Sunday, April 19, 2009
You may have already seen this on Facebook....
(Yes, I breastfeed too! Calm down!)
I took this video late at night when a hungry baby surprised me by taking matters into his own hands, literally. As he finished his 3 am bottle but was still thirsting for more, he very determinedly (is that a word?) attempted to aim, cajole, gnaw at, and shove the bottle back into his mouth. This may not seem like anything very HOLD ON NASA, FUTURE ASTRONAUT RIGHT HERE IN WEST LINN, OREGON HE'LL BE READY IN 2 DECADES OR SO..., but to me, I was witnessing my baby do something new for the very first time -- and yes that thing was to, um, hold something and shake it around. I'm sorry, but I found it more thrilling than an episode of LOST. His first attempts always happens between 2 and 4 am. (I think it's a strategy of his to keep me awake: "Mom, do NOT fall asleep, I'm about to poop GREEN for the first time!!)
You often hear parents complaining about 3 am feedings (well, you often hear me complaining about them when I call you and describe them in detail for your listening pleasure). I do deliriously look forward to a full nights sleep but I also think maybe all parents, somewhere, between tired legs hitting the floor, tired arms reaching for crying baby, and tired hands patting his little back as you fumble through the dark to find whatever it is he needs (a diaper, a bottle, an electronic nasal aspirator(!), etc...) you settle into a rocking chair, look down, fall in love all over again, and by the time a feeding is finished, you are wide awake and witnessing a new discovery: the first smile, the first time his little hand reaches up to grab your hair, the first clutching of a bottle, the first nonsensical word or sound meant only for your ears.
It's not just watching his little eyebrows jump up in surprise after he realizes he just made something happen on his very own that turns me into mush. It's that I get to witness it. How often does anyone get to witness the very firsts of a humans life? I guess mothers do, parents do, people do who get up in the wee hours of the night and bring a child into the soft light and nourish them, comfort them, love them. It's like a little secret, hidden in the hard things of parenthood that we don't always want to do, right there in the center of a moment where all we can think is, "Aren't I done yet?" that suddenly becomes "Aren't I lucky?" to be right here, right now, and holding on tight.