It's naptime again, his irritated squeaks and frantically kicking legs tell me. I fight the frustration that he can't soothe himself to sleep the way Eva could at his age--no sterile, rubbery plastic in his mouth, thankyouverymuch!--and walk around with him in the front pack, doing the slightly bouncy walk just as he likes. I go for the top rack of the dishwasher, then turn away. There are so, so many things I need to be doing right now, but I decide to savor this. Pretty soon he's going to be all arms and legs and verbalized opinions instead of rolls and drool and merely vocalized opinions.
The washing machine is filling and I scootch into the laundry room next to it. The soothing water noise begins to win and his wiggly head slowly drops toward my chest--oh, he's a fighter!--and he stares at the window, perfect rectangular catchlights in each liquidy brownish-bluish-greenish eye. Auburn lashes droop toward under-eye-wrinkle and bounce back up like they're on bungies. A dollop of curdly spit-up lingers in the corner of his perfectly pink, perfectly puckered lips, and his chubby fingers clutch desperately at my necklace. He has a wrist roll.
The washing machine stops filling with a clank and in the sudden silence he jerks awake, looking up at me with a question. It begins to spin and he's asleep again. His head relaxes back against my cradling hand, his soft feathery mullet brushing my thumb.