Yes, it was one of those nights. My wife left at the beginning of dinner for a performance, so I was on for the dinner/bath/bed routine. I solo this at least once a week; thus it is not uncharted territory. Usually it goes smoothly, but not tonight.
Diner went well, but my son was clearly tired and showing as a one year-old can do. Bath went ok, too. It was when I went to put them to bed things started to fall apart. My daughter got in bed after some grumbling, but the instant I finished the good night songs, he started screaming at the top of his lungs. It was an, “I’m being murdered,” scream. Soft moans emanated from beneath my daughter’s blankets as she dealt with this sonic invasion.
I gently closed the door hoping he would quickly fall asleep, but tonight was not normal. He just kept screaming. I went back in, and after several sessions of getting him to fall asleep on me and transferring him, I finally got him down over an hour and half later.
Sometimes when these situations arise, I feel my pressure mounting and an internal soundtrack of what I’d like to say in the moment runs. This time, however, I just kissed his head, held him, and felt love. I don’t know what was different, but I hope it is a pattern. I came out drained but much more calm than usual.