I hear Harper stirring. It's way too early for her to get up. I reach from the bed and pull her bassinet over to me disregarding the manufacturer's strict instructions not to move the bassinet with the baby in it.
(Dear Bassinet Manufacturer: Why did you put wheels on the bassinet when it's light enough to carry? You KNOW I'm going to move it with the baby in it despite all your warnings. If you'd left the wheels off I'd be forced to get out of bed.)
I move as far over to the edge of the bed as I can without falling out, grope around Harper's head for her pacifier, and put it in her mouth. While laying down in the bed with my arm dangling over the side into Harper's bassinet, I hold her pacifier in place with my index, middle and ring fingers while she grasps my thumb and pinkie finger. I close my eyes, willing the baby to go back to sleep. She'd rather not. She keeps wrapping her legs around my arm and moving her head from side to side trying to escape the pacifier. I persist. So does she.
Still hanging on the edge of the bed on pacifier duty. My arm is almost asleep, and Harper almost is too. Doug flips over in the antique double bed we're sleeping in at my in-law's house. The flipping over causes loud creaking in the bed frame. The baby startles and manages to spit out the pacifier despite my attempts to keep it in her mouth. I start the groping around her head again which she responds to by moving her head around trying to eat my hand. I locate the pacifier. We start over.
(Dear Pacifier Manufacturer: Why don't you invent some kind of sticky stuff that will keep this pacifier in my baby's mouth so I don't have to hold it in there for her now that she's figured out how to take the pacifier out but not put it back in? Something for the Super Glue folks to think about.)
STILL hanging over the side of the bed. Harper is so close. So close. I hear Pap moving around in the room next door. Pap is 85 years old and mostly deaf. He makes more racket than a high school drum line. Please don't get out of bed, Pap. Please just be rolling over. Please. Nope. He's getting out of bed. There goes the walker. The loudest walker of all time. Roll, THUD. Roll, THUD. Roll, THUD. The baby is awake.
(Dear Walker Manufacturer: Seriously consider redesigning that thing. I'm begging you.)
She's asleep. I think. I start to move my arm away. Slowly. Slowly. Slowly. She senses my movement and latches onto my fingers again. I wait a minute. I start to move again. So slowly. So slowly. So slowly. She lets me move away this time. I carefully roll away from the edge of the bed. The bed creaks. I hear her stir. She stays asleep.
I fall back to sleep and dream of pacifiers.
She's awake. This time she's not taking no (or a pacifier) for an answer. I move the bassinet with the baby in it again - away from the bed this time. I pick her up out of the bassinet and change her diaper. I make her bottle, and we get back into bed so she can eat. She almost falls asleep while she's eating. (No way kid... you got me up for this, you're eating it all.) She manages to finish her bottle and after burping she seems sleepy, so I put her back into her bassinet. Her eyes SNAP wide open and the kicking begins again. No, please no. Go back to sleep, Baby. Mama is still tired. I pick her up out of her bassinet again (this time I actually get out of the bed), and contrary to what all the pediatricians say I climb back into bed with her and pull the covers up over us. She snuggles in and her eyes close almost immediately. We both fall asleep.
(Dear Baby Manufacturer: If I'm not supposed to fall asleep with the baby, why'd you make her so cuddly and sweet? There's no way I can resist.)