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I wake 20 minutes before the alarm to something I can't remember, can't place, but I think it must have been a sound. It must have been because you whimper and stir softly, my sweet little man, these formless baby noises over the monitor. I nudge your father, who handles the morning diaper change, and he wakes as you begin to cry in earnest. As he goes to tend to you, I look at the time and am surprised to see it is so close to the alarm - you didn't wake at all in the night, you slept through as you often used to and now seldom do. Your cold must be getting better, I think, but also you went to bed a little late and were so very tired.

While he handles the diaper change, I get up, use the restroom, drink. I am waiting in our chair when he brings you into the bedroom, and I offer you a dropper of vitamins. You blink sleepily at them and open your mouth, swallow them, and then I have my shirt up and your father hands you down and you snuggle into me. The noises you make as you nurse are so cute, occasional soft sounds of pleasure, such as a foodie might make at a table laden with a gourmet meal. Interspersed with gulps to keep up with the flow - you did sleep all night, and my body knows it too.

You're tired, so we think you might like to nap while we get ready for our day, and take you back to your room. Your father needs to get ready more urgently - he has work this day and I do not - and so of course, my little Daddy's boy, once fed you want him and only him. On his shoulder you nap, to his shoulder and hair you cling, and you scream when he tries to hand you to me. So he walks you around your room. I'd be hurt, but it's not rejection - it's adoration of your father, total comfort with him, and how I can I fault that? You have wonderful taste.

Finally he soothes you to sleep, but we all know you are just dozing, and the crib will be an unwelcome shock of aloneness. Instead he hands you back to me - now, finally, I am acceptable again. He's better at soothing, but I have a pretty good snuggle. I cuddle you up to my shoulder, lean back against the bean bag, and drift while you nestle against me, occasionally turning your head side to side or otherwise moving restlessly, only to settle when I wake enough to mumble something incoherently comforting. I am still here, still holding you, you are safe and snuggled. And back to sleep you drift.

Oh, my little love, I can't imagine life without these days. And in a year or two, I know it will all be different again. I will probably love it just as much, in its own ways, but right now this is perfection.

[In true parenting fashion, I started this a week ago Friday and almost finished it, then had to abandon it for some aspect of parenting, I forget which. I only just got back to it. I figured I'd better finish it before it was a year or two later.]


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