The Nap, or The Child Crying in the Other Room as I Try to Be a Good Parent
Posted by Bill Gauthier
So I’m sitting in my office at 3:25 PM on a Tuesday. Baby G is in her playpen. She needs a nap. Daddy stopped being nice. You see, Baby G has taken every nap this summer that she’s been with me on me. I’ve made reference to this on Facebook and Twitter, calling myself a hostage. I shouldn’t complain, I guess. I love her dearly and I get to read. But still, there are other things I’d like to do. Dishes. Go to the bathroom. Whatever. So, today is the day that she needs to be able to nap on her own…like she does at day care.
Yes, no one rocks her to sleep at day care, and they sure as hell don’t let her sleep on them. So today, Daddy becomes the official Bad Guy. It was a good run. I nearly made it to 9 months.
I’m not going to lie. This is not easy. Hearing her in the other room crying, crying, crying, for about 10 minutes now, is really hard. But I think it’s important. She has to be able to be independent in some way, and I need to be able to do things, whether it’s housework or write a stupid blog post. Still, a large piece of my heart is breaking right now. Honestly, I feel like I could start crying. The only thing that’s stopping me is the knowledge that I’m right. I’ve done it before.
My teenager, Courtney, didn’t have this problem as much, if I recall correctly. Either way, I was able to get her to nap with fairly little issue. As a matter of fact, she still naps fairly well. Getting her to stop sleeping is my biggest problem.
But life isn’t a comparison of horrors and parenting isn’t a comparison of children. What works with one may not work with the other. In this case, I know it will work because our day care provider told me that’s how it worked with Baby G and her, so….
And now I’m going to go, not to Baby G (who will stop crying for a few minutes, only to begin again at a higher decibel), who will continue to break my heart by crying today. And tomorrow, and the next day, until she’ll eventually stop. And I will tell myself that I’m not actually the Bad Guy but a Good Parent.
I have to tell myself that. It’ll stop me from crying.
Just so you know, this is my 100th post on WordPress. I don’t know why this means anything, but why not mention it? Share this and get me more followers. Whee!
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About Bill GauthierBill Gauthier is a writer. His books include the collection CATALYSTS, ALICE ON THE SHELF, SHADOWED, and the forthcoming ECHOES ON THE POND. His stories and essays have appeared in DARK DISCOVERIES and BORDERLANDS.
Posted on July 30, 2013, in Family Stuff, Life and tagged babies, baby, Being Daddy, crying, fatherhood, naps, parenting, questioning oneself, teenagers. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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