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A Disturbance In The Force.

The other night, Scarlet would not go to sleep easily. Actually, it was one of those haunting nights where no one is sleeping straight through the night. Ever notice those? They’re usually on summer nights when it’s hot or humid or stormy, and you can hear the shufflings and coughs of various household members. Scarlet’s sleeplessness was only during the part of the night in which the rest of us were still awake. I think my mom took a turn trying to get her back to sleep. I’m pretty sure Cassidy took several turns trying to coax her back to sleep. After a particularly loud wakeup of, “Dada? Dada? I woke up! Mama? Mama? I woke up!” I went into her room to see what was up. The restlessness hit me like a blast of wind.

“I woke up! Is it morning?? Can I have jelly babies (translation: vitamins) and yellow yogurt?” (translation: banana yogurt)

I pointed out the dark sky outside her window and told her we all wanted to go to bed.

“But..I woke up! I woke up. I woke up!” (bounce, bounce, bounce in bed)

I gave her the choice of one book or hugging and talking in the rocking chair. She chose the hug/talk.

As I held her against me for the first time in ages, although a bit awkwardly with a huge belly, we rocked and rocked into the night, way longer than a quick backrub back to bed should be. At times, I’d fall asleep. At times, she would fall asleep. I looked around and was struck by how different the room seemed. The whole atmosphere did a 180 in only hours. We didn’t move any furniture at all. We didn’t add a crib or put her in a different bed. The lighting was exactly the same, as well as the whoosh of the sound machine and the placement of her toys. It couldn’t have been more different, though. As I had written on Sunday, with the help of my mom, we had emptied out her bookshelf and placed her clothes from her drawers onto her bookshelves. We had filled her drawers with the baby’s clothes. That was the one change but it was as if we replaced more.

It was this little change; this little earthquake. Spiritually, physically, logically, atmospherically, you could feel the shift any which way. We all talked about how we felt it. I knew Scarlet felt it too and it might explain at least some of her sleeplessness. I successfully placed her quietly into bed and we didn’t hear from her again. I wondered what the next day would bring. Small shifts and little earthquakes. Scarlet likes to do this thing. I don’t know where she learned it – she either learned it at daycare or she created it herself. It’s called “making a scarecrow.” This involves picking out one shirt, one pair of pants, one pair of underwear and some sort of strange head/face (usually her baby doll’s bathtub). She lays it out on the floor and talks lovingly to this random concoction of empty clothes arranged exactly how clothes are arranged. But with a bathtub head. The next morning she insisted on making a scarecrow and I let her go loose in her room for awhile.

Until I remembered.

Scarecrows HAVE to wear underwear. Her underwear was now high on a bookshelf. Where her underwear used to be I had lined up newborn diapers in rows and rows. I ran to her room to get her a pair of underwear, but I hadn’t needed to. Without complaint, she had made do with what she found. She had changed her routine in the face of new surroundings. This is only an iPhone photo but that is a newborn diaper where underwear usually is:

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It just hits my heart a lot. Can’t even explain it. Pride, sorrow, the mushy, squishy feeling, affection. You name it. I have it.

Small reactions to small events. Larger reactions to larger events will follow soon. I was telling a friend recently that Scarlet is not an anxious person. I am. Cassidy is not. And I’m so thankful that she got his temperament. I know there will be hiccups and earthquakes, both small and large, and I know I will want to pull my hair out..maybe on a daily basis for awhile.

But I know deep in my heart that she’s ok. And she’ll be ok. With anything life throws at her. It’s a gift. I thank her father.

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