I have come to accept that nothing I will ever accomplish in this lifetime will be as rewarding as coaxing my daughter to sleep. To get that little break from her cries and from making sure she doesn’t crawl over and topple the bookcase some hard work must be done. She makes me earn every little respite.
For this girl does not do falling asleep on her own. Instead I must carry her until she deems it time to rest her eyes. Sometimes I try to sing to her that old song, “Hush little baby don’t say a word. Daddy’s going to buy you a mockingbird. And if that mockingbird don’t sing Daddy’s going to buy you a diamond ring.” Around here is when I don’t know the words any more, but it seems she is about to fall asleep, so I improvise, usually with “And if that diamond ring don’t shine Daddy’s going to buy you a gold mine and if that gold mine don’t pan out Daddy’s going to buy you the album with Twist and Shout. And if Twist & Shout isn’t good Daddy’s gong to say you’re rude.” When I run out of steam with coming up with new verses I’ll count one one thousand two one thousand usually up to thirty one thousand and then I’ll brave plopping her into the playpen.
More often then not lately I’m successful, but sometimes she’ll think I didn’t give the enterprise enough effort and wake up with a cry. Then I have to start the whole routine over again. The other treacherous aspect is the floorboards. Every other one creaks and I haven’t been able to memorize which spots not to step on, but finally she falls asleep and I get a moment of peace and… oh cripes, she’s up again.