A baby with fat cheeks.

He was definitely still a baby, but was increasingly more independently busy. Increasingly, in this case, used as a multiplier for more. It was happening fast.

Walking was always at top speed so you’d call it running. There was jumping and dancing, too. Words, and sounds that mimicked words, would tumble from his mouth. They would have the cadence of conversation, and likely a meaning that was uninterpretable, for now. He could clearly convey, “No,” usually when admonishing the dog. “No, babau” or whatever he said that meant dog.

It was time for his nap–remember he’s still a baby–but he was using his found power of no on his mother. She needed him to stop being busy for a bit. She had some busy of her own to do. Also, he was tired and she wanted to stay ahead of that.

She lifted him up and gently placed him in the bed. He sat up. She knew if he stopped for a few moments, sleep would win. She stretched out next to him and put her hand on his little back. He turned his head toward hers, lifting his chin so he could see into her eyes. They were just like his.

She saw her reflection in his eyes. She whispered a little hushing sound just above his head. She looked at his big round cheeks, rosy pink in the center dissolving into the smooth, clear porcelain at his rounded chin and his tiny nose. She brushed her hand on his cheek. It was warm, fueled by his little furnace inside. He sighed a baby sigh, and she felt his body relent a bit.

She locked eyes with him. He wasn’t going to let her out of his sight. She thought his eyebrows were perfectly formed, a light brown hinting at auburn framing his green eyes. With those lashes. Those long curly baby lashes coveted by all the women. He blinked. It was starting. He blinked again. She answered with a slow blink of her own.

She loved watching him fall asleep. The long, slow blinks that would get longer and slower until his lids were too heavy and would not flutter open. She couldn’t move too soon, otherwise, it’s back to the coaxing stage. She rubbed his back. He lifted his little hand and placed it on her cheek. Her heart swelled. She knew he was sleeping when she felt the wet, warmth of his perspiration. He would flash just as he fell asleep. And then she, too, was asleep.


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