Baby Lulu went to bed after her bath at 9:15 p.m., but it didn’t take.
So she and I watch the Single Ladies finale. She nurses and rocks and nurses and changes and nurses and rocks.
We try for bed again at 12:15 a.m., but after only 10 minutes she demands to be removed from her crib.
Every baby has their favorite position. I put her in her favorite position: facing out from my akimbo left arm, her limbs splayed, her head pitched back and almost dangling off my arm. We walk around the house picking up junk from the floor and picking out her brother’s clothes for the morning. To be honest, she doesn't pick up a damn thing, just sits in my arms, staring around, fluffy hair blowing in the air conditioning.We nurse and rock and burp and nurse and wipe and nurse and spit up and burp and rock.
Her eyes look at me seriously as I pick her up underneath her arms and make her dance around. “Fat man in a little coat,” I giggle. She doesn’t get the reference. I watch Necessary Roughnessand fall asleep with her.
At 2:00 we walk up the stairs; I make a giant step to avoid the creakiest stair. She is asleep, doesn’t even twitch an eye, and I lay her down. Squawk! Squawk! she says, Pick me up! So I do. We move back and forth swaying in her little nursery next to the drapes I sewed, the pillows I made, the picture I painted, and the clothes I haven’t put away. I eye the leftover fabric that will someday be the bed skirt. Baby Lulu doesn’t look like she’s going to sleep this time, even though I’m pretty good at the Go-To-Sleep-Sway. We pose for pictures.
I sing Stevie Wonder, then Ring Around the Rosies. We make silly smiles at each other. She gets a manicure. What I wouldn’t give for a pedicure.
Squawk! Squawk! she says, I am So Tired! Nurse, rock, burp, spit, nurse, burp, snuggle.
“Old soul in a new space suit, “ I say to her, echoing a friend’s words to me, “That’s what you are.” She dive bombs me with her head.
Squawk! I snug her in as close as she can get next to my heart.
Squawk! she cries and her red-rimmed lids close. Her body relaxes, legs losing their tension first, then everything else; she exhales with a tremble. It’s 4:36 a.m.