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24 hours in Lawrence

Young one ready to go

May 22, 2007

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Ella Paget, 10 months, stands in her crib while her mom, Journal-World arts editor Mindie Paget, packs her bag for day care.

Ella Paget, 10 months, stands in her crib while her mom, Journal-World arts editor Mindie Paget, packs her bag for day care.

Waking with my daughter

Journal-World arts editor Mindie Paget lets you listen in on the first moments of the day with her young daughter.

The clock next to my bed reads 5:42 a.m. when I turn and see the red lights on the baby monitor spike as an insistent cry bursts out of the speaker.

My 10-month-old daughter is awake, and I can tell by her tone that she's hungry.

I fumble for my glasses in the dark and shuffle down the stairs to her bedroom, where I find Ella standing up in her crib, calling out to be rescued.

"Hello, my love," I murmur, as I lift her out of bed. Like magic, her whining stops.

I settle into the plush chair in the corner, fold her into my arms and nurse her. In the soft glow of the night-light, I can see her sweet face, eyes closed as she breathes steadily between swallows.

Outside, the sun is rising. Light leaks around the wood blinds, and birds sing their morning songs. I think about work, what Ella will wear today and how I could use another hour of sleep. I wonder how many other moms across town are up with their babies. I appreciate the stillness of the moment, when I can snuggle with my active daughter without her wriggling away.

Normally, Ella would finish eating and I would lift her to my shoulder, gently patting her back as I walked toward her crib. I'd sway back and forth, say a silent prayer and lay her back down.

But this morning she sits straight up and smiles. She's awake for good.

Looks like I won't get that extra sleep after all.

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