The process proceeds thus:
Ainslie is up and chipper, staring around at the world in wonder
She gets hungry. I feed her. She falls asleep in the process.
I wait for the opportune moment, a predator of Zzzzs
Her mouth hangs open. I make my move, carrying her to where she'll sleep
Hark, she stirs! I move quickly, trying to arrange her with the stealth of a ninja
She wiggles around and starts to flutter her eyes open. I pull out the big guns: the pacifier.
She suckles the pacifier, content with the world (and perhaps completely aware of how she now has me captive for the next five minutes)
I stand waiting, still as a statue, holding the pacifier in her mouth
Her sucking slows down. I move my hand away.
The pacifier hangs out of her mouth, James Dean-style. I wait for this most important moment coming up.
Her breathing slows, she is officially asleep!
I gently lift the pacifier off of her bottom lip and pray for mercy; this is the moment where it all could unravel...
...and from there it's a real life version of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book. Either I took the pacifier away too early and she wakes up, forcing me to start the whole process over again, or if I'm lucky she stays asleep. Before I learned the error of my ways, I would leave the pacifier with her, which resulted in several instances where it fell from its precarious perch onto the crib mattress with just enough oomph to scare her awake. Disaster.
But like all sports, this one allows me to reap certain benefits. Oh no, it's not washboard abs (ugh, I'll address that in another post), but potentially a few hours of free time to do dishes and work on Christmas gifts. To the victor go the spoils!