“C baby, in five minutes we’re going nigh-nigh” I say, heading into the kitchen to prepare her night-time bottle. On my way back from the kitchen I say “ok, let’s go!” and proceed to chase after her through the house. As I scoop up my giggling child I get a whiff of her sweet smell. No matter how long ago her last bath might have been, she always smells delicious to me. (Well, ok, almost always…)
We head into the bedroom and gather up the doggy, the blanket and a few books before settling into the rocker. The baby goes here, the doggy there, whoops dropped the blanket! Finally we are ready to open the first book. A page into it C pushes it away and signs “more” aroud her bottle. I can hear her mumble “more” at the same time. I grab the next book in the pile. This time I get to read a few more pages before she gets bored and chucks it to the ground. The following book is the second to last in the pile so I take my time opening it and showing her the pictures. She snuggles a little deeper into my arms and I get the feeling that I might be allowed to finish this one. I kiss the top of her head and breathe in the smell of her hair. There is nothing sweeter than the smell of a warm, clean baby. She notices that I have paused in my reading and squirms a little to look up at me. She smiles around her bottle and looks back down at the book, pointing at the last page I read. I pick up where I left off and we meander our way through the story to the end. We’ve arrived at the last book in the pile, but C wants nothing to do with it. I put it down and gather her closer. Enjoying the cuddle for a few more minutes, but all too soon she gets antsy, prompting me to get up.
We turn off the light and go stand next to the crib. I place the doggy on my shoulder and C rests her head on him, closing her eyes as her mouth closes around her pacifier. We sway there for a minute as I hum a lullaby. I love this moment. All of the frustration of the day seeps away and only the sweet moments remain. Any pent up anger dissipates and the only thing left between C and me is love. As I feel her relax I realize I should put her down before she falls asleep. I lay her in her crib, carefully arranging the doggy and blanket around her. She sighs and closes her eyes, holding her doggy close to her.
“I love you, baby” I whisper as I pat her back. I walk quietly out of her room, pulling the door closed behind me.