Last night The Munch had a hard time falling asleep. She was fighting it. Writhing around, whining, tossing her head back and forth. I knew she was tired. I knew it because I wanted it to be so… but also, it was nighttime. She is a baby. She needs to go to bed.
Part of me just wanted to put her down and let her fight herself. I was hungry. I was sick of her trashing around on my boob. I just wanted a moment to myself. But there was this other part of me that just decided to wait it out with her. So I repositioned her… pat her back… she let out a burp that would put a frat boy to shame and a fart so powerful it ricocheted against my hand. She almost head butted me in the nose twice. She drooled on my face trying to gum it. Farted. Another writhe… a cry in my ear… nestled her little face into my neck… coughed… looked at me… sneezed in my eye… and then rested her head on my shoulder. I sat for a moment prepared for another assault, but then I heard it. The deep, erratic, struggled breathing of a sleeping baby.
I felt such relief. I sat and rocked her to make sure she was totally coated in sleepy dreamingness. I put her in my bed, and made my way to eat feeling an intense sense of accomplishment. Now, did I really accomplish anything in the grand scheme of things? Did I find a new particle to further demystify quantum physics? Did I come up with a solution to use mushrooms as a means to clean environmental catastrophes? Not exactly. But I still felt like I did something meaningful. Why?
Nobody cares that I got my baby to sleep. She is not going to “remember” that night I made sure blissfully rested in my arms. So why do I do it?
I guess because feel like I am building her personality right now. Of course there is the nature / nurture debate about what makes you you, but I am working on the nurture part. Even though these moments we are having are technically only imprinting into my conscious memories, they are what are helping to form her unconscious self. Her way of relating to the world, to other people, to herself is being influenced by the way I treat her everyday.
Maybe the greatest thing I can do for her is to make sure she feels totally loved by me. Because a person that feels loved is best able to give love back.