I have a friend who is very pregnant, and that has me thinking about that nesting feeling many women get when they’re about to pop. It’s a natural inclination that really helps get a home ready for a new family member. When I was in my third trimester, my husband and father-in-law painted our second bedroom a soft pastel yellow with white trim. We transformed our office into a nursery with a pastel Noah’s Ark theme, pale pink and blue stuffed animals and yellow gingham bedding. It looked so sweet.
Except it turned out that my baby preferred tie-dyes and checkers, bright reds and hot pinks. She tossed aside the cotton-candy colored bear I had picked out for her and, instead, fell fast and hard in love with “Buggy-bug.” Buggy-bug was a red, yellow and blue butterfly with checkerboard wings that crinkled when touched. It had a spinning ball filled with rattling beads for a tummy and a ridiculously optimistic smile, which my daughter matched whenever she looked at Buggy-bug.
Asking everyone to be quiet so the baby could take a nap usually ended in frustration. The quiet was like a secret baby signal to stay awake as long as possible. Going to a noisy mommy-baby singalong meant sitting uncomfortably on the floor in a circle, watching as the other mommies and babies crooned playfully to each other. Meanwhile, my baby slept undisturbed in my lap through the whole mind-numbing event. Singalongs are fun when you’re singing along; otherwise, not so much.
My husband once took our baby to a drum circle with a 150 African drummers pounding away for two hours straight. She slept the entire time — in his arms — while he drummed. It was, apparently, the best sleep she’d gotten in months.
Buggy-bug and African drumming woke me up to the reality that this baby had plans of her own.