Thursday, May 10, 2018

Winning Over Jane

I wanted to capture a memory while I still have it. It came back to me while listening to my current book, and it was as vivid as ever, but not one that I recall regularly so that neural pathway will probably extinguish at some point and I need to make sure I keep a record of it somewhere.

Jane is a daddy's girl, through and through. She was at a point not that long ago where she would be kind of mean about it to Amy, but she's mellowed out a bit. This hasn't always been the case though. When she was a baby, she was very much all about mama. I don't think I ever really thought much of it because she was our first kid and I didn't really know any different. It didn't bother me either, it's just how it was.

 When she was about 9 months old, we were living in a small apartment in Michigan. I was interning at Ford for the summer and we were having a pretty good time there. That was a great summer for our little family and Jane was scooting around as our only child. We had a few toys and no furniture and that was our life back then. We were figuring out how to sleep train her and one night I decided that I would help her get to sleep without mom's help. I don't know what made me make that determination, but I was going to make sure that I could be one that she could come to and I would be able to put my own kid down for bed.

Jane can be stubborn. This has always been the case from the first night she was born and of all of the babies in the hospital that week, she was the only one who couldn't sleep without being held. On this particular night in Michigan, she just wouldn't settle down enough to fall asleep. I went in to comfort her and she just wasn't having it. She kept reaching for the door, desperate to get to mom. It wasn't a feeding thing. She has been fed. It was purely needing some kind of consolation and for whatever reason she just didn't want to get that from me. I held firm. I knew that I could wait out a half hour or longer if I needed to and that I would outlast her because a half hour to an infant is an eternity, right?

I held her, tried to console her, but it just wasn't working, and that was when I started to put her down on the ground. She was wailing, trying to make her way over to the door, and I just kept blocking her. I would pick her back up, try again, and then she would fight to get out of my clutch, and then I repeated the same process. I wanted her to know that if she wanted comfort, it was only going to be coming from me. It took a few attempts, but eventually she gave in. Cuddling into me, she calmed down, and I was able to get her to sleep on my own.

And the funny thing is from that point on it's like her brain got rewired. I became the favorite parent and she sought me over all else from that point on. It's a neat thing to be a parent. I love having memories to point back to where I can say, that's when I won you over. That was my night with Jane.

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