Mission Implausible

The wee hours of the morning yawned in front of me as I crawled on my belly across my 10-month-old daughter’s bedroom floor, the Mission Impossible theme echoing in my head. Dun dun, dun dun dun dun… And now it’s in your head, too, isn’t it? Uh-huh. You’re welcome.

My mission –and yes, I chose to accept it– was to return my daughter’s binkies to her crib without waking her up. Clearly, I had no choice. I had been awakened by my baby girl, who suddenly realized she no longer had her binky in her mouth. And, apparently, there were none in the vicinity of her chubby little outstretched hands, either. Months ago, at the suggestion of my daughter’s rather genius pediatrician, I started sprinkling about 8 binkies around the crib at night and during naps. The plan was that she could easily grab another, if she somehow lost the one she had, and put it in her mouth. That meant I could stay in bed. And sleep. It’s been working wonderfully. But every once in a great while she knocks every last one of them between the rails of her crib and can’t find a replacement. It happened the other night. Mommy to the rescue.

On this particular binky-less night, I waited and listened. She fussed for about 10 minutes, then fell back to sleep. Without her binky. Since I was already up –and to make sure we didn’t have a repeat performance before daybreak– I slipped out of bed and crept to her door. Not wanting to wake her –and certainly not wanting her to see me if she DID wake up– I did what any self-respecting mother would do. I slithered –rather poorly– across my little girl’s bedroom floor. Trying not to giggle, as I imagined what I must look like during my folly, I reached the crib at the far end of the room. I felt along the floor, underneath and behind her crib and grabbed all the binkies that she had knocked out. I reached between the rails of the crib and tossed them, one binky at a time, onto her mattress. She started to stir. I jerked my hand back out and held my breath, as I pressed myself so close to the floor my husband would have been jealous of the carpet. If my daughter saw a hand reaching in her crib, the poor girl would have nightmares for years. And who would blame her? I waited until it was quiet again. Then I carefully crawled backwards on my belly, much like infants do before they learn the forward-crawl. I made it into the hallway, stood up and carefully closed the door. I breathed a sigh of relief and crawled back into my warm, welcoming bed. Mission accomplished.

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