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Just after Charlie was born, a friend of mine was over and Charlie was having a tough day. He had his first cold, and was just generally miserable. At the time, being a new mom, I was struggling to figure out what to do and how to make him happy. My friend laughed a little and said, “the important thing to remember is that babies have no experiences to compare anything to, so everything is either the best thing or the worst thing that has ever happened to them.”
I had never thought about it that way. Being an adult, I hadn’t considered the fact that he had no basis for comparison. Even though it was just a slight head cold, not being able to breathe through his nose, was in fact, the worst thing that had ever happened to him.
Going forward from there, I have tried to consider that when they have extreme reactions to good or bad experiences.
Santa came! Best. Thing. Ever!
Strep throat. Worst. Thing. Ever!
So, the other day, Tilly and I had been out all morning long, and had lunch at the park with Charlie’s class, so when we got home she was super sleepy and it was nap time. We went straight up to her room, so I could change her. She loves it when I hold her arms and let her jump off the changing table, swinging her to the floor. This time however, I didn’t have a great grip when she jumped, so her ankle scraped the shelf of the changing table as I was lowering her to the floor.
Crap! I could tell it hurt.
I immediately sat down on the floor and cradled her in my arms to assess the damage. She, of course, was sobbing. I, of course, felt awful because it was totally my fault.
I moved her sock and looked at the scrape, it was small with no bleeding. Phew! Then I looked back to comfort her and noticed the new reason she was crying. When we came in, I never took off my shoes and apparently I’d stepped in gum. You all know how long her hair is.
Son of a biscuit.
She is trying to sit up from my lap and couldn’t, that’s what is upsetting her. From where I am sitting, it looks like just the ends are stuck….and maybe a few longer ones, but not many. She is starting to panic, and I know that if she panics, and especially if she starts grabbing at the back of her head, it’ll get much worse.
So I start singing. The song my dad always sang to calm me.
“I see the moon, the moon sees me.
Hiding behind the old oak tree.
Please let the light that shines on me, shine on the one I love.
Over the mountains and over the sea.
That’s where my heart is longing to be.
Please let the light that shines on me, shine on the one I love.”
The singing worked, and she calmed down. While she was staring in my face, I slowly untied my running shoe, slipped it off, and limped one shoed to the kitchen where the sharpest scissors live. Mentally cursing the person who threw their gum on the ground, while still cradling her in my arms.
I sat her on the counter, still singing, held the shoe out as straight as possible without pulling and snipped off the tips of her hair that was stuck in the gum. Nick hasn’t noticed yet.