Babies are mood amplifiers, especially if you’re already tired. I notice this in myself and in conversations with other parents. What our babies do aren’t ever slightly cute. They’re adorable! They delight us. Their giggles, hugs, and the way they discover every new little wonder gives us big warm fuzzies.
Then there’s the dark side. Babies being bad. They don’t get into just a little trouble, then leave it. They (seem to intentionally) get into deep trouble. At least Maddie does. Tell her not to do something, and try to distract her with something not-so-dangerous, and it won’t work. She’ll obsess about what she’s not supposed to do. And when she cries with her mighty little fury, even if I’m still glowing from the above mentioned warm fuzzies, it just doesn’t take long to sour my mood. It only takes a few minutes for a tantrum to suck the joy right out of life. I’m a level-headed guy, but, Grrrr.
One of my friends, Liza, points out that babies’ best natural defense is how cute they are. And she’s right. Maddie’s worn me pretty thin, but in five minutes, after I turn off this computer and head off to bed, I’ll drop by her room, poke my head in, and see that perfect sleep of the innocent that babies do. She’ll probably be on her side, one leg bent a little more forward than the other, each hand relaxed in an almost-a-fist. Her cupid’s bow lips will be parted and her breaths deep. My temperament will lighten, my heart will melt, and I’ll get a good night’s sleep, too.