The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Nathan


My husband is bending over the sink, deveining some shrimp. I personally think all shrimp should already come deveined. But hey, I get to stare at his butt, so keep getting those unprepped shrimp, honey! 

So yeah, I was watching him pluck the veins out of the shrimp while muttering about how painstaking the process is, which made me think about Biology textbooks, which made me think about serial killers, which made me think about Ancient Pharaohs, which made me think about Nathan and his bad day today. 

Did I mention that sleep deprivation makes my imagination go awry? 

So let me back up a bit. Nathan’s day wasn’t totally bad, but a large chunk of it was.

It started out as fine and dandy as a postcard-inspiring spring day, considering he woke up way too early so I was sleep deprived and craving that elusive cup of coffee that I cannot have. The love in the air was so strong that it could make a MAN FART smell like Popsicles. I could practically see the butterflies swooning outside, intoxicated with Nathan’s good mood. Nathan was just as precious as he could be.

We had a fun time singing together and cuddling. He studied my face and yanked out some more of my hair, which by the way, hurts like HELL. My hair is now permanently up in a ponytail, and yet somehow those little hands still manage to find the wandering wisps that escaped the security of a skin stretching, tightly wrapped hair band. And so he wraps his spit-coated fingers around those wisps, thus giving them absolutely no hope for escape, and yanks. If they don’t come out the first time, he yanks again, which elicits a loud yet somehow always surprised yelp from me.


Yes. He eats it while laughing gleefully, like a little maniacal clone. 

So anyway, he started rubbing his sleepy eyes and crying much earlier in the afternoon than usual, but I decided to take the chance that he would go down for a nap.

I laid him down.


Okay, all is well. I gently take a step back. Everything is still okay. Cautiously, I take another step back… but my knee pops.


In an instant, I can see the sleep melt out of Nathan’s eyes like sugar melting in water. He rolls over onto his belly with lightening speed, head popping up like a prairie dog’s, and he catches me in The Stance…  a pose that ensures no other creakage of cartlidge or popping of bones, often with one foot off the ground and arms thrust precariously away from your body to help keep your balance.

The Stance failed me today.

Utterly and totally failed me.

So when Nathan saw me doing The Stance, his entire face crumpled. His forehead wrinkled with indignation, his lips quivered, and he started wailing. I relented and picked him up. He wasn’t going to sleep anyway. 

We played for a while. Went outside and poked sticks at unsuspecting bugs. Gave each other kisses and mini high-fives. Three hours later, he’d had enough and was quite ready for his nap. Only he still didn’t want to take it. I tried all my old tricks to coax him into sleep, and nothing worked. After another two and a half hours of unsuccessful wishful thinking, I knew there was no way he was going to let me win this one, especially since it was now only two hours away from his bedtime. I picked him up and lo-and-behold! The kid magically ceased all crying, thrashing, kicking, and screaming. Immediately, I mean immediately, his tears dried like rain in a desert and he started laughing, laughing, his eyes gleaming as if to say, “See, Mommy? All I need to do to get out of my nap is cry and scream long enough because I know you’ll eventually cave into my wishes!”

This is a war of wills.

How can an infant have more willpower than me?

I have met my match. Perhaps my increasingly growing bald spots are sapping away my energy.

My little guy is quite the manipulator. He was in such a marvelous mood for the rest of the evening. The worst part of it all? I couldn’t be mad at him. He covered my entire face with kisses when I picked him up. He put a dimpled hand on each side of my face and licked the bridge of my nose and giggled. How can I begrudge that? We stayed up until his bedtime. He playfully cooed at his bedtime storybook, poking at the pages with an inquiring finger, just as happy as a baby bug in a rug. He went to bed like a champ without so much as a whimper.

My little Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Nathan likes to keep me on my toes. You never know how the day is going to go.

And I’m cool with that, as long as I get those kisses at the end of the day.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *