatian pattern, presumably inspired by those Disney movies, but we’ll wait until she’s older to tell her that). We sat looking up at the moon and the “star” underneath it (probably either Venus or an airplane). “Moooooooooon,” said Baby Dog, and “moo toat!” She complained when we had to go in, so I promised her that we’d look at the moon again before bed time.

Moon viewing was followed by story time with Daddy then nummy nummy supper (potatoes and chicken or, as Baby Dog likes to call it, “turkey”), then bathtime and story time with Mummy, and lastly songs with Daddy. When we were done song time and I was zipping her into her sleep sack, I suddenly remembered my promise to show her the moon again before sleep. It occurred to me that the moon was probably visible from her window. Wanting to impress upon her early on that she can count on me to keep my word, I picked her up in the sleep sack, carried her over to the window, and pulled back the blinds. I settled her down where she could see the moon. “See?” I said. “Moon!” “Moooooooooon!” she replied. “Say ‘Good night, moon!’” I told her, and carried her back to her crib, where she cried and cried, wanting to see the moon some more. Way to overthink, Daddy. Keeping my dumbass word to her ruined all the carefully crafted night time soothing that had preceded it. I should have thought to say, “Say ‘Bye-bye moon,’” but didn’t. Ah well. She had Goodnight Moon in the crib with her, and was settled again soon enough. Still. Note to self: do the final look at the moon thing before song time.


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