November 16, 2003

Our Very Own Christopher Robins

Sebastian hasn’t been sleeping well. We think it’s because he isn’t eating enough to stay asleep all night, but as he’s only seven months old, and can’t say anything more than “uhhh, unhhh, daaaa, daaaa, maaaa, baaaa” we’re not quite sure.

For the past several weeks he has refused to let us feed him, insisting – quite adamantly I might add – that he is the only one who can place food items in his mouth. Given that he doesn’t yet have complete control over his hands and fingers this can make for interesting meal times. I’ve calculated that about half goes in his mouth, half over his shoulder, half in his bib, and half on the floor. Now those of you schooled in maths (that would be math for you Yanks) will probably point out that half + half + half + half adds up to more than one. But that’s the way it is at feeding time, one is never quite sure what percentage is where. Which leads to our bewilderment about whether he’s getting enough to eat at dinner time.

But I didn’t start out to write this entry to winge about Sebastian’s eating habits. No, I wanted to report that for the first time ever, he fell asleep in my arms.

Up at the crack of 6:00 AM, Sebastian has one speed, full-steam ahead. He bounces, and moves, wriggles and grizzles, bangs and crawls and pulls himself up, with no interest in staying in bed until 8:00 AM (which is when his parents would really like to be woken up).

Last night he was up twice to be fed, once at 11, and then again at 3, and Rachel being the wonderful mother that she is, did the feedings. So at 6:30, still bleary eyed, I got up and took Sebastian downstairs for breakfast where we had banana, toast, and grapes, accompanied by lots and lots of wriggling.

We’re on the way to France, and staying at Chris and Roz’s, and at nine o’clock I found myself in Roz’s office cleaning up some of the things that have been bothering her about her computer, while Sebastian was jumping up and down in my arms. Typing one-handed I started softly humming Silent Night. And for the first time ever I felt him relax in my arms. Then I felt his head drop onto my shoulder. And his whole body became limp. And then I knew that he was finally in the land of Nod.

I took him upstairs and put him on a mattress on the floor (no crib here I’m afraid), and covered him with a duvet. And as I looked down at him I was struck by how little and helpless and lovely he is. Nothing like the robust little person that he usually presents himself as.

As I left the room, Nathaniel was in the hallway, rubbing sleepy dust from his eyes. He had on his red and white checked flannel pajamas, and was holding Winnie the Pooh by one paw. He asked if he could have breakfast, and I said “of course". At that he turned and walked downstairs, dragging Winnie by one arm, bump, bump, bump, down the stairs.

As I watched him, I knew just where A.A.Milne had gotten his stories from. For here was our very own Christopher Robin, just barely four years old. Showing us in these quiet, tender moments, how precious life is.

And as we get ready to head to France on Sunday morning, I realize it doesn’t really matter where we end up living. As long as Rachel and the boys are safe and warm. And our friends and family know they can come visit anytime. And that we love them all very very much.

Posted by: Frank @ 1:10 am — Filed under:

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