on saturday, sawyer may came over to spend a few hours with us while my sister and her man attended a wedding. elinor was talking about it all day. she told me all the things that she was going to do with "baby saw-ya", to include: singing, helping to change her diaper, dancing, feeding her a bottle, rocking, and reading stories (she selected her prized BabyLit collection and kept bringing them out during the day and setting them aside, just for the occasion). oh, and apparently they were going to have a tea party with cookies and she was going to take her "up the stairs and down the slide". * not to worry, we monitored all playtime activities to ensure that no babies were harmed. three-month-olds were not taken down slides by two-year-olds and no eyes were poked out (as elinor likes to do because she is obsessed with pretty eyelashes)
shortly after sawyer's arrival, she became quite serious about getting some food. she let out some no-joke sounds and gave us her best intense eyes until she realized that the bottle contraption that we were sticking in her mouth did indeed contain delicious liquid gold from mama. she settled and got down to the business of eating.
meanwhile, elinor did some maintenance work on sawyer's play gym to make sure that it was in tip-top shape for playtime to come...
ben made dinner for the "grown ups" while the little one enjoyed her bottle. then, we sat at the table and sawyer entertained us with fabulous baby sounds while we ate. after dinner, it was into the sling for sawyer and off on a little stroll to the park for some playtime. elinor played on the slide and in the dirt with papa. i wandered around and lulled sawyer to sleep with the combined magic of fresh air and sakura bloom sleepydust.
after elinor had her fill of the climbing and sliding and such, we wandered over to a large stretch of grass so that a game of tag could commence. ben chased elinor around and she giggled and told papa to "run fast, run fast!" and then they switched it up so that they could play a new game: run circles around mama. it was pretty easy for me, i just got to stand there swaying with sawyer and ben and elinor did the rest. apparently, it is a super fun game, given the level of squeals and giggles.
once the sun started its descent and we were getting close to feeding time, we made our way back home. i prepped a bottle while elinor played and sawyer slept. then, we got a record spinning and roused sawyer from her sleep so that she could eat. another bottle devoured.
we played for a bit until sawyer decided to show off some of her primo fussy-time skills. she kicked and made ridiculous squawks and generally fussed for a solid 20 minutes of discontent. ah, brings back good memories of elinor's infamous sassy times when she was tired and trying to get it all out right before bedtime. a time that we affectionately refer to as "elinor's last stand". our little custer.
it was right before elinor's bedtime so we decided to make a loud party out of it and get it all out of our system. elinor was talking loudly over sawyer and i was bouncing and making whooshing in-utero calming noises. ben just surveyed the nutty scene and tried to keep elinor occupied so she wouldn't "help" by tickling sawyer's toes and grabbing a pacifier to stick into her mouth against her will. elinor really did want to help and i so appreciate her sweet spirit. she stayed close to my side, monitoring the situation and kept saying reassuring words to sawyer and asking her "baby saw-ya sad? ooooohhhh...you want to sing jesus loves me and say prayers and amen?" precious. it really does seem like yesterday when our little peanut was having her own infant fussy time and now, she is a little person who exhibits empathy and tries to help soothe another baby. time flies. and the whole scene kind of melted my heart. but, the toe tickling attempts, i could have done without.
at about 7:27 (three minutes until bedtime), elinor let out a big sigh, grabbed her blanket, and came to me to let me know, "mama, i finished. time to go night-night. kisses. i wuv you. night-night, baby saw-ya. papa, upstairs with me". IT WAS PRICELESS. she was clearly exhausted from all the playing and helping and pacifying.
when ben returned from putting elinor to bed, sawyer seemed to instantly calm. she got all snuggly and nuzzled and gave ben the biggest flirty smile and started chatting with him. i put her in the sling while she was pleasantly distracted by her conversation with uncle ben and she crashed almost immediately.
for the next hour and a half, i just walked and rocked and chilled while she slept in the sling. it was such fun to get to do that! i was SO tempted to put her down but i figured we only had a small amount of time left and why mess with a good thing? elinor was not much of a snuggle-bunny. she liked her time with me but when she was done, she was done. from the start, she liked her independent time. she liked to be tightly swaddled and left to sleep by herself. she wasn't all into the nurturing stuff and didn't really love to be held. and honestly, i love all of that about her. it makes perfect sense for our child (she is a combo of her parents, after all) and it was in line with the way that we structured things for her. and actually, i think all of that no-nonsenseness might be why we breastfed for as long as we did. it was our special time when it was just us and she wanted to be held and loved on. it filled that sweet little spot in her heart and mine that wanted attachment and nurture. elinor is still very much her own person. she very rarely acts like she "needs" me. sure, she has her moments when she needs reassurance or extra care but those times are rare. and i soak them up when i have them.
sooooo...that little bit of a nurturer in me got a major fix with sawyer. what fun to be able to borrow a little cuddly one for a few hours! she was content when she was being held close. she would tuck her little face in and burrow and just relax. and oh how she loved the sling. three cheers for babywearing! and i got to put my parental-control-self on the back burner for an evening of indulgent baby holding. we spoiled her with sweetness and snuggles. but hey, that's what aunts and uncles and cousins are for!