There are so many things about little babies that change so quickly. Their diaper size, for one. How one day they don’t smile and the next day they do it on a dime.
For my darling little Peony, one thing has been constant from the get-go: How she presses my hand against her face as it’s a long-lost appendage.
And while she’s an itty-bitty little thing, her grip is big and strong like bull. No joke.
Lately she’s been going to sleep at 6:30 p.m. and waking up at 5 a.m. After she nurses for a few minutes she goes back to sleep until 7 a.m.
It sounds ideal, except for the fact that on some nights she wakes up whining for her pacifier a few times, and as I put it into her mouth she grabs hold of my hand and mushes it against her face and keeps it there. She’ll fall back asleep instantly, until I try to take my hand away, at which time the whining starts all over again.
I’d actually like to say I could just take my hand back whenever I want, but the reality is that she’s actually incredibly strong and it takes a little bit of actual effort to wiggle out of her grip.
Yes, she’s not quite 6-months-old and I’m significantly older, not to mention bigger, and yet I still have to struggle a bit to get back control of my hand. She has the kind of strength that has lead me to wonder on more than one occasion if she was bit by some kind of radioactive spider or will turn green if I make her too mad.
She will happily sleep with my hand pressed hard into her face all night. And now she’s in a crib, which means I have to stand up and stick my hand down into it to give her the pacifier, which does not a good night make for me.
I could probably play armchair psychiatrist and speculate she does it because she likes how my hand smells (or at least recognizes the smell as mine) or enjoys the warmth of the skin-on-skin contact or knows that as long as my hand is there, I’m there. Or maybe she has some kind of a hand fetish. I really have no idea. I was an English major. This was not a topic ever addressed by Jane Austen.
Maybe it’s something I’ll miss once she no longer does it. Although anything that’s keeping me up at 3 a.m. is hardly something I forsee missing, kind of like the explosive poops that came and went (thank God!) in the newborn days.
Does your baby do this with your hand and his or her face, too, or is it just my kid who’s destined to be the Strongest Woman in the World at the circus?