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Last week had the potential to be disastrous.  With family in town and plenty of excitement, I think Nolin only took one nap in four days for about an hour.  Not our finest parenting moment and believe me we made up for it during the nights.

This all led up to Nolin and I’s trip back to Virginia Beach.  I was going for work and Nolin was going to spend some time with Ba & Pop.  They had never babysat for a full day much less three full days before.  With Nolin’s lack of sleep in the days leading up to our trip and me once again changing any semblance of a routine that he had I was nervous.

I told my mom, I was sorry for what I may be unleashing on her.  This didn’t help calm her nerves at all.  For the past six weeks, her excitement to see Nolin was incredibly overshadowed by the fear of messing up.  I told her that she had raised three kids of her own and at least one of them had turned out alright, but she informed me that this was different, Nolin is special.  Hmmm is that a compliment?

After an early morning flight, my mom and brother met us at the airport.  Nolin fell asleep as soon as we got into the car and we made our way to the courthouse to visit my dad at work.  While we waited for my dad, Nolin had a good time getting into everything in a completely non-child proof office.  Finally we made our way to lunch and met my sister, who was waiting with some St. Patrick’s Day t-shirts and a huge Thomas The Train toy that talks and makes noise as it moves…Nolin was in heaven.

That night, I put Nolin to sleep and decided to sleep in my brother’s old room so that Nolin could get a good night’s sleep.  It was no use, at 2:30 Nolin was wide awake and unhappy not knowing where he was.  I decided to let him cry it out.  At 3am I texted Jenn to give her a heads up on my ordeal when she woke up.

Then Nolin started playing hardball.  I sat in bed listening to “Daddy love me?” and “Daddy please!”, but I was determined.  At 4am I texted her again and said that she was not allowed to bring Nolin into bed with us anymore.  Finally at 4:30 he fell asleep, and I did too for about 90 minutes.

Daddy=1, Nolin=0.

The next day I left for work and Mom and Dad had Nolin.  After a good breakfast they took him to the Marine Science Museum in the morning and he loved it.  On the way home he fell asleep in the car and slept for almost three hours when they got home (where was this boy the night before).  When he woke up they went to the park and then everyone came over to my parent’s house for dinner and to hang out.  I arrived late to find a happy little boy, and two tired grandparents who had thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The first thing Nolin said to me when I walked through the door…”Daddy want a cookie?” Oh great, it seems Ba & Pop taught Nolin something new.

Wednesday night, was the same routine. I put Nolin to sleep and knew that this night would be better because my parents had worn him out.  At 2:54 I woke to my Nolin alarm. Here we go again.  I was determined to prevail, but after two failed attempts to put him back to sleep, he came and slept on my chest soundly for 3 hours.

Daddy=1, Nolin=1.  Thursday night would be the tie breaker with advantage going to Nolin.

Thursday was my mom’s day babysitting solo.  She was scared to death, and I was a little nervous too.  I called several times to check in, and each time she seemed great.  She kept laughing about how Nolin would try to manipulate her.

“Ba want a cookie?”

“No thank you” she would reply

A short silence as he pondered her answer.

“Nolin want a cookie?”  without waiting for her response he responded for her “O.K.”

Well I guess Nolin is getting a cookie…seriously they were not this easy when we were growing up.

It didn’t hurt either that when Nolin was waking up from a nap, my mom said “Nolin guess who’s coming? Pop!” as my dad walked through the door.  With his eyes still closed, he responded “I love Pop!”. At that moment my dad agreed to buy him a new car and pay for his college education (Nolin this will serve as a written record when you turn 16 for you to cash in on this promise).

At this point my parents were at complete ease.  My mom had taken over feeding Nolin, changing his diapers, getting him dressed and I was just along for the ride.  Nolin was enamored with my parents and in just a few days they had already created their own inside jokes (Plastic Flower aka Pacifier and Ring Around the Rosie).

As I put Nolin to bed that night, I knew everyone was exhausted.  I also knew that he had the advantage because this time I would just go right in and bring him to bed with me.  Strangely I must have forgotten to set my alarm because I never woke up. He was finally back on schedule.

We had to leave on Friday because Jenn, Nolin and I were speaking at an adoption class on Saturday morning.  I think my parents were very sad to see us leave, but my mom said I think I may sleep for the entire weekend. I had to agree, but Nolin and I can’t wait to see them again when they come to Florida for his second birthday!

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