When we became parents, Eriek and I had no idea we would suddenly have the alter egos of Impossible Missions Force (IMF) Agents. However our missions are not against evil organizations and crime lords. We are up against the toughest of the tough:
At first I thought we were crazy people. The things we would do because of this tiny little human in our home were absurd, ridiculous, and borderline insane. But as we embarrassingly admitted a few stories to our friends, we realized that, in fact, upon the very instant you become a parent, you also don this wacky IMF persona.
All of our missions vary depending on the targeted drop zone and the Baby's modus operandi that hour. Here are 10 covert ops and challenges an Agent faces:
- Agent holds, walks, bounces, and/or swings Baby until Baby falls asleep. This can last anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes.
- If Agent attempts to sit with sleeping Baby, as soon as Agent's rear touches chair, Baby's eyes may pop wide open, often combined with an isolated shout of disapproval. Then the first step may be repeated.
- When Baby falls asleep in cradle hold, only an experienced Agent can lay Baby in crib and successfully remove his arm from underneath Baby without Baby waking up.
- The Pacifier is one of the Agent's most useful field tools, but also one of the trickiest. The Pacifier has been known to knock out Baby in a matter of seconds. But if Pacifier falls out (sometimes repeatedly), it can completely compromise the Mission.
- If Baby is in crib, Agent may lay a hand on Baby's chest until Baby appears asleep. Over the course of 10 excruciatingly long minutes, Agent ever so slowly peels hand off. Occasionally Baby thwarts this tactic with an isolated arm swing and ninja like grip on Agent's hand before it can be extracted.
- Agent will close eyes, hoping Baby will mimic the stealth action. As Agent peeks ever-so-slightly with one eye, Baby is often found beaming a huge grin directly at Agent. This can result in Agent being sideline for the rest of the Mission.
- If Baby falls asleep in crib, the manner in which Agent attempts to leave the room will vary based on the crouched hiding position Agent finds himself in. Usually there is tiptoeing, crawling, scooting, slithering, taking one step every 3 minutes or a combination of these techniques in order to remain undetected.
- Agent will successfully get Baby to sleep, only to hear the dreaded noise of a serious blowout as Agent has reached the door. Baby will sleep through blowout but inevitably wake up during the diaper change. Mission will be scrapped and attempted again.
- It is not unusual for Agent to make it safely undetected to the door only to be caught once the first foot has entered the hallway.
- Agents are often wounded in action. Common injuries are numb arm from hanging over crib rail, back pain from awkward half-bent-side-stance next to crib, a crick in the neck from looking down at Baby in arms, twisted knee from swaying Baby side-to-side, bicep strain from holding Baby for long periods over shoulder, throat soreness from shushing and singing to Baby and general achy muscles from standing completely still in strange positions to avoid detection.
In case you've yet to experience Mission: Impossible Baby, here is a little taste of an IMF dad on a very difficult Mission.