Saturday, January 5, 2008

Nap time

The Bean is tired. She is fussing and grinding her little fists into her eyes. She really needs a nap.

I take off her shoes and bring her into my bedroom. When she sees me lay her blanket out on the bed, she starts to complain. As I fold her into a swaddle, she cries. I lay beside her on the bed, and she nurses vigorously. By the time she is done, she has wriggled her little arms back out of the blanket and is playing with my necklace.

I fix her swaddle, tucking her arms back into the blanket, and take her to the nursery. We sit in the rocking chair together. She cries. She arches her back. "I'm not tired!" she complains. She writhes like a fish out of water and tells me exactly how not tired she is.

After awhile, she calms down. She lays still in my arms. Her eyelids droop and close, but she snaps them back open. I am reminded of the way I see people fall asleep in seminar... fighting the inevitable. Though I've pointed the rocking chair in such a way that she has nothing interesting to look at, she studies the wall like it the most fascinating and intricate thing she has yet seen. I put her lovey against her face, and her little mouth opens. She finds a corner and begins to suck on it.

Eventually she falls asleep. I wait a few minutes for her breathing to become regular, then stop rocking. No reaction. A minute later I stand. Still sleeping. I start to move towards the crib. Still good. As I raise her little body to lift over the rail, *Surprise* her eyes are open again.

I pull her back to me and try to jiggle her, but her eyes stay open. She coos. *Sigh* I return to the rocking chair.

We rock for several minutes more. She finally gives up, and falls asleep again. I rock for several more minutes, almost asleep myself. As I contemplate getting up, the rain starts again. I linger, watching the rain fall outside, enjoying the weight of her tiny body rising and falling as I breathe.

Rising slowly, I lift her into the crib. On my tiptoes, I balance her body in my arms as I bend all the way over, lowering her to the mattress. I slip one arm out from under her, then the other. Her lovey has slipped from her mouth, but I lay it next to her. I watch for a second, her breathing still regular. I quietly exit the room.

20 minutes later, she is babbling again. Sigh.

5 comments:

christina said...

(random reader, also a mom of a 4 mo old, also a ph.d. scientist)

I totally know what you mean! This totally describes every time i try to put down my lovely baby.

christina (http://andsafetybelts.net/cblog)

facepalm said...

Keep up the good fight.

The bean-mom said...

"20 minutes later she is babbling..."

I am right there with you, Sciencemama.

Astronomum said...

So familiar.

mamabear said...

i remember well those days! take heart though...they nap better as they get older!