This evening, I took a bath with Little Spaghetti. He absolutely loves his baths. As soon as we go into the bathroom, he starts squealing and wiggling around. And when I turn the water on – there's no containing that boy. He holds onto the side of the tub and bounces, waiting expectantly to be picked up and put in the tub.
The bath was going like baths tend to go; he was having a great time. The time was drawing near to wrap up the bath (generally measured by mom's unwillingness to sit in lukewarm water any longer), and Little Spaghetti decided it was time to nurse (which he usually does at the end of a bath; I refer to it as his “bath milky”).
But tonight, unlike any of the other dozens of baths we've had, his little head got heavy as he nursed and he fell asleep right there in my arms in the water.
After much debating in my head about what I should do next (wake the baby to get out, call Mr. Spaghetti for help getting the sleeping baby out which would most likely wake the baby anyway, sit there in the increasingly cool water until I shriveled up like a little raisin or until all the water evaporated from the tub...) I decided to try getting out without disturbing the sleeping baby.
After much balancing, leaning, swaying, and internal grunting, I managed to get myself to standing and maneuver my drippy self out of my swimsuit and into the bedroom. I laid down with Little Spaghetti and gently slipped his pacifier into his mouth. I went to get him a diaper and jammies.
As I was putting his diaper on, his eyes fluttered open. He looked at me and without a sound, from behind his pacifier, he gave me the best smile – it spread all the way across his face. The kind of smile I could see in his eyes. It was a smile of pure, uncomplicated happiness. Of simple joy.
After just a moment, he drifted back off into sleep. To know that I am responsible for that smile, that I am the cause, makes me feel what it is to be a mother.