A sleeping baby

I have a number of friends who have very recently been, or shall very soon be, blessed with the birth of their first child. This seems as good a time as any, therefore, to tell the story about how I used to put my younger daughter to sleep in her crib.

Every night for more than year, we followed the same ritual.

After all the usual preparations — diaper, story, singing, etc — I would dim the lights and carry her to the crib. Carrying her in a horizontal attitude, with one hand under her rump, thighs, and lower back, and the other cupping her head neck, and shoulders (she was tiny, and I have large hands), I would lower her slowly and with great care until she was on her back on the mattress in the crib. As I lowered her, she would raise both arms up over her face until her hands were resting on her forehead. During this entire process, we maintained eye contact. At approximately the same moment that her heels touched the fitted sheet, she would close her eyes, and immediately fall asleep. I would let go and gently pull my hands out from beneath her. Then I would confirm that the baby monitor was on, and quietly leave her room.

Then I would have several hours of peace and quiet before she woke up.

The reason why I’m telling this story now is in the hope that some of my friends who will soon be putting their own babies to sleep for the first time will read this story and understand that it it is perfectly natural for new parents, over the course of the next year or two, to feel insanely jealous of me.

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