I sat down, all set to tell you about something entirely different tonight, when we heard Quinn wake up, crying. Well, yelping, is more like it, and she’d been doing it on and off since we put her down for the night. We thought we’d finally gotten her to go off to sleep, but alas, the neighbors called to tell us the baby was crying. No, I’m just kidding. But the girl really does have some lungs on her.

This was way out of the ordinary. Usually we read her a book and place her in her crib at 7, she sucks her thumb, she goes off to sleep. Easy breezy. So to hear her cry (oh, who am I kidding?  She was full-on, sirens-blaring wailing like one of those car alarms that get set off when a dog sneezes) like that sent me upstairs faster than you can say “paranoid.” David is our family’s go-to get-’em-to-sleep wonder-worker, but I practically leap-frogged over him (have you seen how tall my husband is? I was on a mission) to get to Quinn’s room.  


By the time I got to her she was doing that air-gulping thing little ones do when they’re really upset. It took me a while to calm her down, but by golly–and singing, and rocking, and holding–I thought I did it. Go us, I thought, happily sitting with my quiet daughter in her warm, dark room. We rested there sleepily for a bit, and just when I thought it was safe to put her back in her crib, it happened: I felt her hands start pat-pat-patting my arms. She started talking to the wall (“nya…nya…ha-pbbbhph!”). I put her on my shoulder, desperately hoping she’d doze off there, but it wasn’t meant to be. Next thing I know, I was getting giggled at. Wet French kisses were being planted on my nose, as the dear baby is wont to do.  Then Quinn started talking to me like it was 11 in the morning, and grabbed my glasses off my head just to make sure I knew she was awake. At that point I wondered if I’d be getting to my own bed at any point this evening.

Yet after a while, I kissed her, then gently laid her back in her crib. She whimpered, then wailed, then found her thumb and fell back to sleep. And I left her room no wiser as to why she woke up in the first place. Maybe she’s getting sick. Maybe she’ll wake up tomorrow with some teeth. Who knows? All I know is that this is the way this child-rearing thing sometimes goes. Sometimes we can plan our evenings, and other times we spend our hours quieting sadnesses we don’t understand.  And on those nights whatever it is I was going to tell you about will just have to wait till tomorrow.

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