I can make these babies happy. That thought occurred to me today after I gave up trying to get M to take a nap. Recently, every time I lay her down in the crib she turns over on her tummy and then starts to cry. The last nap of the day was not happening. She cried and cried. I kept going back in, turning her over on her back again, re-tucking the swaddle, positioning her bunny at her arm, hoping she might fall asleep and make the evening easier, and each time I’d leave she’d start to scream again. I was going insane. Finally I gave up.
I brought her to the living room couch. She looked so thankful, smiling through the tears streaking her pink cheeks. Tired, and with my mind still on trying to get her to fall asleep I decided to let her nurse. I positioned her comfortably in the crook of my arm, my elbow resting on a pillow, her whole body cushioned against me with the pillow behind her. She nursed a bit then looked up at me. I could see in her face she was in heaven. She couldn’t believe the amazing thing that was happening, how good life was. I wondered why I was making us both miserable with the nap.
A minute later Bean woke up. The moment was over, but it was striking. I can make these babies happy. Tickling their tummies, kissing cheeks, supporting them as they stand wide-eyed and proud, on my lap. That’s not a small thing. You can’t always make someone happy like that.
But now that I think about it, I guess it isn’t just babies we have the power to make happy. Adults are much more challenging, but it’s still a choice we have, right? I’m learning a lot from these babies.