What My Daughter Taught Me Today: Stop and Smell the Diapers

Today, after feeding my daughter a bottle, I went to put her down for a nap. But instead of going to sleep like she normally does, today she clung to me like B.O. on a New York City cab driver. Slightly annoyed because I had a deadline quickly approaching and her nap time is the only time I can work, I sighed and sat back down in the chair to rock her. But instead of settling in to sleep, she picked up “Goodnight Moon” and handed it to me… my daughter’s subtle sign language for “read this to me now.” So I read it to her.  Then I set the book down and prepared to put her back in her crib.  But again, she picked up “Goodnight Moon”  and handed it back to me.  Frustrated, I read it again, but quickly this time and skipping pages along the way.  I should know better – Lyla is too smart for these shenanigans. Before I even finished, she flipped the pages back to the front… subtle sign language for “Your laziness is punishable by reading this mind-numbing book over and over until your tongue is drier than a parrot’s.  Read it again, and make it count.”  Then she settled back into my lap to once again discover the surprise ending of Goodnight Moon (spoiler alert:  Goodnight noises everywhere.)

As I was reading the book yet again, and inhaling her perfect baby smell (aka kryptonite for busy moms,) I was suddenly struck by the feeling that this was a moment to remember.  I moment that, someday very soon, I will long for with all my heart.  A moment that I had almost missed in order to get back to the hypnotizing glow of my computer.  I realized that in 30 years I won’t remember the deadline that I was 30 min late for, or the fact that we ate Thai food for a week straight because I didn’t have time to go to the grocery story, or the time that I had to wear my underwear inside out because I didn’t have time to do the laundry… ok, that one I might remember.  But what I will definitely remember is the sweet smell of Lyla’s head, and the feeling of her small body curled in my lap, and the sight of her chubby fingers turning the pages.  Those are the things that I will remember until the day I die.  Oh, and after 1000 readings, I will definitely remember ALL the words to “Goodnight Moon.”

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21 thoughts on “What My Daughter Taught Me Today: Stop and Smell the Diapers

  1. Love Lyla’s “subtle sing language” telling you to start the book over again. Good chuckles over this one

  2. patti says:

    You are so right…
    eloquent and spot on, Court.
    love ya

  3. I re-learn this lesson almost every day. But I confess: sometimes clean underwear does win out. Only sometimes, though.

  4. MamaMoo says:

    So true, we have to remember those moments.

  5. lilykreitinger says:

    Awesome post!

  6. jaymers says:

    Love this. And love “Goodnight Moon,” too. You’ve probably seen it before, but Gretchen Rubin did a short film called “The Days are Long, But the Years are Short.” Similar in sentiment to this post.

  7. Lovely thoughts – and yes they do grow up fast – even though the baby years do seem to go in slow motion – the high school years whip by at a frenetic pace – treasure the memories.

  8. Woody Wood says:

    I think I can still recite one of your favorites, from memory. Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house….

  9. Jackie says:

    Bravo! And good night to the old lady who is whispering hush..

  10. My son use to love that book when he was a baby and he’s going to be three this July. It goes by so quickly and it’s a lesson that I hope I don’t forget. 🙂 Great post.

  11. Rachel Vera Jojola says:

    I don’t personally know you but I’ve cried more than once reading you posts. I have a one year old and a two year old and work full time from home – I can relate to your stories often. Thanks for making me feel normal – and reminding me to stop and smell the roses (or the baby shampoo) 🙂

    • I don’t personally know you either, but your comment almost made me cry. I get so much joy out of writing this blog, and it makes me so happy to hear your thoughts on it. I wanted to start writing this blog to do exactly that… let people know that it’s normal. ALL of it. The bad days, the bad thoughts, even the bad decisions. We all go through it. And somehow come out loving our kids more than ever. Thanks so much for your comment!

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