Sunday, July 13, 2008

Big Fish

I took down Lucine's mobile last night. I'd gone into her room the night before to find her standing in the crib sobbing. The mobile is now officially a thing of danger for grabby, strong hands. I sobbed too as I gingerly took apart the Jolly Jumper wind-up part from the stand, removing a superstitious red ribbon and gold cross that my mom had pinned on the fluffy little lambs.

I didn't know where to put it. It just sat sadly on the floor while I debated keeping it for the future (its mainstream baby gear, not heirloom quality stuff) or giving it away on Freecycle. In the end I stuffed into my porch box, rationalizing that since it was both of theirs, they'd probably just fight over it anyway.

Her birthday is in six weeks. One. Old enough to be forward facing, to drink milk and have chocolate in her birthday cake. As she teeters on her tiny feet, lurching forward in that Baby Frankenstein way, I know that the celebration of her first year will also mean a farewell to my baby. Hugging her has become a double metaphor about time going too fast: it's like Nate trying to hold on to the stream as water pours out the tap.

Lucine is constantly moving. She has her father's need for activity. She must constantly be grabbing, pulling, trying to move onto the next thing. Unlike myself and her brother, she is not content to just sit and chill. I know that this will prove frustrating as the days go forward, yet I am fascinated by her energy. Her tenacity and determination will definitely be assets as she grows older. I wince but cheer her on as I peek through my fingers and hope she gets everything she strives for.

I was reading/reciting Mem Fox's Time for Bed to Nate, a ritual we've had for a long time now, based on a recommendation by kittenpie. It's a fabulous bedtime rhyme that follows different mama animals instructing their babies to sleep.

I got to "It's time to sleep little fish, little fish/ So hold your breath and make a wish," when Nate uncorked his thumb from his mouth.

"But fish don't sleep!"

Oh, damn, good one. "Um, don't they?" Stalling, stalling.

"They don't."

OMG! If I don't nip this in the bud right now, all bets are off for sleeping.

"Sure they do! Remember in Finding Nemo... don't Nemo and his dad sleep in that um, whatchacallit bulby thing? Fish sleep. They do! I'm sure of it. They sleep in um, coral! That's it! Coral. But it's not like in Guess How Much I Love You, when Big Nutbrown Hare sets Little Nutbrown Hare into a bed of leaves. That's why you're confused. No, no. Fish just stay very still. They close their eyes and stay very still."

My methodology has always involved talking in annoyingly rapid circles so that I can beat his little brain to the finish line. The thinking is that this line of chatter will tire him out and then he'll give up. But he's getting too big, too fast.

"Mum, fish don't have eyelids. Now stop talking to me already!"

That's what I get for getting my fish knowledge from a Disney Pixar film.

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