Last night I was putting Eleanor to sleep. She was sleepy but not quite ready to go to sleep. This is a big distinction for a baby. We had spent a lot of time together over the weekend, just the babies and I, so we were flush with bonding time.
As she started to get a little dozy (putting her head down and closing her eyes, interspersed with gazing around attentively), she looked me in the eye, smiled and reached for my face. Instinctively I squeezed my eyes and mouth shut. Can’t do much for the nose, unfortunately. To my surprise, she didn’t grab my cheek or my nose or dig her nails in anywhere. She tugged gently on the hair that was in front of my face, then when I smiled she touched my cheeks gently. I could see her looking at my eyes or near my eyes, so I closed them again when her little hand darted up, but she just started feeling my eyebrows. “Feeling” is really the best way to put it. She rubbed them the wrong way, scratched them gently a little, and then begin stroking first one, then the other.
She felt my eyelashes, grabbed my nostril, and then felt around in my mouth (mostly she just wanted to see inside, not touch anything), and she let me look in her mouth – something she usually doesn’t like. Then she gently turned my head and tugged on my ear. After a while, she returned to my eyebrow and with her palm over my (closed) eye, she stroked my eyebrow with her finger until she fell asleep.
Today the babies went to their grandparents’ for the day and we went to work. As I said, I spent a lot of two-on-one time with them this weekend, so I think it was a little rough for all three of us. At lunch, when I went to see them, Henry met me at the door where he asked to be picked up, and Eleanor hollered at me from her high chair until she, too, was released. I sat on the floor with Henry in my lap, and Eleanor crawled over and shoved him aside so she could sit there too. And there we sat. Henry hugged me and buried his head in my neck while Eleanor preferred to face outward and continue playing with her toys while leaning back against me. It was glorious.