Last night, I thought it’d be a good night for me to slip in and be Super Dad. Not sure why. I was tired. Maybe I sensed my lovely wife’s fatigue from going into work early. I had enough energy to do the duties. Bathe Ellison. Change Ellison. Rock Ellison. Read Ellison a story. Seemed like pretty fair work. I was up to it.
We started with the bath. Ellison did really well. She kicks in the water joyously. Looks up at her daddy. Smiles. Goos and woos. I play with Mr. Frog and work on my best “ribbit.” Drying goes well. I pass her off to my lovely wife to get her in PJs while I prepare for storytime. I go to the rocker, get a pillow situated under my arm, grab a book in the other hand. I believe it was “You’re Not My Mother.” Really it’s good. It sounds terrible. It’s sounds like an episode of The Maury Povich Show. Or, that’s probably more “I Ain’t Your Father.” It’s about a baby bird who hatches while his mom’s away from the nest and he walks around the neighborhood looking for his ma dukes.
I’m ready for some rockin’ though. My lovely wife brings Baby Ellison over to me and puts her in my arms. I begin to rock and clumsily get the book ready for storytime with my right hand. Then, from the first word on the first page (which I actually read all the text…I start with the writing and illustrator credits and publisher), she starts screaming. I’m not talking about whining or crying. I’m talking about shrilling. It was a full trip with convulsions, piercing shrills, punches to the face and torso. Okay, we’re gonna forego storytime at this point and jump right into straightjacket mode. I went from this wonderful serene moment of storytime with daddy and daughter to straight up warfare. It goes from lullaby to recovery mission in about two minutes.
I start rocking with my lovely wife sitting on the floor in front of us working on some baby book or something. The scream begins to cause my shoulders to tense up. My eyes begin to water. I bounce. I rock. I shhh. Nothing’s working. About five minutes into an unsuccessful mission, my lovely wife approaches me and says calmly, “Want me to take over?”
In defeat or surrender, I reluctantly hand the services over to my lovely wife who immediately swept into action. I don’t know if it’s the quality of her shhh, her bosom (that’s my theory) or her scent, but watching her work is like watching Mr. Miyagi in absolute awe as he does the crane on top of a stump in the beach. In fact, I went from being awe-inspired to also falling asleep right in front of her. She put us both out. Ellison squirmed and murmured for a few moments and then drifted off into a deep sleep.
You see, guys can’t do it like girls can. Girls can rock a baby like nobody’s business. In the growing list of things that girls do better than boys (or, furthermore, mothers better than fathers), putting a baby to sleep is right up there. There’s a chemical makeup in women where they don’t freak out and tense up. They go to work and there’s nothing more effective in col’ knocking a kid out than a mother’s cuddle. I don’t care what you say. Girls/moms/women are cool because they know what’s up when it comes to rocking a baby.