Posted by: Elizabeth | January 26, 2010

Saving the Penguins

Caroline is an awesome sleeper.  She generally sleeps 11-12 hours at night and then still takes 2 or 3 naps during the day.  But the best part is that we have absolutely zero drama around getting to sleep or waking up.  She can easily put herself to sleep, both at nap time and at night; and if she wakes up during the night, she can find her pacifier and her blankie, wherever they are in her crib, and get herself settled back down to sleep without waking her parents.

Often when she wakes up, she just plays for a little while.  She is totally content to hang out in her crib until we’re ready to come get her, so we leave a couple of small stuffed animals in the corners of her crib to keep her entertained when she wakes up early.  We can hear her over the baby monitor playing with her toys, but she’s happy so we can roll over and get a few more minutes of sleep!

Since we use the crib as a changing table, these little stuffed animals also make a great distraction during diaper changing.  But last night we had a small accident with one.  It isn’t highly unusual that Caroline would have a little accident without her diaper on – apparently she likes the freedom of no diaper, so we always change her on a waterproof pad.  That’s not an issue.  But somehow last night, she had that little accident on her stuffed penguin.

My back was turned, so I’m not entirely sure how she did it, but I do know that Mr. Floppy Penguin’s little beak was wet and stinky by the time I got to him.  So after Caroline went to bed, I was in the bathroom gently scrubbing his surface-washable-only little face with baby shampoo.  And I suddenly felt like I was part of the cleanup team after a big oil tanker spill: scrubbing the faces of the innocent.

That left me wondering: is this a wonderful metaphor for parenthood?  That even the smallest gesture/task takes on more profound significance when done for the love of your child?  Or is it that I just watch too much TV?  Jury’s still out.  But I’m proud to say Mr. Penguin is smelling fresh and clean this morning, if his face feathers are a little stiffer than before.

More to come..

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