Scratch at my neck. Grapple with my kidneys.

by doodaddy on September 17, 2007

Boobaby claws at my neck when I’m cuddling her to sleep. She’ll claw at any skin she can reach, really, so there’s a divot just above my right hip, too, just where her left hand falls when we’re snuggling.

I’m sure there’s something primal about this search for flesh – she’s not interested in a cuddly blanket or stuffed animal. No, only sinking her nails into actual exposed skin will do, which makes T-shirt season really tricky around here. (I’ve taken to wearing a lot of light long-sleeved shirts.)

I don’t let her scratch me, of course. It keeps her awake, for one thing, but more pointedly, it really hurts, especially before I built up scar tissue from clavicle to clavicle. When Boo grasps the loose skin over my windpipe, I’ll gently take her hand — using all those removal-from-nipple strategies I’ve read about — and place it gently at her side. She’s persistent, though: when she is especially fidgety, it can take fifteen minutes of the arm removal cycle before she’ll settle down.

Today, though, I’m lonely. I miss Park Buddy with Buddy Boy off at school. I miss my other playground friends, since we haven’t been for a while. I miss my wife after a weekend of having her at home. On top of it all, I slept poorly, so I’m just generally a little weepy.

So today – just today, mind you – I let Boo pinch and knead and grapple with my Adam’s apple. Sure, it hurts, but I think I need to experience a little more of that primal connection, my physical bond with an infant that is quickly becoming a little girl. Someday soon, I think, Boobaby will release my neck for the last time and scratch no more.

And so I let her inflict a little tender pain and remember: I’m a dad. And at this moment, with my baby on my lap sidling slowly to sleep, that’s all that matters

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tagged as in sleep,the future ·

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

cryitout September 17, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Hang in there dude! This was sweet, though.
Mike

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Dawn September 17, 2007 at 3:29 pm

Yes, we play that game ’round these here parts too. And you can’t groan in agony, cuz that only wakes ’em up.

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