Tears and Muscle Cramps
Lee leaned against his daughter’s closed bedroom door. His eyes shut. The sobbing from within wretched at his gut, tore at his soul, made his heart ache.
He’d tried everything under the sun to get her to sleep. From carrying her around the house, singing to her, feeding and burping her, to checking her diaper. Nothing worked.
Finally, he’d resorted to placing her in her crib, turning on the musical mobile above her bed and leaving the room; hoping she’d get the idea and drift off into slumber.
That had been five minutes ago. Almost continuous crying came from within.
Tonight of all nights she had to be stubborn. The one night when both Amanda and Dotty were out for the evening at a Rebecca’s Fantasy party and the boys were at school functions. Should have been a piece of cake. He’d taken care of her before by himself. Never had she given him this much trouble.
Silence. Did his ears deceive him? Maybe. Maybe she fell asleep. Just as he was about to open the door to check on her, he heard her sniffling.
He entered the room and crossed over to the crib. “Come on baby girl, why won’t you go to sleep for Daddy?” He brushed her fine hair with his hand then wiped away her tears.
“Lie down for Daddy.” He picked her up and placed her belly down in the bed and began to rub her back hoping it would have a calming effect on her.
The moment he stopped she’d get up on her knees, grab the bars of the crib and pull herself up to stand. Her lips trembled.
Enough was enough. He couldn’t allow it to go on any longer. He had to do something.
Without thinking he climbed into the crib, his tall frame body scrunched in an awkward position. Muscle cramps, he had no doubt, would soon be in his future. He could already feel his back and neck protesting.
She laid her head down on his chest over his heart and began sucking on her fist. Gently he rubbed her back marveling at the little person he and Amanda had created with their love. Within seconds she quieted.
At long last she slept.
Until he tried to move that was. Instantly she’d look up at him with her big eyes and sniffle. Nothing he could do except make the best of the situation. Once again she fell asleep listening to his heartbeat. His stared up at the angels on the mobile over him and looked down at his sleeping daughter. “YOU COULD CHARM THE WINGS OFF AN ANGEL,” he whispered as his eyes drifted shut too.
“Lee, wake up,” Amanda whispered in his ear.
His eyes opened and he saw his wife standing over him. A glance down told him his daughter still slept soundly.
“I kind of got myself into a mess.”
Amanda smiled. “I can see. What happened?”
“Our daughter decided to be stubborn tonight and refused to go to sleep. That was until I got into the crib with her.”
“Let’s see if we can get you both moved without creating a disturbance.” Silently, she lowered the side of the crib and picked up her daughter.
Lee tried to move his legs. A cramp hit him immediately in his calf making him grimace. He began to massage it. “I think you might want to leave the room. This isn’t going to be pretty. I’m afraid I’ll wake her up.”
“Well now I’ve seen everything,” Dotty said softly as she entered. “Mr. Secret Agent Man in a crib and me without my camera.”
Lee sat up quickly, his legs dangling over the edge of the crib. Thank God she didn’t have a camera. He’d never live it down. Bad enough his wife knew, he could deal with that. But anyone else would be a different story.
“Don’t worry.” Dotty walked over to him and patted his hand. “What happens in the Stetson household, stays in the Stetson household.” Dotty took her granddaughter from Amanda. “I’ll take this little one with me, so you can help Lee.”
Amanda held out her hand. “Come with me big fella, you just graduated to the big boy’s bed.”
Muscle cramps and kinks immediately disappeared as he followed his wife to their bedroom.