Monday, November 21, 2005

Baby Mine 

Up late with the peanut last night -- she had unconsolable gas, and for some reason insisted that I handle it. I kept trying to hand her back to her mother, but she just screamed and reached for Daddy. The only way to keep her calm was to bounce her gently, one hand on her tiny diapered butt, in front of the mirror. By the time we finally made it to bed, she had burped hundreds of times, and seemed very well acquainted with that other baby on the other side of the glass.

Weird that she chose last night of all times to become Daddy's little girl, though I'm honored nonetheless. 7 months is early for a kid to reject her mom under in-pain conditions; though Mom appreciated the extra sleep, she's not the one who has to get up in the still-darkness every morning to be in a classroom two towns over by 7:30.

But that she surprises us is no longer a surprise, I guess. Ever since she pulled the oxygen tube away from her own mouth in the delivery room, we knew we had a strong and independent thinker on our hands.

My little redhead is a handful sometimes. At 15% weight for her peer group she's tiny, but stronger than the average 7 month old; she can scoot around corners and out of sight like you'd never believe, though she's not technically crawling yet. She gets set off by her sister's tantrums, making it that much more difficult to calm down the household. Given time and space she gravitates unerringly towards the least appropriate floor-object, from lint to dog hair, with total disregard for the usual qualities (shininess, bright color) which make tiny objects attractive to babies. Given her druthers, she'd rather eat a shoe than anything else.

But she shares her pacifier, stuffing it into Daddy's mouth in some early instinct towards generosity. She kicks and giggles when we dance together, holding her hand in mine ballroom-style or looking out at the world from above my belly, laughing with glee as her sister's hair comes by in a whirl. She can stare at a fire with the wisest of meditative ones, is awed into silence by radio voices. She settles easily, eats everything so far save sweet potatoes, appreciates tickles and attention more than most.

Her first word is "hi," just like her Daddy's was. And she smiles -- wide, crinkly, and sweet -- a hundred times more than she cries. I've never been so happy to be a father of daughters than in those rare moments, like yesterday's woods exploration, when the two of them grin at us, and at each other, as if sharing a secret joy with the world.

That said, giving up two hours to stare at my blurry self instead of sleeping has made for a pretty cloudy morning. Even a half hour standing out in the cold with my homeroom while the fire trucks came to confiscate some teacher's toaster oven wasn't enough to reach full consciousness. Thank goodness for a shortened week. Nice, too, to have the extra days with the wee ones, some time to grow closer still as the world outside gets colder.

posted by boyhowdy | 11:48 AM |

Post a Comment
coming soon
now listening