Friday, August 15, 2008

Snoogles at Night

As a parent of an infant, you spend much time observing them. Aside from feeding them and cleaning up their poop, there isn't much else you can do with an infant. The American Society of Pediatrics frowns on turning them into human projectiles and making them perform household chores. Actually, so do the child human services people and the police.

Nyobi and I observe each other the most when there is no sun. Babys do this. This is not related to manipulation of my genetic material when i became a blood sucking lawyer. I call this snoogling. Its a combination between snuggling and schmoozing ones parents. Let me tell you about one particularly long snoogling session to explain how these two opposite states can be combined.

First, Nyobi cries. She is not poopy, hungry or cold. She just wants to be held. The unwitting parent (thats me!) picks her up. She whimpers a little, she grabs a fistful of my shirt in a white knuckled grip. She rests her head against my shoulder blade, her ear curled into my chest and relaxes against me in complete trust. Her other hand creeps up to the side of her head, where she calmly begins to grasp handfuls of her fuzzy hair and pet it. Her head pops off my chest to gaze at me in astonishment.

She begins to suck meditatively at the nuky and lowers her head back to my chest. I rock her. We are involved solely in the physical being of each other. We are snuggling.

Time passes and her breathing becomes heavier, and the nuky slides down my chest, abandoned. I lean her back to stand up and put her in the crib. She smiles up at me. She makes little tongue motions, and grabs my shirt again. After a few more minutes of sunny angelic happiness I stand up.

She smacks her lips and gives a whimper, and her eyes fill with fear. I give her the nuky again, but this is not what she desires. She crabs slightly, and I sit back down. She rests her head against my shoulder, and slowly the whimpering subsides. I relax, she relaxes against me in complete trust.

The nuky falls out, but I'm comfortable. The little hand stops petting its big round fuzzy toy. My breathing slows, and I rest my cheek on top of the small head, appreciating the little fingers and the soft fluff. I smile. Its really not safe to sleep in a chair with an infant though, and you get swollen ankles if you do it too much, so I press her against my chest and go to stand up.

She lets out one alarmed squawk, then begins to whimper. I relax back into the chair and rock some more. She kneads my shirt with her hand and snuffles and smacks her lips in search of the nuky. I find it, and she stares at me with big eyes as I lean her face back to pop it in. She smiles at me for a second, then licks out in search of the soothing piece of plastic.

Plugged back up, she rests her head again. I relax and snuggle some more. She relaxes into me again too, in complete trust...that I'm not going to put her down until SHES good and ready to be put down, which as it turned out the night before last was two o-clock in the morning.

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