Around 5:30am, Baby stirs. Mom tries the pacifier, but Baby's having none of it. We hear the four-year-old scampering to the bathroom. Baby quiets and Mom heads off to rendezvous with Four Year Old, encouraging him to wipe his own butt.
Dad plays sleeping but eventually the sound of the percolating baby draws him over to her in the co-sleeper. He tries to insert the passy but Baby's having none of it. He pats her belly, strokes her face but she is making all sorts of noises from every orifice.
Mom returns with Four Year Old for a half-hour of snuggling (sometimes struggling). She suggests Dad rock Baby. Dad folds feeding pillow in half, wedges it into the side of the rocking chair where Baby's head will lie. He rescues Baby from the co-sleeper, wraps himself and Baby in a soft blanket and begins rocking. Baby is having none of it; Dad looks down and sees the biggest widest pair of awake brown eyes staring up at him.
Four Year Old is trying to initiate conversation with his drowsy Mom. Mom is having none of it. "The clock says six-zero-eight! The clock says six-zero-nine!" While Mom and Dad are understandably proud of Four Year Old's number concepts and reading ability, having the Speaking Clock in the room is not what they need for maximum rest potential.
Dad is shushing Baby rhythmically as she slips down into his lap. Four Year Old decides to help rock Dad and Baby, much to Dad's consternation. Four Year Old's idea of rocking in a rocking chair is decidedly more aggressive and vigorous than Dad's, and Baby and Dad are both having none of it. Baby finally closes eyes, drifts. A large wet spot has developed on Baby's pajamas and is now soaking through Dad's shirt as well.
"The clock says six-three-oh, it's WAKE UP TIME!" Mom seems pleased at the development, as it will take Four Year Old and Dad out of the bedroom mix. Mom offers to let Dad change Baby's wet diaper and jammies before she takes Baby for a feeding. Dad changes Baby in the dark without his glasses on, passes Baby off then searches for his specs. They have skittered under the bed where Dad does some random fishing through dust bunnies and old guitar catalogs until he finds them. Dad changes his own wet shirt.
Four Year Old requests computer time; Dad accedes, wondering if Four Year Old has come to realize that the family no longer has cable tv.
Dad slogs into kitchen where he tries to quietly empty the dishwasher unsuccessfully, breaking a bowl in the process. He can't remember how much coffee he puts into the filter, then can't remember how much water he puts in the reservoir. The coffee is very strong. Mom will be having none of it.
Dad returns to Couch (living) Room and finds Four Year Old engrossed in a computer game he started the night before prior to bed. Dad hands Four Year Old a banana and hopes it will not be forgotten in the folds of a couch this morning.
The sun is rising on Durham. Dad looks out the window and smiles. It's almost 7 am. Another day has begun, and Dad will have all of it.