Not Enough: The 36-Hour Transition

The going to sleep process started at 6 p.m.  We aim to have [S] in bed by no later than 7 p.m.  While few exceptions are permitted, we bend the nightly routine when friends or family visit.  The past two weeks have been filled with good food, cooked at home or eaten out in town, necessitating a later than usual bedtime for our daughter.  The result?  A sleepy child, which is no big deal.  Really.

With our houseguests having left Saturday morning, tonight was the first night we were back on track for a 7 p.m. bedtime.  It did not go as planned.  In fact, the scene that ensued reminded me of her bedtime routine nine months ago.  Hysterical crying.  Screaming.  Holding on to a leg.  As I attempted to soothe her, I listened to her demands and grimaced.  I want Daddy.  Where is Daddy?  I’ll go to Daddy. 

Approximately 12 hours ago, Russell left for the airport, needing to travel for work.  We knew the transition would be difficult, but I didn’t know it would be like this.  No doubt seasoned parents will smile knowingly, feeling just a bit smug.  Transitioning from a four-to-one adult-to-child ratio to a one-to-one adult-to-child ratio takes time.  Indeed, after [S] repeatedly asked for her Father, she started asking for her Auntie and Uncle, in no particular order.  It seemed anyone other than me would suffice. 

I’m not offended.  The past two weeks have allowed our daughter to pick and choose who held her hand, who carried her, who helped her in the bathroom, and who put her to bed.  And her Auntie and Uncle did a lot of the heavy lifting.  Literally.  But now that our house has returned to normalcy, [S] will have to adjust accordingly. 

While I wish Russell didn’t have to travel today, I am thankful he altered his travel plans to give us 24 hours of family time post-houseguest departure.  I have no doubt that within a few days [S] will have reverted to her pre-family-visit self.  In the meantime I’m hopeful I can summon the patience of three additional adults.

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