This morning, as I was boiling water, making coffee, and cleaning the kitchen (yes, at the same time. It’s possible), I heard a faint chuckle echo from across our living room. Had my husband snuck over to play with little Clark? Was it, indeed, possible that my super baby was watching me from 15 feet away?
No. No, neither of those things were true.
What I discovered, in fact, broke my heart: Clark was laughing, smiling, and giggling on his own. All by himself. With no one else participating. With no toys. With no sounds. With no nothing! Staring at a bookshelf, moving his eyes to his little hands, and wiggling with enthusiasm.
Um. Excuse me? I thought we had something special, Clark. I carried you for 9 months, I’ve spent countless sleepless nights with you, and, yesterday, I actually had poop underneath my fingernails. Gross, gross, gross. And you mean to tell me, Clark, that what I previously viewed as our special, morning moments were merely coincidence?! All this time, I could have been eating, sleeping, or taking a shower, and you would have just laid there in your swing, laughing away? You bastard!
After a few minutes of independent time, Clark called out, demanding a pacifier. Or so I thought. After inserting the teal, plastic part into the noisemaker, I walked back to the kitchen. Pop. I heard the pacifier slip from between his lips. I turned around, ready to face what had previously resulted into beast mode. Instead, I found a perfectly content newborn, who had managed to put his fist to his mouth in place of a pacifier. As he drifted into dreamland, I became even more upset. What do you mean, he doesn’t even need a pacifier? Is there nothing that I’m good for anymore, besides cleaning and feeding? Who the hell do you think I am, your mother?
And once again it hit me: yup. I am.