I’m quicker and more efficient at getting you to bed for both naps and bedtime.
Mommy is quicker and more efficient at doing the dishes after meals.
However, Mommy depends on that quality time with you of putting you to bed… so I do the dishes while she puts you to bed.
And that’s no problem. I’m cool with whatever, asking myself the question, “What would Jack Jackson do?“
He would do the dishes. So I do, too.
But here lately, you have really… what’s another way of saying “taken advantage of the situation”?
You’ve really capitalized on the fact that you know Mommy will come back to comfort you if you call her after she leaves your bedroom.
Of course, you don’t do that with me if I happen to be putting you to bed. You just go to sleep because I make things less interesting, and comforting, I suppose.
So this weekend, Mommy and I tried an experiment.
For your noontime naps, Mommy went through the typical routine for bedtime for you, while I did the dishes from the recent meal, but then she called me upstairs right as it was time for her to leave the room and for you to start falling asleep.
Then, Mommy had to go to get gas for her car. (Or drive to the next neighborhood while I closed the deal with you.)
The most important part of this plan working was that you actually saw Mommy literally drive away. All I did after that was sing you a quick version of the theme song from The Lorax, and you were in Dreamland by the time I could walk downstairs.
With there being no hope of her coming back to your room to comfort you anytime soon, you gave up trying to delay falling asleep.
That’s when I texted Mommy to come back, just a few minutes after she drove away; that the coast was clear.
About a month ago (at least) our dishwasher stopped working. Even if I had the handyman skills I wish that had, I still don’t see how I could budget that time into our time-starved schedule.
I imagine it would take a whole sacred Saturday afternoon (at best) for me to fix the thing. Eventually, Papa (my dad) and I will get it taken care of while he and Nana are visiting for the holidays.
The funny thing is, neither Mommy nor I really care that we currently don’t have a running dishwasher.
One of my roles in our household is to take care of all the dishes and clean up the kitchen after dinner each night.
I’ve always washed everything by hand anyway, so by now, having to fool with loading and unloading the dishwasher, not to mention having to to pay for the water and electricity to clean them a 2nd time, it just seems like too much hassle.
Though it may seem like a simple task, it takes me about 45 minutes to wash and dry all the dishes, put them away, wipe down the counters, and vacuum the floor.
During that time, I’m missing a world of fun upstairs.
That’s when Mommy gets you ready for bed. I never knew what I was missing!
But recently there was a night where we hardly had any dishes, so I got to check out what you two do while Daddy’s doing the dishes every night.
The lights were out and I discovered Mommy using only a flashlight to read you a bedtime story…
And to teach you how to make shadow puppets!
It’s funny because I’ve always wondered what all the laughing and jumping around was going on upd there, as I listened from down below:
Our kitchen is basically directly below your bedroom.
Mommy and you get to have fun; that’s what’s going on upstairs.
Meanwhile, I have the glorious job of dish duty while listening to Imagine Dragons.
I don’t mind, though. It’s important that you and Mommy get to have that special time together.
Since I’m the one you takes you to school, I have at least two exclusive hours a day that Mommy doesn’t.
Besides, being the “kitchenware engineer” helps me feel a little bit more useful around here, since I imagine most dads would have already fixed their broken dishwasher by now.
Granted, I could get you to bed a lot sooner myself, but I bet Mommy’s a lot more fun!
Very seldom do I credit the word “genius” to artists of my lifetime, because it can be a pretty cliche thing to say. People say Quentin Tarantino and Lady Gaga are geniuses. To that, I submit a circa-2010 “Meh…”.
But there is no doubt about it: Dr. Seuss, who died in 1991, when I was only 10, was definitely a genius artist.
There’s a quote which is often credit to him, though it was actually comes from p.115 of True Love: Stories Toldto and by Robert Fulgham:
“We’re all a little weird, and life’s a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
That, my friends, is also genius. That is the kind of quote I am jealous of because I didn’t think of it first.
It doesn’t just apply to the person you marry. For me, it also obviously applies to the relationship between my son and me.
He’s only 23 months-old. So for anything weird he does, like his impression of a snake that involves flapping his arms like a chicken, barking like a dog, and covering his nipples, all while he tries to go potty as his Mommy and Dada watch, he has a solid excuse.
I’m 31 years old. Somehow that gives me less of an excuse to be weird.
Since he’s my son and is exposed to my weirdness on a daily basis, he gets an extra dose; on top of the God-given weirdness he already has.
Needless to say, the two of us have joined up in our mutual weirdness and call it love.
In his ever-renewing resistance to falling asleep for naps and bedtime, I have to step up my game as needed.
Recently he’s been going down less easily, so as of 3 weeks ago, I invented a technique that I, for some unknown reason, named “droning.”
Imagine what it would sound like combining the African back-up singers on Paul Simon’s acclaimed Graceland album with your token chanting monk:
On repeat for like 4 minutes.
It’s basically the human equivalent to the white noise a humidifier makes if you could turn up the volume on one.
I hum this into the side of his cheek as I hold him, then lay him down in his bed once he gets in the trance, and then I do it again for a couple more minutes to let it all really soak in.
If he isn’t deep enough in his sleep mode when I start backing out of the room while still droning, he politely calls out in the dark room:
It’s his way of saying, “Will you keep doing that weird thing that helps me fall asleep?”
I appreciate when he does that. It shows me he likes my weirdness. He asks for my weirdness.