The battle

Some days parenting is easy. On others, it’s a freaking battle that seems not to end. Today was one of the latter.

God, I’m so tired.

It already started early, before I could even make breakfast. In fact, I wasn’t even allowed to make breakfast. All my son would accept was me sitting on the floor next to him. “Papa, play. Duplo.” Hurray, building things until he was so hungry that it turned into anger. (He definitely got that from his mom…) When I finally managed to escape to make breakfast, he didn’t want to eat breakfast. The morning was a horror show, until my wife took them outside. I quickly used the time to dot it’s and cross t’s on a revision of a manuscript, which I resubmitted just before they returned. At least I managed to do something today… A big win.

Lunch was another struggle, with the kids taking turns. We decide to go shopping for groceries, in the hope that at least one would fall asleep. To our surprise, they both did. Another win.

When we returned, the neighbors invited us for a coffee. Rafa loves to play with their son. He played, but was oddly quiet. Lara, on the other hand slept the entire time (small win). Rafa’s mood turned when we went home. Everything was bad. And no, he did not want dinner. What were we thinking. All he wanted was to cry. And sit with mom. Or no, on the floor. Or no, in a corner. Oh no, he wanted to play… I decided to read him a book and bring him to bed, even after just two spoons full of chili sin carne.

Obviously, sleeping was out of question. What was I thinking? It was rather a mixture, or rather, an alternation of wiggling and shouting. About an hour in, monsieur casually mentions that he would like dinner. I have never shoveled a meal into his mouth that fast… Maybe he would sleep after?


The wiggling continues. But hey, at least the shouting stopped. I consider that a win at this point.

It took only half an hour of fighting and telling him (begging?) to go to sleep this time, before he mentioned that he’d like to sleep on my chest. That’s a first, but fuck it, the request was kind of cute. Sure. Sleep on my chest.

He wraps his arms around my neck and hugs me tightly. My heart expands and fills up with love. It takes three breaths before his breathing turns to a soft snore.

I win!

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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