How do you get a fussy 9 month old to go to sleep? Well, first you have to know the CORRECT words to the song The Ants Go Marching. Then you need to have an 8 year old boy and his 9 and 10 year old sisters chiming in with their suggestions.

It goes a little something like this….

Baby- ehhhhh, whaaaaaaa, pbbbbbbbbbbbb, AHHHHHH!!!!

Me- singing softly, not for the benefit of the baby, but because its 7:15 in the morning and my Excedrin Migraine and coffee have yet to kick in. “The ants go marching one by one, hurrah hurrah..the ants go marching one by one, hurrah hurrah. The ants go marching one by one, the little one stops to suck his thumb and they all-“

Charlie interrupts “WAIT! Ants have thumbs?”

Jordyn “No stupid. They have antennas”

(how this has anything to do with thumbs is beyond me, but whatever, he was content with that answer…)

I finish up lyric one and prepare to move to two….

Baby- enhhhhhhh whaaaaaaaaa ughhhhhhhh pbbbbbtttttttttttt GRRRRRRRRRR!!!! He grabs my glasses and throws them to the floor.

Me “The ants go marching two by two, hurrah hurrah. The Ants go marching two by two, hurrah hurrah. The ants go marching two by two, the little one stops to-“

Charlie “Take a poo!” ::giggles::

I keep singing and reach for glasses….Ignoring the poo, and make sure the ant ties his shoe. And that they all go marching down, in the ground, to get out of the rain…boom boom boom…

Baby- a little less fussy, totally enamored with Charlie’s highly animated antics.

Charlie “Do ants poo? Hold on… I HAVE TO POO!” and off he runs to the bathroom…

Me “The ants go marching three by three, hurrah hurrah, the ants go marching three by three hurrah hurrah, the ants go marching three by three…the little one stops to-“

Charlie SHOUTS from the bathroom “TAKE A PEE!!!!! Bahahahahaaa!!!!!”

Kasey “Ewwwww! Charlieeeeee! Ants don’t pee! Wait… do they?”

Jordyn “Charlie! SHUT THE DOOR!”

Baby- Blahhhhhh! Pfffffffffbbbbbbbbbb… rawr grrrrrrrrrrrrr…. blubbbbbbbb….. bangs bottle, flicks formula all over my glasses and face.

Me- wiping face with t shirt, glasses now streaked w. milk. “The ants go marching four by four, hurrah hurrah, the ants go marching four by four, hurrah hurrah, the ants go marching four by four the little stops to  shut-“

Jordyn “His foot in the door!” from the kitchen while having her cereal.

At least it wasn’t a bodily function…

Kasey “Why would he shut his foot in the door? Wouldn’t that hurt? What a stupid ant!”

Baby- grabs the shortest of hairs on the back of my neck and yanks like he’s trying to start a lawnmower.

Me- “YEEEEOWWWWCCCCHHHHHH!!!!!!!”

Charlie (still from the bathroom) “Is that what the ant said?”

Jordyn and Kasey simultaneously “SHUT THE DOOR!”

-bathroom door slams.

Me- eyes watering, not from the hair pulling, but from straining to see thru milk smeared lenses, “The ants go marching five by five, hurrah hurrah, the ants go marching five by five hurrah hurrah, the ants go marching five by five the little one stopped-“

Charlie, now back in living room “Because he DIED! Bahahaha!!!!”

Me- “And they all go marching down, (glare at Charlie while still singing) did you flush? did you wash your hands? boom boom boom…”

Baby- “Coooo, ahhhhhh, eeeeeeeeee…….”

Me- “The ants go marching six by six, hurrah hurrah. The ants go marching six by six, hurrah hurrah. The ants go marching six by six, the little one stops to….::looks at Charlie, now back, hands clean, drying them on his sisters sweatshirt::

Charlie-::shrugs his shoulders:: “I got nothin…”

Me-“The little one stops to pick up sticks!!! ::triumphant smile:: And they all go marching down , to the ground, to get out of the rain, boom boom boom…”

Kasey, now in living room putting her sweatshirt on and looking at it strangely trying to figure out why its all wet…”Now, earlier you said ants don’t have thumbs…. how are they picking up the sticks?”

Jordyn-“I TOLD YOU! Antennas!”

Me-::sigh:: to the baby “Ignore them, they know not what they say.”

Baby-pbbbbbbbbbbbbb ::drool::

Me- “The ants go marching seven by seven, hurrah hurrah, the ants go marching seven by seven, hurrah hurrah. The ants go marching seven by seven, the little one stops and looks up at heaven” ::waits for it::

Nothing… wait! Here it comes…

Charlie-“WHAT??? I’m not gonna stop him from looking at heaven…”

Kasey- still looking at her sweatshirt “WHY is my jacket wet?”

Charlie-“ Was it on the floor? Did a dog pee on it?”

Kasey screams “Oh. My. GOD!” Tears off the jacket and throws it across the room.

Baby- babbles as he watching the pink hoodie go flying past him….

Me- “Kasey, Charlie just dried his hands on it.. its not dog pee”

Kasey “EWWW! That’s worse! HE TOUCHED IT?”

Me- oookay… here we go.. “The ants go marching eight by eight hurrah hurrah. The ants go marching eight by eight, hurrah hurrah… The ants go marching eight by eight the little one stops to-“

Kasey- “Bake a cake?”

Jordyn”Duh! Cant!!… no hands!!”

Kasey-“If he can tie his shoes and pick up sticks with his antennas, then he can make a cake with them too!”

Really, she has a point there….

Charlie “Seriously? I’ve seen some ant hills….and there aren’t an ants baking cakes, or tying shoes. They just crawl. And eat each other.”

He loves watching NatGeo with me. We are both big fans of the Siafu and Jack Jumper ants. Neither who evoke the image of a happy little care free ant skipping along, going down, in the ground, to get out of the rain…boom boom boom…..

While they go on arguing over the skills, talent and various abilities and lifestyle choices of these obviously genetically altered ants I’m laughing to myself thinking of these highly aggressive, poisonous ants, in toques and little aprons with oven mitts on their antenna and all their shoes untied making soufflés…and those not baking are in little ant bathrooms peeing and pooing with the doors open and those not having bowel movements and such are collecting sticks and occasionally stopping and looking up to the heavens. All while the Queen ant,  who sits with the babies, gets more and more aggravated at the foolishness going on in the ant hill….wait… this is starting to seem very familiar.

And as I snap back to reality, I look up and the three kids are grabbing lunches, packing book bags, putting on new,  clean sweatshirts. And all the while chatting away about what desserts the ants are baking and what kind of shoes are they wearing. I look down and there, in my lap… lies one sleeping baby.

And THAT my friends, is how you put a baby to sleep….

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