In the hospital they encouraged me to nestle Nicholas against my naked skin, so familiar he was with my scent after 37 weeks. It was my favorite part, that closeness. A small, gentle weight rooting, sighing and occasionally twitching limbs shocked by the sudden freedom to explore. I wanted to graze my fingers along his soft skin forever because his skin was softer than anything, even the wishes you whisper under your breath so nobody will hear.
He’s harder now. More firm and strong, and though his limbs still twitch, it is now in anticipation. The only thing that shocks now are boundaries and, perhaps, potty training. I was just out of the shower wearing towels around my head and body when he came to me limping, upset that his sock was wet.
“It’s because you had an accident. If you don’t go potty in the toilet, your pants and socks will get wet.”
“Change it, mama. Please?” One small orange sock with a blue toe pointed gingerly in my direction.
I thought about what everyone has told me, both friends and books, about letting them feel uncomfortable. Letting them stew, if you will.
“No, not right now. I need to get dressed. When I’m done dressing, I will change you.”
“Oh, mama!” Face cupped in small hands, the classic pose of defeat. “No, mama, no. I don’t like this wet sock.”
“I’ll change you when I am done dressing.”
I was able to put on my bra and underwear before I caved, although maybe he didn’t know that. Technically, I was more dressed than before.
“Let’s get you changed.”
“I don’t like this wet sock, mama.”
Nicholas likes to wrap himself around me like a koala bear when I hold him, so I hoisted him up awkwardly from underneath one arm and a thigh to avoid getting wet. And, apparently, accidentally but most definitely noogied his thigh with my fingers. He cried.
While I took off his clothes, he cried. While he stepped into his pull-up, he cried. He cried from the pain (although I still don’t understand what I did or how I hurt him) and from frustration, probably, until he sucked in air with short little gasps. I decided a pull-up was enough clothing for the time being.
We moved to the glider, me in my unmentionables and he in his pull-up, once again skin to skin.
For a very long time we rocked back and forth, a tangle of limbs and warm skin. The solid weight of him, the murmurs, the shudders and gasps that slowly came to an end were all a supreme comfort. I grazed my fingers along skin softer than anything, even wishes whispered under your breath that ultimately came true.
For those who are new here, Favorite Moment is a series of posts I wrote every Friday when I first started this blog. The point of the exercise was to encourage me to reflect on the week, pick my favorite moment, and write about it.