It could be a long night: Couple teams up to wrangle 9-month old at bedtime

Published 12:20 am Friday, February 27, 2015

Emily Muirhead reads 9-month-old Blake a bedtime story, hoping it will help him go to sleep.

Emily Muirhead reads 9-month-old Blake a bedtime story, hoping it will help him go to sleep.

At 8 p.m., it’s time for Blake Muirhead to ride an elephant, wrestle a bear, tug on the tail of a monkey and laugh with a giraffe before a relaxing splash with a raft of ducks and taking a ride on Noah’s Ark.   ///  When you’re 9-months, even bedtime is an adventure worthy of the storybooks.

“We try to play with him a lot and get him tired,” Blake’s mom Emily says as her son grabbed the back on his blue elephant scooter and walked across the hardwood floor.
The elephant is baby Blake’s newest fascination in an ever-engrossing world, said Emily, a florist at the Ivy Place. He’s just learned to pull himself up using the handle on the back, and his face lights up and he toddles across the living room and down the hallway.
011715-PROFILE-bedtime-js10WEB“Eeeeeeeahhh!” he hollers, as if telling the fantastic blue pachyderm to pick up the pace. He quickly loses interest, and it’s time to wrestle with a stuffed black back that’s easily twice his size.
Blake comes out on top in the match, and sighs as its time for dinner.
“He doesn’t miss a meal,” his father, Dan says.
Tonight, Mom’s offering up some mushed up sweet potatoes, and at first, Blake’s not impressed to be point of being defiant. More of the orange mush ends up on his face than in his mouth. Obviously, he would rather continue his wild animal adventures.
“Let’s try a Cheeto instead,” Mom says.
This time he’s hooked, and once the cheese puff is gone, he gladly gobbles up dinner followed by a fruit medley for dessert.
Now it’s time for Dan and Emily to eat, as Blake bounces in his giraffe and monkey themed jumper.
“Everything we’ve got now makes noise and lights up,” Dan says.
011715-PROFILE-bedtime-js8WEBWhile the flashing lights and tender tunes are interesting, Blake’s got one focus — putting absolutely anything and everything into his mouth. And after his parent’s supper, it becomes obvious, as he is freed from his jungle jumper and adventuring again.
He grabs at bottles, cans, papers, and anything that has the slightest possibility of being delicious or soothing his aching, brand-new teeth.
“What time is it?” Emily asks Dan.
“8:30. Almost bath time,” Dan says.
In such routine comes the baby’s biggest adventure. Blake gets undressed and prepares to take a dip in the giant ocean that is the family bathtub. He’s most interested in the rubber ducks Emily puts in the bath with him. And he splashes around and lets out happy baby noises as Mom scrubs him from head to toe.
“It’s his favorite part of the day,” she says.
Blake begins to rub his eyes. All that adventuring his sure tuckered the little guy out.
“It’s like clockwork. He gets a bath and he’s done,” Dan says.
Blake’s got other plans tonight though. He took a long nap, and the dark night seems to him like a good time to party. He’s fussy as Dad dresses him in pajamas, and when Mom turns out the lights and reads to him from a big book of Bible bedtime stories, he grabs at the pages rather than laying down his head.
“He’s happy until about 8:45 when we start getting ready for bed,” Emily said.
For about 30 minutes, Blake fusses. fights and generally does his best to get out of going to sleep. Mom’s not giving up though, she has a secret weapon in her arsenal. She switches on a nightlight that plays lullabies and projects cartoonish images of sheep on the ceiling. For a second he’s quiet, then he lets out a cry.
“Looks like we’re going to be in for a long night,” Emily says.

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