My Favorite Part of the Day

The morning started with a bang. And another. Oh, one more. I check the monitor and see Hannah lifting her legs and letting them free-fall to the crib. She looks like a whale smashing the ocean’s surface with its tail. These leg lifts are the reason she was moved out of our bedroom and into her own. I needed to get more than an hour of sleep without thinking our house was being burglarized. Now that she’s in her crib, she sometimes drops her legs into the crib walls so forcefully that I have to check her for broken bones.

I watch Hannah for a few minutes hoping that she will continue sleeping. I’ve become accustomed to her morning schedule, which she adheres to 99% of the time. Not today. She begins to roll side to side, her mouth searching for a bottle like a shark thrashing on its prey. Apparently Hannah has moved breakfast up an hour and I am not prepared. I pop a bottle into the warmer and run back upstairs to scoop up The Hangry One. She whines into my neck while I bop around, shushing and whispering sweet nothings into her ear. I retrieve the bottle 30 seconds early to avoid a morning meltdown. Hannah does not like to wait for her meals.

We settle in to the armchair in the nursery. The lights are off but there’s just enough morning light for me to guide the bottle into Hannah’s mouth. The first few sucks on the nipple are overzealous. She finds a comfortable rhythm while I gently rock us. She’s relaxed, trusting my lap and left arm to bear the weight of her tiny body. She sucks, swallows, breathes without pause. Her hands roam. She pets the bottle, wraps both hands around it, then her right hand searches for mine. Her five miniature fingers wrap around my one and she holds tight.

Her body melts into mine and my mind takes a cue from her muscles. There are no worries. No dishes in the sink, no bills to pay, no appointments to schedule, no exercises to do. In that moment we are just a baby and just a mom. It’s my favorite part of the day.

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