In Oct. 17 IssueRussell County NewsBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
It's always the little ones, isn't it?
You think after a couple (or five) kids, you've pretty much got it figured out.
You've seen everything, done everything, you know what each little sound and expression means, and you know how to handle any situation.
But oh no, kids love nothing better than to prove you wrong.
My youngest, Izzy, who is just over a year old, has proven to be pretty easy to raise...so far.
Fairly pleasant, smiles a lot, and doesn't seem to have any hang-ups.
She basically doesn't like to go to sleep.
Oh, she'll nod right off if she's cuddled up with her “MeMaw,” or “Aunt Missy,” but after the sun goes down, she wants to be up.
Every night, around bedtime-which can be anywhere from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Izzy gets a little, shall we say, “restless.”
She's in bed, out of bed.
Up the hall, down the hall.
She goes from room to room-slamming doors, crawling on the floors.
She'll make at least one trip to the kitchen where she opens the refrigerator door as if she's looking for a specific item.
Sometimes she'll stand in the dark, perfectly content-sometimes she'll stand in the dark screaming bloody murder.
Same routine every night.
And always, roughly ten minutes before she finally falls asleep, she squalls and squeals as if an unseen entity is attacking her.
During these precocious, pre-r.e.m. moments, I have checked to see if perhaps she has a thorn in her paw, or if she has somehow become wrapped in barbed wire-because that's how she acts.
We have tried practically everything imaginable to break this pattern because sure enough, after about 40-something straight nights of it, a person gets kinda weary.
(Especially, Renee', bless her heart, since I often use the “Oh, I have to get up early” excuse, and flee to the couch.)
The other morning, Renee' was unusually “chipper.”
“Guess what?” she said. “I got Izzy to sleep with no problems last night.”
“How?!” I asked.
“Well...” she said, with a grimace. “I found an old pacifier, and ...”
“Oh, no,” I said, “that's kinda going backwards, isn't it?”
“Well, gosh, I'm sorry,” she said. “I enjoyed getting more than two hours of sleep.”
Izzy is pretty much out of the “bottle phase,” and really hadn't used a “passy” for quite a while.
There was heated discussion of whether we should allow the use of a pacifier at bedtime.
If nothing else, I had a “financial” reason against pacifiers.
Every time I went to the Mighty Dollar (which is about two or three times a day), I would buy a “two pack” of pacifiers.
I had figured that over a month's time I had purchased at least 8-10 pacifiers.
Only problem was we could never find a pacifier when we needed one.
I couldn't for the life of me figure out where they went.
When Renee' announced her epiphany, I asked her where she had managed to find a pacifier.
“I just happened to see one under the bed when I was looking for a pair of shoes,” she said.
So, that night, at bedtime, when Izzy began her nocturnal meltdown, I suggested we try a pacifier.
None to be found.
I crawled out of bed, got down on my knees and “attempted” to look under the bed.
Best I could figure, there was only a six-to-eight inch clearance.
“I can't fit under there,” I said. “I can't even see under there.”
It was dark and scary, so like a real man, I tried to con a child into doing my dirty work for me.
“Hey Drake,” I asked our five year old, “you want to earn some extra video game time?”
Renee' gave Drake a tiny, key chain flashlight, and coaxed him toward the floor.
Drake trepidaciously peaked under the bed, then quickly began crawling backward.
“I'm not going under there!” he said.
His mother whispered something in his ear, and he edged forward...then stopped.
“Mommy,” he said. “I'm stuck.”
Sure enough, his head was wedged between the box springs and the floor.
“Well,” Renee' said, “do you see anything?”
“Just the floor, mommy,” Drake dutifully said.
He was soon pulled to safety, and we enlisted the help of our three year old, Kate.
Kate saw us approach her, made a startled face, then ran away screaming.
I suggested Renee' try to crawl under the bed, but she pointed at her chest.
“Oh,” I said. “Well, I certainly understand.”
Our bed is not only crammed into a corner of our bedroom, but also surrounded by pieces of furniture, piles of clothes, etc.
There's really no way to scoot it out from the wall.
I even tried laying flat on the bed-with my feet against the wall-to budge it.
So, I volunteered to get as much of myself as I could under the bed, and see what I could.
I stuck one arm under the bed...waving it back and forth to see if any rabid animal or escaped murderer hiding underneath took the bait.
So far, so good.
Then, with one side of my head flat against the floor, I took that same, un-attacked arm, and let the tiny flashlight shine it's beam into the abyss.
I felt like I had entered a mummy's tomb.
Along with the musty smell was the sight of what looked like hundreds of diamonds scattered in the untouched darkness under our bed.
Oh, but they weren't diamonds, but something much better...PACIFIERS.
An unharvested field of them.
I took a coat hanger, drumstick, and whatever I could find to poke, pull and drag the long-lost pacifiers to the light.
We laughed excitedly as we cradled handfuls of pacifiers-occasionally tossing them in the air, or throwing them at each other with unbridled joy.
A bounty, indeed!
But now for the test...
We cleaned off a couple of the pacifiers so we could give them to Izzy...who we couldn't find!She was discovered laying in the bed.
Through all the commotion, through all the jostling and joking, she had fallen asleep.