A little smile... close but not quite it.

A little smile… close but not quite it.

I’ve delayed posting this for a little while because I’ve wanted to see if there was actually anything to it, or if it was just a happy coincidence. And after a couple weeks of testing, I’m pretty pleased to find that it’s a real thing. At least mostly.

So the backstory is that I’ve been given the duty of feeding Cooper a midnight bottle. Chris feeds him around nine, gets him all tucked in, and goes to bed, and then I get him up at midnight for a commando feeding and put him right back in bed, which ideally gives Chris a bigger window of sleep. And it seems to be working, he seems to be sleeping longer and longer. A few times he’s slept through the 3am feeding; hopefully soon it might be eliminated altogether.

In any case, you’ll note I called it a commando feeding, and that’s because I try to do it very tactically. I have the bottle and everything else ready to go before I even pick him up, and I try to get him from sleepy-stretchy to eating as quick as possible. It appears to work best when he doesn’t completely wake up; he sucks down the meal with his eyes half-open, and literally begins to nod off when I’m burping him.

If he’s at all awake after the bottle, I swaddle him back up and hold him for a while, and the pacifier usually finishes him off. During this time I usually have a little music going as well, and sing (horribly) to him a bit. And there’s where I got the secret smile.

The Paul Simon song ‘Born At The Right Time,’ was playing, which seemed very appropriate, and every time I sang the chorus:

Never been lonely
never been lied to
never had to scuffle in fear
nothing denied to
born at the instant
church bells chime
the whole world whispering
born at the right time

Right at the last line he’d make a little happy smile. Three choruses in the song, three smiles.

It was so sweet and ridiculously perfect I almost couldn’t believe it.

So of course I tried it again the next night. Same results, smile at the same line, although we went 2-for-3 because he was sleeping by the third chorus. I tried to not do it every single night, but nearly every time I did, I’d get at least one and usually two or three smiles. If he’s too awake or distracted, it doesn’t work, but if he’s calm and dozing off, it’s pretty regular.

And even though I’m sharing it with everyone here, I still consider it a secret smile just for me.