Thank you for your emails, comments, advice, and even phone calls. You will be happy to know that the bird currently eating my liver is a good three sizes smaller that the one munching on it but a few days ago. It is now roughly the size of that muppet on Sesame Street. Just not as cheerful.
Truth be told, the whole situation has been about a tenth of the ordeal that I have been making it out to be. For one thing, The Mom has been here. She took the week off work for Kathryn's winter break and she has had us running hither and yon on so many fun-filled adventures that the babies have been all but begging to be put in their beds by the end of the day.
Also, we have found the right tool. As a guy, I'm a big believer in tools and I firmly believe that the proper device can make almost any situation manageable. For a while, I could not figure out which apparatus rusting away on my neglected basement workbench would help keep these girls in bed. I went through the usual suspects, duct tape, toggle bolts, bungee cords, hook and eye clasps, but all of them either left marks or created what I was told was a "non-nurturing environment." Whatever.
But stay-at-home dads have other tools, too. Tools that aren't made of steel, iron, or shiny silvery tape. Tools that are plush, cute, and snuggle-able. Tools that look like this:
These tools are very sensitive. They get lonely. They need company. They must be held and kept in bed. They can't handle loud noises or jumping. If anything happens that disturbs these highly-specialized tools, then they ask to come sleep with Mom and Dad.
You wouldn't want that, would you? Of course not. Now go to bed, little ones. Go to bed.