Most of the time Brian can calm Adriana when she's fussing, but sometimes she just cries and cries, and then when I take her she calms right down. Usually I think it's because she knows that if I am holding her, she is going to get some milk. One night recently, Brian went to Adriana when she first woke up (an hour after I put her down--it's the most predictable thing about her sleep), but after awhile I went in because she wasn't calming down. As soon as she was in my arms, the crying stopped, and I sat down to nurse her. Sitting there in the darkened room, I suddenly remembered one evening when she was about a week old. We were eating dinner in shifts because the baby, in spite of a full tummy and a dry diaper, was a bit fussy, and after I finished my soup, I took Adriana from Brian and the crying stopped. She relaxed against me, and I paced the room with her in my arms until she fell asleep. Eventually I sat in the armchair and just held her while she slept. I think it may have been the first time I felt competent as a mother.
Two nights ago, Adriana woke up just as Brian and I were going to bed. That's not unusual, and most nights I simply nurse her and put her back down in her own bed, but on Tuesday night, she was wide-eyed and ready to play. Finally I decided that one of us might as well get some sleep, and that it might as well be Brian since when the baby woke in the morning he would be the one to get up with her. So Adriana and I went into the dark living room, and I settled into the rocker with her on my lap. I recited every one of her books that I knew in a slow monotone, and she eventually leaned her head against me. My mind began to float, and I remembered holding her as she fell asleep when she was a few weeks old. In particular, I remembered holding her with her head on my shoulder as I stood at the bedroom window, rocking from side to side. It was winter, so the trees were bare and I could see the beginning of the morning commute traffic down on Glebe Road--bright headlights winding their way along the streets before the sun came up--and the first flights beginning to take off from National. Adriana was completely asleep and I was exhausted, but I stood there a little longer, trying to burn that moment into my mind.