Article

Things I Learned This Week From Baby

Bathing the Young Heir
Mary Cassatt – circa 1891

 

Well, here I am, sitting in my sun-splashed living room while my husband watches football, wondering what my baby girls are doing on a Saturday in Arkansas. My feet hurt. The last time I remember my feet hurting like this was when I was nine months pregnant with my firstborn more than twenty-one years ago, and this is by no small coincidence. Since both Lily and Clara are now away at college, I am watching a baby in my home. This week was my first week with Baby.

Baby is a nine month old baby girl who has a little fluff of blond hair on her head that glints red in the sunlight. She has very serious blue eyes and a perfect pout that, when she nods off to sleep, easily melts my heart. She is, however, used to being held and never put down. To be fair, I was warned by her parents. I was also warned that she did not nap. Ever. All of these things were good and well, though, because Baby had a secret.

Baby was tired.

She was so tired, in fact, that she took two naps her first day here and three naps every day thereafter. It’s true she likes to be held, and that is why my feet are suffering so, but we are learning that there are more interesting things to do than being held all of the time. I think we are going to get along just fine, if her smile when she sees me first thing in the morning is any indicator.

There are, however, a few lessons Baby taught me this week. She taught me how to gather and refold a damp cloud of baby wipes. She taught me that I should never, ever walk the “wrong” way around the block as there is a rather steep hill going in that direction. Funny how I never noticed it in all the time I trained for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. How much do you weigh, Baby? I learned that wearing my good running shoes instead of going barefoot on my hardwood floors is a good idea while Baby is adjusting to not being carried all of the time. And, most of all, I learned that forty-seven doesn’t feel a bit like twenty-seven.