Thursday, October 6, 2011
Life with Boys: Mornings with Kit
Kit is my alarm clock. Come four each morning, his little cries and groans, his demands for food, stir me from whatever dreams were nestled in my 3 o'clock brain. I rise, warm a bottle, and then hold him, rocking him ever so gently. Sometimes he drifts back into a restless sleep. Sometimes he screams. I much prefer the former. When the bottle is warm, and the water it sits in cold, I take bottle, baby, burp cloth, and make my way through our darkened apartment to the office. I settle into my chair, the marvelous boppy on my lap, and feed Kit his bottle. Most often he drinks heartily and competently. Other times he spits and fights, chokes and coughs, and makes a terrible mess of it. Then, understandably, frustrated from tiredness and hunger, he cries and screams, and fusses madly until exhaustion or some combination of soothing techniques works to settle him. I would take pride in my ability to soothe, but I have the sense that it is more luck, more fortuna, than any skill of mine. When successful, and the milk has settled in his wee belly, he smiles up at me. His little eyes search, disappointed in the yellow glare of my desk lamp, and eager for a familiar face. His smiles make me smile, and then my smiles make him smile. It is infectious; a disease I'm willing to partake of daily. Then, pressed close to me, pacifier in its lofty place, Kit is rocked, and rocked, and rocked, and snuggled, and rocked some more. At last the blue-gray eyes that defy our attempts to declare them grow heavy in their lids, and then close. We rock a bit more for good measure, until the pacifier is dislodged, and the brow relaxes, and the breathing grows steady. Sometimes we rock even more than that, but that is due to my own breath growing steady. It is not easy to stay awake at 4:45 in the morning. When, at last, sleep is sound, I rise, carry Kit back through the darkened apartment, settle him in his criblet, and restore myself to my own, now cold bed. I don't mind that chill, though. I am warmed enough. I have spent the earliest, quietest part of the morning with my littlest lamb. These days do not last forever, I'm told. I cherish them while they do.