The Red Crab

We are in the midst of spring break at GSU, which means that I am getting to spend a lot more time with our son this week. Last night he was awake from 11 to 2, trying his mother's patience, until I moved him into the bed next to me. Despite the risk of SIDS, he sleeps a lot better pressed up against one of us, so we do indulge in this practice from time to time. Anyway, he then slept until 7, when I fed him, changed his diapers a couple of times, and kept him entertained for the rest of the morning. V. fed him at 11, and then I took care of him until about 3:30 while she and her mother went off shopping at the International Farmer's Market. Well, during that time, little Will just wasn't satisfied with anything that I offered him. I used a variety of tricks that I have been collecting, but none would do the job of calming him for more than a few minutes, including giving him a bottle that he wolfed down in no time flat. Finally, his mother fed him again when she returned home and that did the trick. I then took a nap for three hours!

In the midst of all this, I was surprised by my own reactions. Strangely, I don't get upset with him when he gets upset. I feel a little frustrated that I can't help him find relief right away, but an overwhelming sense of caring and fatherly love are really what characterizes my emotions--even in his most difficult moments. I was rewarded for this patience today when I watched Will "discover" a red crab that is part of the apparatus (his grandma bought him) that hangs on the side of his crib. His hand happened to hit it once accidentally, causing the crab to spin. He seemed to notice that. In fact, for the next few minutes he continued hitting the crab, clearly intending to keep it spinning. That was an utterly wonderful moment. Such a simple thing, but it's a rare instance when I was able to witness another person becoming aware of his environment.