Saturday, March 03, 2007

You shooda seen da udder guy

Now, let's begin by saying Daddy is normally a mild-mannered fellow. Gentle, if a little clumsy. But mild-mannered would be an appropriate description.

So when Mommy and Daddy went to pick-up the wee Cap'n Quinn from daycare last week only to find that our little hero had gotten his first shiner, a whole new range of emotions began to emerge.

It took a little while -- say an hour or so -- but a source of nearly irrational anger began to well up in Daddy.

But first, the back story.

Apparently for a few hours in the morning, the daycare mixes toddlers and infants until their full staff arrives. During this period, one of the walking toddlers dropped a square-shaped plastic toy on Quinn's head.

A few points of observation: I fully realize that when you put a bunch of toddlers in a room, accidents are prone to happen. But Quinn's immobile and, therefore, should have been moved out of harm's way. Instead, he was on a bouncer that sat on the floor. This is no different from me leaving Quinn on a playmat on the floor as Dexie the Wonderdog mercilessly chased her magical rubber ball across the house. The same dangers exist. Mommy and Daddy, however, are smart enough to realize that Quinn should be placed at some distance away from those dangers.

All of this, naturally, was repeated with a moderate level of repressed anger back to the daycare's manager the following Monday. Hearing this, she nodded her head, agreed with everything I said, and might have even handed me the keys to the shop, her house and her car had I asked for it. Which I didn't, but maybe I should have.

Once we got over that, part two of a difficult week came Wednesday night, when Quinn woke up every 20 minutes. Daddy stayed home from work Thursday to help Mommy, who hadn't gotten a wink of sleep that night. The Good Doctor told us the next day that nothing is wrong, Quinn's healthy, and weighs somewhere in the realm of 13 pounds, though it's hard to say for exactly since he was wearing about 15 layers of clothes that day.

The problem, the Good Doctor surmised, is Quinn -- who Mommy and Daddy rock to sleep -- is now of an age to recognize that we're not there when he wakes up.

The solution to this is painful -- let him cry, the Good Doctor said.

So we did it that night. For an hour that was more agonizing for Mommy since Daddy slept through most of it. (Not for lack of caring, I assure you. I was just tired. Mommy would have left me to cry myself to sleep, too.)

So far, it's helped. The next time Quinn woke up that night, he cried for only about 15 minutes. Tonight -- yes, it's late -- he's gotten up once, been fed, and went right back to sleep.

As for Daddy, well, he's back to his mild-mannered self again. He'll get his sleep some other day.

Like when Quinn's in his 20s. Or separated from the toddlers. Whichever comes first.

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