Picture this…two weary and frightened soldiers clinging to each other in the dark of night.
Every breath echoes in their ears as they sit and listen.
Listen and wait.
The creaking of the old, worn furniture where they rest and, which has become a safe haven of sorts from the daily onslaught of psychological torture, creaks their location to the very one responsible for their retreat.
Twelve straight hours wasn’t enough? Could they possible have to endure more?
The walls around them seem to be taking pleasure in their predicament as the sounds of wood stretching, and seemingly wailing, in response to the slightest breeze are begging for the agony to be prolonged yet a few more hours.
The growling of wild beasts, far more predictable than their daytime torturer, threaten to disturb what little comfort they had been able to experience since being launched into a fresh battle that very morning.
They know better than to grasp at false hope, this war was going to last for years.
In the earlier days of this confrontation, they would have used any time of respite as an opportunity to prepare to endure the next day’s assault. Maybe, perhaps, even go on the offensive.
Days, weeks, months and even years have passed though, and this foe has developed a strategy far beyond their training.
Books. Drills. Strategy meetings. All have been useless in this winner-take-all, living game of chess in which the opponent adapts and reacts at levels that seem to be 5-6 moves ahead of them on every occasion.
Resistance is futile and victory all but hopeless.
Time has taught them the only sane action is to survive.
So, here they wait. Finding strength in the mutual fear of what might take place if the fight were to resume so many hours before the dawn.
Night battles always have a way of demoralizing and weakening even the strongest resolve.
The air stills and the small room becomes silent as they have both unconsciously held their breath at the latest noise to come from the opposing camp.
The seconds feel like hours and their interlaced knuckles have whitening with the ever-tightening grip accompanying any such time of heightened anxiety.
Eventually, enough time passes and their rigid bodies sink back into adequate levels of relaxation given their current circumstances.
Relieved they look at each other and offer a faint smile while maintaining absolute silence. For they know this time is precious and the morning rays of sun will signal the beginning of yet another battle to be fought…
Parents, if you currently feel or have ever felt frustrated and honestly, beaten down, by the daily interactions with your toddler, then I hope you enjoyed this overly dramatic look at what Becky and I feel like each evening as we huddle together and pray our daughter stays asleep through all the creaking and barking of the night.
If you don’t understand this feeling at all, you have been blessed with an alien from planet PERFECTENCHILD. Enjoy!!