Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Art of War Round 1

During pregnancy, I wrote about the baby playing “mind games”. Now that he has arrived and is 1 month old, I have notice these “mind games” are so much more…they are wartime strategies and battle tactics. Sun Tzu wrote in the Art of War, “All warfare is based in deception. When able to attack, seem unable…when near, seem far…when in motion, seem inactive.” And so has begun Round 1.

Gunner has played his first hand, starting with his initial strategy I best describe as “divide and conquer through siege warfare”. One obvious focal point is to create an environment where Mom and Dad want to kill each other. Anything at 3 or 4am starts this. Focal point two is to create imbalance and uncertainty. When Dad holds him, he wails until Mom swoops in and he calms down briefly. But as Mom holds him, he starts to wail to get her to walk around or bounce on the exercise ball and he calms down briefly. But as he is being bounced, he starts to wail again for Dad to either change his diaper or helping him with gas or something. And it’s always something different as he knows to never create a routine or pattern we can learn. This scenario goes on and on 24 hours a day as Gunner unrelentingly bears down his neediness upon us. There is no room for sleep in siege warfare and he knows this. He knows this well.

One major caveat of Gunner’s tactics is that he has also mastered “giving us the eyes”. This strategy was created in the 1980s by basketball legend Magic Johnson and his infamous Showtime Los Angeles Lakers fast breaks, where he faked opponents by looking one way but passing to a teammate the other direction for an easy basket. Gunner has worked this into his siege warfare where he loves to use his eyes to lure us into false senses of security. His staple is he will yawn and show sleepy eyes like it’s so hard to stay awake. This means “Haha. I look sleepy but I’m really about to scream as loud as possible for the next 30-45 minutes. Enjoy.” Another look is he will stare at us with this iron stern crinkled brow that says “one false move and I will punch you straight in the face”. That stare will last 30 minutes to an hour and requires treading oh so softly as there is no certainty of what is to follow. And there are many other looks which my wife and I photo log all of them so like Drew Brees on Monday morning, we can look at the game film to better prepare for the next battle.

Gunner has developed a nice repertoire of these looks designed to keep us on shaky footing. Gunner has mastered when Sun Tzu says “When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move.” Touché little one, Round 1 is yours…but the war has only just begun.

Need I say more...

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