There is nothing that compares to the sweet snuggle of a sleepy baby.
Last night I babysat for my little sister's three delightful children. The oldest, 5, is at the perfect age to be a helper. During the evening she checked off the things on her mom's helpful list that we accomplished, and she orchestrated the evening's events. "Aunt E.M.," she'd say, "now it's time to order the Chinese," or "Aunt E.M., don't you think we should play school now? I think so," and she'd nod her head with all the wisdom of her age and proceed to help me count.
The second is almost three, and he is a constant source of surprise. Yesterday's library trip got him a book on The Avengers - and of course we read it probably 15 times. This morning when he woke up he asked for the book, and immediately pointed out to me the names of the characters and unique characteristics of each. "This one is Captain America," he said proudly, and rattled off the rest. "And, this one is Thor, Aunt E.M. - the one you like, right?" I'm going to have to perhaps censor a little of my sidebar commentary while I read to this youngster.
The third is just 14 months, and as cute as his brother and sister with their blond hair and big eyes. He was not happy to see me yesterday afternoon, and proceeded to act "strange" for a while. I finally won him over with organic cheddar bunnies. As the evening progressed he relaxed some, but he remained slightly unsure of who I was and what I was doing at his house. He went down easily enough, and slept through the night. I heard a whimper then a wail at about 5:30, waited a few minutes and he didn't fall back to sleep. He was standing up, holding on to the side of the crib, and looking at me with hopeful eyes. As I walked closer he wailed a little louder and held up his arms. Ok, I thought, it's morning time. I picked him up and he nestled his warm head into the corner of my neck and shoulder and sighed a huge sigh for such a little guy.
We climbed back into the big bed and I laid him on my chest, where he remained for the next hour, only picking up his head to look curiously at me in the dark. I wasn't sure if he was wondering why his mommy felt different or if he was sure I wasn't mommy and wondering who I was. Regardless, he was content to stretch out on me, and I relished the cuddle of a warm and snugly little person.
18 hours ago