Motherhood at 5:57am: a second installment 

At 5:57am the baby starts to fuss. Freshly awake I grope around in the dark and realize my husband has fallen asleep on the couch. I’m alone in bed. I get up to retrieve the baby from her crib across the room. I spite the fact we still share a room while wondering how people with more bedrooms deal with having to walk that far this early. I scoop up a drooly mess of tears and needs. She immediately curls into me, happy for the reassurance she didn’t wake up alone in the world. I take her back to my bed. I build a pillow wall where my husband normally is and I lay us down facing each other, the baby sandwiched. A nursing fort. I doze as she nurses and hums to herself happily. I wonder if other babies hum while nursing. I try to remember if her brother did that and find I can’t recall either way, which makes me a bit sad. She has her fill and sleepily rolls back and fourth deciding if she will let us get another hour of sleep. She concludes that we will and snuggles into my side. Her bald little head tucked gentle into the bend of my elbow. She should smell like spit up and stale pee, but she doesn’t. I inhale her. She smells like ours. Soft and quiet like this she is romantic vision of motherhood every woman has after seeing the blue plus sign. At just about 7 months old she is a contented but a curious and determined little soul and she compliments our family perfectly. The cat, whose tail intrigues her, feels this less so. I sigh and curl over her, pressing my lips into her pillowy and almost comically large cheeks. Oh my daughter. You, my darling, are something.