Baby Mine

April 16, 2009

Moo is sick – just a bad cold, just like all the other colds she’s ever had – but this one seems to have hit her particularly hard.  She’s more aware, somehow – able to tell me she doesn’t feel good, able to pinpoint where it hurts (her ears), and just simply furious at her runny nose.

The last few times she’s been sick, she’s still managed to sleep through the night.  But this time – well, we’ve had some difficult nights.  The other night we were catching up on “Heroes” when Moo suddenly screamed.

“MOMMY! DADDY!!!”

We ran to her and Herbie scooped her out of bed.  She wailed, she screamed.  She refused Hop, and her sucky, and her fuzzy blanket.  We finally got her settled down a bit after giving her some Tylenol, and then she declared she wanted to play.

“Sweetheart,” I said gently.  “It’s very late at night.  It’s time for sleeping, not playing.”

At least, that’s what I think I said.  But based on her reaction, I must have said something more like, “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little Hop, too.  And then I shall boil all your animals and have them for dinner with some fava beans and a nice Chianti, right after I feed your sucky to the dog next door.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!”

Moo summoned all her newfound 2-year-old power and let loose a tantrum like we hadn’t seen in, well, ever.  She hasn’t even awakened in the middle of the night since before Thanksgiving.  Let’s face it, we’d become wimps.

We backed up and cleared away some toys so Moo wouldn’t hit her head while she writhed on the floor, kicking and screaming.  Every time we tried to touch her, she shrieked.  Finally, Herbie opened up a book and started reading.  After a few minutes, she was too intrigued by where Bunny’s nose might lead him next, and crawled into my lap.  Three books later, I heaped her into Herbie’s arms, and they went and sat in her bedroom.  Herbie sang Harry Connick Jr.’s entire songbook to her, and she finally fell asleep about an hour later.

 Herbie has always been better than I during Moo’s worst times.  When she’s screaming at two in the morning, I tend to get sucked into a blind panic in which I really believe  that she just might scream forever and we will never ever sleep again.  But Herbie just rolls out of bed, time and time again, and rocks her and sings to her, time and time again, until she is eventually soothed.

Herbie definitely won the SuperDad award the night of Moo’s first official tantrum.

And then the next night came along.  At 1 o’clock, Moo started screaming again.  And while I appreciate Herbie’s gift for midnight soothing, I am not a bad wife.  It was my turn to give it a try.

So I went into her bedroom, scooped her up and shushed her quietly.  Once again, she declared she wanted to play, but this time she must have guessed the futility of her hopes, because when I told her we were going to sit down and sing some songs, she only whimpered.

I wiped her nose and held her close and she melted in my arms.  I started singing, as softly as I could.  First “Singin’ in the Rain,” then “Rainbow Connection,” then “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (rainbows are so calming, don’t you think?), and finally “Baby Mine.”  (“Baby mine, don’t you cry… baby mine, dry your eyes…”) I always sang “Baby Mine” when Moo was tiny, but lately our tastes have tended more toward songs about cows.  After I sang it once, I looked down, and Moo was asleep in my arms.

That hasn’t happened in… almost a year?

I didn’t want it to end, so I sang the song – our song – again, and again, and again.  And I noticed something.  As it turns out, singing softly to my daughter in the middle of the night, while she sleeps in my arms, is pretty much just as satisfying as standing in the spotlight, singing at the top of my lungs in front of a large audience.

And I admit, there’s a little part of me that hopes she wakes up again tonight.

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4 Responses to “Baby Mine”

  1. kristi Says:

    Moo is lucky to have you (plural). 🙂

  2. Beth H. Says:

    that is probably the sweetest thing i’ve ever read. i vote you both Parents of the Year!

  3. Leslie Says:

    I’m grabbing my keys and running to the parking lot so I can get home and scoop William out of his crib and soothe him back to sleep…

    They are the sweetest moments EVER.

  4. Cat Says:

    I hope you are printing all of these out as you go and have a lovely book that you are collecting them all in for Moo (even the ones that aren’t about her.) Give it to her when she gets married or pregnant – she will treasure it forever. I would.


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