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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Standoff

Getting my son, Luke, up in the morning has become difficult, as of late. When you combine a stubborn, (almost) two year old, with a daylight savings time change, what you get is a stand-off suitable for a hostage negotiator.

Shortly after daylight rolls around, I awake to, “Maaaa-Maaaa!” I grab my robe and stagger with eyes half closed into his bedroom. Maybe it’s because I haven’t fully awakened, or maybe it’s my desire to let him express his independence, but something convinces me that the following account of events is anything but ludicrous. Instinctively, I reach out to pick him up, but he shrinks to the other side of his crib and says, “Nope.” “That’s right,” I think to myself. “He’s not ready.”

“Da-yoose! Da-yoose, pease,” he whines. “Ok, I’ll be right back with your juice cup. I start to leave the room and he breaks into hysterics. I was afraid of this, but it was worth a shot. So, desperate times call for desperate measures. I stick my head out the door and call for his daddy who is still sleeping. Not to my surprise he awakens as blissfully as Luke.

What is this? How did a seemingly pleasant morning person wind up tip-toeing between two volatile morning maniacs? I blame Stockholm syndrome, but I digress.

“What?” Brantley barks.

“Luke isn’t coming out without a juice cup.”

“Then get him one.”

“He won’t let me leave.”

“#$%! He stomps downstairs and returns with said juice.

To our dismay, Luke still won’t come out of his crib and Brantley makes the tragic mistake of making direct eye contact with him. Luke screams, “Noooo!” “What are you doing?” I ask Brantley. “Don’t you know it’s way too early in the process to be making direct eye contact with him?”

We discuss both of us leaving, but ultimately decide that the sound of his crying would prevent us from falling back to sleep. A complicated verbal exchange ensues, and we discover that Luke wants Baxter the Yorkie to get in the bed with him. Baxter hates NOTHING more than to be trapped in Luke’s lair, while undergoing the roughest petting he’s ever received. Well, that’s just too bad. Baxter is going to have to take one for the team. I have a little guilt over it until I find Baxter sleeping soundly on our bed. This is his penance for sleeping through our Tuesday morning torment.

Hallelujah! Luke is pleased, and Brantley and I are pleased that he is pleased. He willingly departs from his bed under the guise that we will immediately play with his trains. We do play with his trains, but not until he eats a breakfast of turkey sausage, soy yogurt and a banana. My silver lining? He’s a very good eater. When you have a kid that’s 95% perfect, it’s important to pick your battles. As long as he continues eating green beans and broccoli, and saying please and thank you, our morning negotiations are just a drop in the bucket.