I have never had a baby respond to me like Betsie Fair…
I was Gideon’s care-taker, keeping him from totally losing it and landing himself in a baby mental institute that first year of his life.
Then Rebekah was my little gloworm, always grinning at me, absolutely content to hang out in her carseat for however long I needed her to. Minus the whole milk thing, she could have raised herself.
Well, I’m her Mama.
When our eyes first meet in the morning, it is almost as if she has been waiting all night for me, biding her time until she can see me again. She smiles with her entire body, her mouth as wide open with glee as it could possibly be, and a little squeal of delight most usually pops right out of it. She rolls to the side to contain herself and then she rolls right back to find me once more to do the whole routine all over again.
As far as wake-up calls go, this is my all-time number one favorite!
There was a mean little tooth just under the surface of her bottom gum about a month ago and on one night in particular, it caused her great pain. We had supped at my parent’s house and had to get two cars home, so Mr. Gore chauffered the van full of children, while I rode all by my lonesome in our fancy Ford Taurus. Apparently while I was singing and humming all the way home, our normally quiet little baby was screaming at the top of her lungs; at least that’s the way Mr. Gore told it over the phone. However, by the time I made it home and up the stairs where my husband was readying the kids for bed, she had been calmed and was sitting quietly in her Papa’s arms.
“How is she?” I asked as I approached them both.
“Better…” he responded, and that’s when my eyes met Baby Betsie’s. She looked at me for a quiet moment, and then her little bottom lip began to pucker, she did a rapid series of inhale/exhales through her nose and then that sweet little baby “Wahhhhhhh!” broke forth. Well it sounded like a “Wahhhhhh!” but I knew what she was really saying…
I quickly took her into my arms (as Mr. Gore’s face relaxed in relief!) and down the stairs we went, Betsie wailing, Mama soothing. She cries more than Rebekah did, but only when she is hungry or dirty or lonesome. Tonight, however, she was heartbroken; her cries told me so. Teething (and shots!) truly hurts Betie’s feelings. Mean ol’ teeth!
Still, it did not take too very long to quiet her down. There is this spot in the crook of my neck that belongs solely to Betsie Fair. Her soft little head fits there just right, and when she is upset, all I need to do is cuddle her there to immediately calm her tears. It has been our meeting place since day 1 of her life, and there we commune and rest and enjoy and minister to one another. I make her feel safe; she makes me feel so very important.
She eventually fell asleep, but her little body continued to shudder every so often, accompanied by the most heart-wrenching little whimper. My Grandmother calls that “snuffling”. Oh how I love – and hate – snuffling. So precious…so sad.
I was telling a friend the other day that this little darling of mine is doing her best to trick me into immediately wanting another baby…
But really, what I think I’m looking for is another Betsie.