Baby James had a bad night last night. It wasn’t a case of continual crying or anything like that. I think he just had one of those nights where he could’t find a comfortable sleeping position. I know this because his cot is on the other side of the very thin wall to our bed and I could hear him … all night.
He was moving around at 11pm, needed settling at midnight, given his dummy at 1am and after continuing to rattle the sides of the cot with his arms, legs and I’m sure the odd clunk signalled he was also using his head, I gave Baby James a bottle at 2am. And that wasn’t the end of Baby James’ efforts to give me an insight into the life of an insomniac.
I’m a bit tired this morning and I’m possibly not the best person to be an advocate on behalf of babies. Well, that’s the position I could take if I only had last night to refer to. But it’s not and I think it’s in Baby James’ and my best interests to talk about the one thing he does that always brings a smile to my face. And that one thing is laugh. There is no sound more enjoyable to hear than that of your own baby’s laugh. When Baby James laughs, it’s infectious and I laugh too.
He squeals with delight when I play hide and seek with him. I will crawl around on the floor getting Baby James’ attention and then I’ll slink around a corner or hide behind a piece of furniture. And when I sense he’s near, I’ll pounce. And Baby James’ eyes light up and his mouth forms an open smile and he’ll laugh … hard … and loud … and I’ll laugh … and if My Sweet is at home, she’ll come and see what ‘her boys’ are doing, and even though she might shake her head at us … she’ll laugh too. After I’ve pounced, I’ll sometimes tackle Baby James and hold him to my chest and as I roll on the floor with him I can feel his laugh and I can hear it close to my ear.
If I make the bed with Baby James around I can guarantee he’ll become excited. Since he has shown how much he enjoys the parachute at Gymboree I have improvised with the bed sheets. And now, he associates bed-making with fun and games. So I’ll scoop him up and put him in the middle of our bed and I’ll flap the sheet up and down, on his head or in his lap … does he LOL (that’s a reference for the Gen Y readers), you bet.
I am also becoming the master of silly voices, faces and noises, and the word ‘splodge’ said with different emphasis usually proves to be a winner. Other guaranteed winners for generating laughs from Baby James include the obligatory fatherly activity of tossing baby into the air and catching him (an interesting side-note from My Sweet pertains to the alleged fact that fathers are usually the first to drop their children, hmmm, I wonder why, perhaps it’s because we tend to be the ones who encourage risk-taking behaviour). Running the bath is usually met with excitement. I’ve also noticed random laughs emanating from within Baby James now that he has started to walk, goodness knows what he’s seen that has produced a laugh or maybe it just feels funny. And since I’ve mentioned funny feelings, rubbing Baby James’ tummy or tickling him beneath his chin or on the back of his neck often produces shrieks too.
So, when Baby James is not quite at his best I remind myself that it’s just a stage and when I find myself becoming frustrated I try to remember all the times he brings happiness to my world, because I know once he’s had a good sleep and re-charged his batteries, he’ll be ready to smile and play and laugh with me again.