Thursday, January 20, 2005

Night time rituals

I came home from work tonight worried about the work that I am trying to get accomplished.

(In fact, I am going to try and get some of it done after I finish this post. )

But first I had to get Ruth to bed. (Tegan and Ariel went off to get the groceries tonight, as we are supposed to get snow this weekend and want to try and avoid driving around in it if possible.)

So, I read her some books while giving her the breathing treatment that she has been on for a few days. It involves holding a sort-of atomizer up to her face, letting the medicated mist blow up at her. Trying to keep her still while this is going on is pretty impossible, so I just stay relaxed about the whole thing.

She looks at her books, pointing out everything of note and pronouncing everything in sight. I try to keep the nebulizer up in her grill while not getting her arm tangled in the hose that attaches the misting cup to the machine. The whole procedure is like being a persistent reporter who won't accept a "No comment."

After that, we brush teeth, singing the ABC song (which signals to her that her time of playing with and eating the bristles is over and it is now Daddy's turn to brush). And after that its a few more books, saying our nightly prayers in the dark, some gentle rocking, and softly down into the crib.

Very often I can get her down with no crying. Tonight she protested weakly for just a few minutes and then it was over.

Rocking Ruth in the dark of a quiet room in a quiet house is the best way I yet know to put the stupid stresses of work in perspective. Ruth doesn't know and doesn't care about the stuff I forgot to do, what I want to try and do tonight, and what I will be forced to try and finish over the weekend. She doesn't care about what has to get done in the next month or what the next few years are shaping up to be. She just wants some comfort and a warm shoulder to rest her head against.

She understands what we all want. And she has things in the right perspective.

No comments: