I lost at Sleep Bingo last night.
And as every good sport knows, one shouldn’t dwell on their losses because it’s the taking part that counts. So, with the release of the new Star Wars film imminent, I thought now would be a good time to reveal some Jedi secrets…
Here are five reasons that being a new parent is basically the same as being enrolled at a Jedi Academy:
1. Transferring a Sleeping Baby: Trial of Skill
This takes time and patience to master. If you are not Force-sensitive, don’t bother even attempting this manoeuvre. Perfect execution of this skill serves as graduation from Apprentice to the status of true Jedi.
2. Opening/Closing the Stairgate: Trial of Courage
On a nightly basis, the jarring gate strikes a special kind of dread into hearts of parents the length and breath of the country.
It requires heroic nerve to defy the fear-induced tremors to lock that shit down in the dark – WITHOUT LOSING YOUR FOOTING ON THE STAIRS. Not for the weak-willed.
3. Avoiding Squeaky Stairs: Trial of Spirit
Successfully closing the stairgate is the equivalent of passing a module. But don’t be complacent – you’re far from home and dry: you’ve yet to negotiate the last few squeaky stair treads. Do this, and you may consider yourself a Jedi Master.
4. Extracting Oneself from Sleeping Baby: Trial of Flesh
This challenge is a double-edged sword. To rise through the ranks, you must complete this almost impossible mission. Dead arm; cold feet; crick in your neck? Withstand these physical irritations and – don’t, be fooled – that’s just part completion of this task; you must also seamlessly withdraw any limbs acting as pillows. And with each new incremental movement, you may experience new and heightened discomfort: Cramp? Suck it up. Inhibited ability to breathe? To gain recognition as Jedi Guardian, feel that torment and keep doing it anyway. Tougher than it sounds, achieving this status earns you great respect in the Jedi Order.
5. Knowing the Exact Moment to Leave – Without Disturbing the Baby: Trial of Insight (or Knowledge)
Naturally, you don’t want to spend your entire night soothing the baby. But neither do you want to rush only for it to result in a false economy of your time: leave too soon, and you run the risk of her stirring. The delicate, almost imperceptible balance of timing is the ultimate Jedi test. Once mastered, you will be rewarded with the honour of becoming Jedi Consular.
Unfortunately, though my husband believes he knows everything there is to know about Jedi, it takes more than simple knowledge. When it comes to making Jedi status, training is everything. And my husband just can’t cut it on the floorboards like I can (this being the particular issue this morning, ahem).
Sorry Darling, you clearly don’t have The Force. If it’s any consolation, our daughter is Force-sensitive, and she’s already honing her skills for induction into the Jedi Order; so you must have done something right.
Our Youngling’s special powers are Force Seeing, Force Sense and Force Vision: even when she is 96% asleep and it’s pitch dark, if I dare open my eyes to begin the painstaking process of creeping back to bed – she ‘sees’ me.
Sometimes she can even feel me thinking about it.
Today I will be channeling my inner Yoda to get through the day on limited sleep. And tonight it’s back to Jedi Academy for hubby. Unless, of course, he accedes defeat…
May The Force be with you. Or, if we’re talking about Sleep Bingo, I wish you 82.