Dad smart, Mommie smarter (Letter 011)

Photo of Baobao tweeking Papa Zesser's node

A tale of scares, tears and brilliant common-sense

Thursday, April 16, 2020

My darling Baobao,

Yesterday, was an eventful day for all of us. A little bit scary, a lot annoying and, even more, impressive. Let me explain.

The scary part happened yesterday afternoon, while you were having a tummy-time session on the floor of my office (what you now likely think of — *sob* — as your bedroom). I had my back to you while I was working at my computer and you were playing with a variety of toys on the floor behind me.

All of a sudden, I had a cry that was halfway between fear and pain. I swivelled ’round and saw that you had managed to trap your left index finger between the thick cardboard pages of a picture book, while you pressed on the cover with your right hand. In short, your right and left hands did not seem to know what the other was doing; you were crushing yourself even as you tried to escape the trap!

Needless to say, I did not stop to take a picture, but leapt from my chair to rescue you from your comical predicament.

Score one for Daddy!

Photo of Baobao with hand upon the book which earlier had trapped her other hand.
My best attempt at re-creating the traumatic scene in which that small book had captured Baobao’s left hand. (I know: You had to be there.)

Lately you have been a pretty easy baby. (In fact, you have mostly been a pretty easy baby from Day One. Sure, we were ridiculously exhausted for the first couple of months of your life, but since then you have let us sleep through the night nearly every night. (And we have learned — via dirty looks and heads shaking with disbelief — that that is not how it is for most parents. But I digress.) You wake up between 08:00 and 09:00 hours and, gently, you wake us up. You take a 200 millimetre or so breakfast of your mother’s finest, then settle down for a nap that last from one to two hours.

I know that a lot of parents would kill for that kind of good fortune!

Yesterday was different (and so was today, for that matter).

You woke at 07:00 instead of 08:00, and you would not nap after breakfast. In fact, you did not nap until late afternoon, and then, not for very long.

And come bedtime, you fussed, and you fussed, and you cried.

I took it upon myself to comfort you. First, with food — which you refused. Then with songs and rocking in my arms while I paced the hall between my office and our bedroom.

You would, momentarily, stop crying, but never for long.

At last, your mum came upstairs and said, “Let me try.”

Sometimes mother’s really do know best. And this was one of those times.

Instead of trying to comfort you, Raven opted to distract you. She laid you down on our bed and enlisted the help of your big brother, Carl the Second, to take your mind of whatever it might be that troubles and nearly eight-month-old baby.

Photo of Baobao and Carl the Second in bed.

I heard, first, your delighted laughter and then, soon after, the sounds of your mum laying you down in your crib, where you sucked your thumb a little while, then soon drifted off to sleep.

I would have applauded, but I didn’t want to risk waking you up again. Instead, I kissed your mum on the cheek and whispered, “Well done.” Because it was.

Much love,

Pappa Z

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