Minnow woke up yesterday morning snuggled in my arms. We rolled over and nudged Fish awake as Minnow happily wiggled between her parents. After a few minutes, she decided she wanted a little something to eat, so I obliged. When she was finished, she rolled away from me and let out a sigh of pure satisfaction. I looked down at her and she had a huge smile on – I swear it was the sort of smile one has when they’ve just had really good sex. She just seemed blissful.
Minnow’s good mood got me thinking about what a perfect day would look like in her eyes. It’s hard to know for sure because her communication skills are still somewhat constrained, but a smiling baby saying “ba-ba-ba” is a good place to start. Fish and I didn’t have any particular plans for the day, so we ended up doing our best to let Minnow have the sort of day that we think she would most enjoy.
After a diaper change accompanied by tickling and shrieks of laughter, we went downstairs for some breakfast. Minnow ate oat-ios and peas, while Fish made us bacon and eggs and toast. Then Minnow played for a while until she started to get fussy. I rocked her to sleep, set her down, and went to get some data analysis done. Meanwhile Fish had run to store to get some new pacifiers because the last of her old ones had disappeared. About an hour later, Minnow woke up and I rescued her from her crib. At the top of the stairs, we smelled an acrid burning scent. Going downstairs, we discovered that Fish had fallen asleep while the new pacifiers were boiling to sterilize. The pot had boiled dry and the pacifiers were melted to the bottom.
That made the decision what to do next easier. While Fish opened up the house to air it out, I got Minnow ready to go for a walk. Walks don’t produce giddy sounds, but she watches with wide-eyed attention from her stroller, so we think she enjoys them and would include one in her perfect day. In any case, Fish, PrincessPup, and I would – especially on a day like yesterday – beautiful colors, crisp air, and clear skies.
Upon returning from our walk, the house still stank, so we decided to head to Target to buy some replacement, replacement pacifiers. We debated as to whether Minnow enjoys car rides or not (she often falls asleep), but decided that if I sat in the back seat and played with her, she would probably think they are fine. We know that she likes to watch people and activities when we get to our destination, but we’re not sure she’s connected car rides with getting to exciting places. While at Target, Minnow picked out some shiny ribbon from the Christmas section. We’re don’t know what we’re going to do with it, but we figured she’s entitled to an impulse purchase on her perfect day.
By now we were all hungry, and we figured the kitchen at home might still be a bit stinky, so we went out to eat. Fish and I ordered food that Minnow could nibble from (French fries, broccoli, and carrots) and she enjoyed watching the kids at surrounding tables. Prior to the food arriving, we let her crawl around the booth. She loves to stick her hand in the ice water, and today she decided to repeatedly jam a fork into the ice water too. Yeah, we’re permissive parents. But she’s happy and we’re happy, and it’s all good.
Back home, Minnow played a little bit and then wanted to nap. I know that her favorite way to sleep is curled up next to me, so we took a nice long afternoon nap together. Later we finger painted for our DonorsChoose donors, and then we took all the books down from her bookshelf. She also showed me that she’s figuring out how shapes of different sizes nest together. She’s so amazing!
At dinner, she ate rice and peas and her first meat – some hamburger. She thought it was just fine. She splashed happily in her bath, got into some new fuzzy jammies, played some more, read Peter Rabbit and some nursery rhymes, and then was ready for bed. After a few minutes, she was asleep in my arms and then laid down in her crib.When she woke up a few hours later, I brought her to bed with me.
Sure, there were still fussy moments today and some out-right crying when she was tired. Yes, a trip to Target and a meal out are more adult activities than infant-friendly ones. But I feel like we had a reasonable approximation of what Minnow would choose if we told her to plan out her ideal day. She was with her loving parents all day long. She had lots of unstructured playtime and some new sights to see. She got lots to eat and drink, and she enjoyed nice long naps.
If only we could have more days like that. I feel like we are rushing through our lives so fast, trying to cram in so many activities and obligations, that we forget to savor the little delights that come from having unstructured time. Maybe we need more Minnow-planned days. Maybe then we’d all have those blissful smiles.