Monday, December 28, 2009

Windmills always Win

Today I looked up the quote "All is fair in love and war." Did you know it's a paraphrase from
Don Quixote? The full quote reads: "Love and War are the same thing, and stratagems and polity are as allowable in the one as in the other."

How appropriate that the full quote derives from the tale about that hopeful but silly windmill chaser, trying to outsmart all obstacles, but experiencing folly at every step. If you don't know already; I am a windmill chaser. My windmills have names: Laura, Julia, & Elizabeth. Sometimes I think I can outsmart them. Today during naptime when Julia slept a meager 40 minutes, I immediately worked up a strategy. I'll bring her to bed with me. If I don't talk and avoid eye contact during transfer from crib to bed, I'll win! Alas, the moment I snuggled my little windmill next to me in bed--the wiggling of baby limbs began. Must keep eyes closed. If she thinks I'm sleeping, she'll sleep too. Little hand smacked against my face. Keep eyes closed. Baby doll with rattle inside smacked hard on my face. Keep eyes closed. Eruption of baby laughter. Forget it--I've been Don Quixoteed.

When will I learn? I can't outsmart the windmills! The oldest and most challenging of my windmills--the toddler of all toddler windmills, is usually best at it. She sneaks out of her room seconds after being put to bed. "I can hear you Laura," I holler in my stern voice from downstairs. Thumpety, thump-thump upstairs as tiny Flinstone feet paddle back to her room. An hour goes by and I seep in the victory of my all powerful Mom voice, until I hear the distant clink, clink of the baby gate at the top of the stairs. "Laura!" Thumpety, thump-thump, back to her room. For the sake of full-proofing my magnificent strategy, I always do one last check to make sure she's in bed and not sleeping in the middle of the hallway (a new favorite Laura strategy). All is well and Mom feels sound in her outsmarting ability--until that is, Mom and Dad find Laura in a flowered summer dress with gray sweatpants at 5a.m., with her discarded pull-up and purple footy pajamas downstairs in the living room. Mom's strategy to keep windmill safely in pasture=failure. Toddler's success at outsmarting Mom=success.

It appears that all will remain fair in love and war in the Davis household, although I abandon any thoughts of outsmarting my little windmills. Poor Don Quixote refused to let go of his delusions of grandeur. Perhaps had his windmills took the form of twin babies and a toddler, his ego would have been beat into submission before his fateful end. Word to the wise...if you chase my kind of windmills--don't ever, ever take them to bed with you thinking they will go back to sleep, or think they're really asleep in the first place; you will be fooled at every turn!

Happy chasing.

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