I've come to realize that at the ripe old age of three weeks, my son has established a routine by which he lives his days. Deviation is not an option. He most clearly did not get this from me. 7/8ths of his day is fairly mundane: he sleeps, nurses, and expels bodily fluids, all in a rather repetitive nature. If he wore a watch, he could set it by his actions. Lather, rinse, repeat.
It's that remaining 1/8 of his routine that is a doozy. After careful examination, I believe I have captured the steps and procedures. First, these actions must always occur between the hours of 11pm-2am. He may be a werewolf. I digress. These are the steps:
1. At 11 pm sharp, finish nursing. completing a session like someone told you that there will be no more sustenance, ever, and therefore you must extract every final available drop with an energy that would light up the Eastern seaboard until 3001. Immediately be handed off to Dad. Watch Mom head upstairs to sleep.
2. Develop gas bubble the size of Manitoba. Act strangely calm while dad attempts to dislodge said bubble through burp. When that fails, scream as if you were warning London of the approaching Blitz.
3. Continue the last part of step 2, stopping only when Dad holds you out so that you lay backside-down on his forearms, your head cradled in his hands. This reminds of you of being in the womb, and you believe that you can float, so your arms go limp, and you look Kate Winslet standing on the bow of the Titanic.
4. Fall asleep for ten seconds, just enough time for Dad to think he can stop holding you in the way that makes him feel like his arms are being devoured by 3,612 fire ants, and then resume screaming when the lactic acid buildup in Dad's arms starts to dissipate.
5. Bob head up, down and side-to-side as Dad holds you on his lap in a sitting position, so that you look like a muppet being forced to burp. Make approximately forty thousand "eh" noises that make Dad think he is fracturing vertebrae with every tap to your back. Do not burp.
6. After Dad has changed to holding you over his shoulder and then gone back to sitting you on his lap, let go with burp that registers on the Richter Scale. Feign being startled when glass in windows shake. Make sure to have small quantity of drool-laced-with-throat-gunk in mouth and release it into Dad's hands.
7. Sit quietly for sixty seconds in vibrating bouncy seat that Dad (who wants to check his homeowner's insurance) foolishly thinks will put you to sleep in five minutes. At second sixty-one, scream. Scream, scream, scream. Scream, I tell you, like you have never screamed before. Give me an S! Give me a C! Give me an R! Give me an E! Give me an A! Give me an M! Go team go!
8. Sit cradled in Dad's arms and go back to making forty thousand "eh" noises while he wonders were one of the 57 pacifiers in the house might be. When he finds one and sticks it in your mouth, suck on it like you haven't been fed since conception.
9. Fall asleep multiple times. Wake up because you feel the Earth rotating. Launch pacifier onto floor until Dad realizes that he needs to use both hands to keep you calm. Fall asleep one more time, giving Dad the impression that this one might be deeper than the others.
10. This is very important! The second step nine ends, unleash a torrent of poop into your diaper that sounds like the dam on the Columbia River just broke. Hope the half-million residents of Central Washington make it to high ground. Repeat three more times in the next twelve seconds.
11. When Dad gets you to changing table, start kicking your legs like your were finishing the 4 X 400 relay for the Olympic Gold so that undoing snaps and removing feet from onesie PJs requires quantum physics degree. When Dad finally gets to diaper (this is also very important), suddenly stop moving and be calm, so that he thinks he will have you changed in no time.
12. As soon as you feel your butt exposed, release last torrent of poop that was hidden behind your appendix. Giggle as you watch Dad try to cover you with diaper, keep your feet out of said torrent and clean the 678 nooks and crannies you have from your navel to your thighs.
13. (This step is optional, only if you are feeling particularly feisty) Scream suddenly in a way that makes Dad think one of your arms just snapped off. If in his distracted state he leaves your mid-section uncovered, pee on him. He deserves it for being scatter-brained.
14. With new diaper and clean crevices, nestle in the arms of Dad, who is too tired to walk up the stairs with you to take you to bed. Fall into deep sleep, the type where you make it seem like you have stopped breathing. Count how many times Dad feels your chest to make sure it is rising and falling and/or places a finger under your nose.
15. If Dad decides he needs to sleep, fall asleep on his chest in pose that makes him forget everything that has happened in the last three hours (said pose should be called "The Cleaner"). If Dad does not sleep, make sure to spasm fifty times per minute so that any intact nerves he has remaining fray like old rope.
16. Eventually, Dad will take you upstairs and put you in the bassinet next to Mommy (who has been asleep since 11). Look exceedingly angelic as you nestle into a comfortable position so that his heart almost breaks with love.
17. Sleep until 5 or 6. You don't want to be rude and wake Mommy before she has had her rest.