Saturday, January 15, 2011

The elephant on my chest

I woke up this morning with a big weight on my chest; something heavy like an elephant. Each expiration was heavy and prolonged. I opened my eyes thinking I was going to need to use my rescue inhaler, and that was when I remembered #4 was sleeping on my chest.

When he woke up at 4 a.m. he decided he no longer wanted the bottle of breast milk. He no longer was soothed just lying next to his daddy. What he wanted, I presumed, was his mommy. Yet she wouldn't be home another four hours at the least.

The warmth of my chest must have reminded him of his mother's warmth, and he fell asleep in a heartbeat. I rolled him to where he was lying beside me, and he stayed asleep. In a way this brought about a good feeling. It was a good feeling because daddy should be able to get some good sleep -- an hour at least.

So now it's 7 a.m. and the entire team is up except for the oldest. With his own hideout in the basement, he rarely has a need to come upstairs except for when he's hungry or has to use the restroom.

Number four is rolling around the floor with a bright smile upon his face. For some reason he decided he didn't want to sleep any more. I set him back upon my chest before I brought him out here, yet instead of closing his eyes he decided to play with my nose. So I knew it was time to get up.

Number two popped up as soon as she saw the light and took over the job of entertaining #1. In this way she is a big help, allowing dad to take a break and write this frivolous post. Number three decided she wanted to join the fun, and from behind the closed door I heard a muffled, "Daddy, I'm up!"

When I entered her room I found all the blankets and her pillow on the floor. That's her new entertainment, her first job of late of the day.

So our first experience with the wife working night shift went rather well with #4. When #3 was a baby she didn't tolerate it so well. Daddy tired of attempts to put her in bed, or even his bed, usually opted to sleep in the recliner all night with #3 by his side.

Yet #4 wasn't that way at all. Yes there was the need for a bottle or a snuggling every couple hours, yet only once did daddy have to get up to rock the boy. I'll never know why he's so mellow. Is it genetics, that he's a boy, or because he's #4 and has his siblings to push him around and mellow him out.

Or perhaps this humble RT is getting good at being a parent. Well, I'll hold off personal judgement. I've learned it's best not to jump to conclusions. These little animals, all four of them (well, 2 not so little any more), keep your humble RT busy, and for some reason have this uncanny ability to suck his energy dry.

Yet through heavy eyes he takes his break, with a background of soft chatting of the middle two, and the happy beat of children's songs every time #4 bounces in his little Fisher Price bouncy seat -- a smile cheek to cheek, and a happy giggle.

So it is only 7:30 now on a chilly Saturday morning in January, the years will move by quickly and the #1 through #4 will grow up. So the humble RT and dad has to quit writing now so he can spend quality time with them all while they are still under the roof of the humble RT.

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