I don't pretend to be talented at many things. My skills as a housekeeper leave a lot to be desired. I have never been able to complete a cartwheel successfully. I'm terrible at video games - my three-year-old can beat me every time. I have no balance whatsoever, and it took me a long time to be comfortable as a driver. True story.
However, I do have one skill that I have mastered quite well. I began practicing this talent way back when our first offspring made her appearance into our lives. I can confidently say I am now a master at the art of bed ninja.
Being a bed ninja definitely takes practice, a lot of finesse, and hopefully a bed that doesn't squeak too much. It is helpful to do practice bed ninja runs during the day when the moves are not as critical. At nighttime, though, being a bed ninja is absolutely crucial to getting any sort of sleep whatsoever.
You must begin using your bed ninja skills immediately after you have fed the baby. Gently burp the baby if necessary and watch for eye movement. If her eyes even flutter in the slightest, hold her close, wrapped in a warm blanket, while you plot your path back to the crib or bassinette. Carefully ease yourself off the bed and walk heel-toe to the place of baby sleeping. No tiptoeing - it always ends up in tripping or awkward squeaking. The next move is difficult to explain, but I am sure many of you are talented pros at it. You must lower the baby into the crib while simultaneously wrap her in a warm blanket. When baby is lying comfortably asleep in the crib, strategically position the pacifier on the mattress close to her head and walk quietly back to bed.
Now comes the tricky part. You must get back into your own bed, settle yourself comfortably under the sheets, and do all of this without making a sound. I know this because the slightest bed squeak or rustle will immediately awaken my precious sleeping cherub. And once awake, she will howl loud enough to raise the dead. In fact, the other night the Nerd used his decibel reader on his phone (I told you he was a nerd!) while she was screaming, and our little vocalist clocked in at 102 decibels! But I digress - I only share this information to help you realize how vital bed ninja skills are in this house.
I would guess it takes me about five minutes to silently slip under the covers, adjust my pillow and blanket, and let out the breath I've been holding for that long. It takes another five minutes while I lie still as can be, waiting to be sure I did not disturb the Princess of the Night.
Sometimes being a bed ninja requires other, more advanced movements. These may be needed when I get up to put the baby in her bed and return to find the Nerd has filled the vaccuum left by myself. It is very tricky to move a large sleeping man without making any noise and without strangling him, as I am often tempted to do in my delirious, sleep-deprived state. I also have to employ the stop-snoring-right-now technique when the Nerd decides to let the entire world know that he (not his wife!) is getting plenty of rest that night.
The one bed ninja skill I have yet to learn is dealing with small, extremely noisy children that come bursting through the bedroom door demanding water or another blanket or some other such thing. Despite flying up out of bed in an admittedly awesome kung fu move to stop them, I have never been quite fast enough to keep them from waking the baby.
Okay, I'm done bragging now. I'm sure all of you mamas out there have some great bed ninja moves of your own, whether it be pirouetting past a stray Lego on the floor or muffling the sound of a flushing toilet.
P.S. I need to teach the Nerd my bed ninja skills. He possesses none of them. The end.