The mood is set, and it is clear that seduction is about to take place...
The lights are dimmed low, just a gentle lighting for the evening at hand. Soothing sounds emanate from the stereo, music which takes you to another place, an exotic destination. Delectable evening refreshments have been consumed in anticipation of what is to come, a few sips straight from the bottle, a clear message of allurement. Things are going as planned for us both, it is destined to be, I can feel it.
It is the calm night of a Monday evening, and I really want this to happen for us. No, I need this to happen. My wife needs this too, so badly. We have neglected it for far too long and now the time has finally arrived.
It is time for me to seduce my baby boy, my son.
Huh? ... NO! No No No No No Noooooo! Wait! Please! Don't call the police, you've got it all wrong! Hey! Put the phone down! I know it sounds bad (geez, the way I was going on it's almost as if I'd deliberately mislead you just to get a reaction!), but my intentions were pure and good, I swear!
For a looong time now the female half of my marriage has been the chosen one to get our little dude to settle and go to sleep at night. Lord knows I've tried! I haven't been successful at it since that little imp was but two months old, not yet having made the association with his parents that mom is for cuddling and dad is for playing. But now he won't lay still long enough in my arms to even tease me with the idea that "Hey, he might actually fall asleep on me this time!"
So we try the full routine to give me half a chance: bedtime snack, lights dimmed low as we watch some "Curious George" together (the Man in the Yellow Hat has a serious fetish with that colour, it's not healthy), a soothing bedtime reading, then a bottle of fresh-squeezed mommy milk to lull him into dream land, and... With his mom, my kid would be out like a wino after happy hour, but with me... not a chance. As soon as my arms wrap around him to bring him to his bed, he somehow channels all the energy of the sun into a 20+ lb package of chubby digits and spittle, fully awake and babbling up a storm. Eventually I give up, knowing a pointless effort when I see one, and pass him off dejectedly to the wife who - and I kinda take this personally - after 5 minutes with the little shnook has him snoring away like a kitten powered lawnmower.
I've even tried the old "play-with-him-'till-he-drops" method of baby bedding, racing him around the basement, him giggling like a mad scientist until he's too dog-tired to even hold himself up in a crawling position anymore. Did that work? Of course not. No sensible parent should ever think that might work. It's like putting fresh batteries in that horribly annoying 80's motorized dancing flower when it was just about to die peacefully. You know the one; it wore shades and had a little plastic guitar, pretending to rock out to any noise it heard? It was always perched on the bathroom counter at my house growing up. That dumb flower head-banged to the toilet flushing, for crying out loud.
The point is, I'm screwed like a number 10 Phillips when my beloved bride goes back to working evening shifts. I'll have to resort to inflicting injuries upon myself so I can get admitted into the hospital where she works, then pass off my energetic seedling to his mum while I sleep in a nice cozy medical bed, dozing off to cable TV reruns of My Name is Earl. Or maybe I'll spread some nasty rumours about the state of cleanliness in our house (why yes, we do breed ebola-infected mice in our kitchen, I'll say) so that, if timed properly, child services will come rescue our son from my supposed filth just when he should be going to bed, letting them try to put him down for the night, leaving me well rested.
It's not that I don't want to stay up late into the night, it's just that if I do, I want it to be on my terms (like an all-nighter playing zombie games). Bad parenting? Probably, but I've made peace with that.
All right. Time to get this kid into bed. Maybe I'll try some Barry Manilow songs to get him in the mood.