Many years ago, I learned the phrase, Chicken Monkey.
To chicken monkey your way into a party, for example, is to gain admittance when none should have been given. Because this is a mommy blog, and not a Being-In-Your-Twenties-With-Good-Friends-Who-Are-So-Fun-Blog, I will skip over the story of The Original Night of the Chicken Monkey. Maybe my husband will tell the tale in the next Bring Your Partner To Blog Day.
Fast-forward, if you will, to one night, a few months ago, when Bug and Squish were taking turns refusing to go to sleep. Eventually, Bug went down for the night, but at 10pm, Squish was not so keen on the idea. In an act of pure selfishness, I grabbed Squish from his crib and propped him up on the couch with me so that my husband and I could finally eat dinner. Squish looked around. He saw that he was the only one of his generation awake in the family. He probably saw the clock. And then Squish realized the coup he had staged. A look of pure, mischievous joy crossed his face. In that moment, he was a Chicken Monkey through and through.
Now fast-forward further, if you will, to last night.
About two-thirds of the way through his dinner, Squish started to squirm, squeal, squawk, and cry. I ran a bath thinking that the warm water would soothe him. He kept crying. I washed him quickly (because he was still crying). I tried to nurse him, and maybe for the first time in his life, he refused. My husband gave Squish a pacifier, I held him and rocked him, and he fell asleep within the next two minutes.
About an hour later, Squish fussed, let out a few cries, and then found his way back to sleep.
An hour and a half later, Squish started to cry. I held out hope that he would get back to sleep on his own. Then Bug called out, "help me."
I walked to their room resigned to a fate of sleepless nights that will drain me of any appearance of youth before I am truly willing to recognize that I am middle aged. (Is that too dramatic? I wouldn't know. I haven't slept through the night consistently in a very, very long time.)
I comforted Bug and nursed Squish. They both fell asleep again.
By 10:30, Squish was crying again. I grabbed him from his crib and put him in my bed to nurse him. He was sleepy. Eyes closed. Content to be close. So sweet.
A minute later my husband came into the room.
Squish turned, opened his eyes, and saw my husband. Goodbye, sleepy sweetness.
Squish climbed over me toward my husband and looked at us as if to say,
"You didn't tell me Daddy would be here!
Now this is a party.
Oh, hey there, Daddy!
Did you know I am a really fun baby who will smile and laugh and play pretty much any time you feel like it?!??
Don't look at the clock.
Do not get trapped in the construct of Time.
What does 10:30 p.m. even mean?
This is our [finger-quotes] time.
I am a Chicken Monkey, and I love you!!!!!"