The Good Baby

I was at a funeral service the other day and people wanted to see photos of the baby.

One person who’d seen a Facebook profile picture of me pregnant thought it was a Halloween costume.

Another person asked if I was married.

And my cousin said my mom told her the baby was a good baby.

When I got home later, the grandparents kindly looking after their lot for a couple of hours so my partner and I could eat french fries and have a beer, I asked him if our baby was indeed “good”.

I explained I haven’t really been able to assess that. There are definitely times I don’t totally get him, but for the most part, it’s pretty straightforward. Even when he’s crying his head off for seemingly no reason, it turns out he’s hungry even though he ate less than an hour and a half before.

“What’s a “bad” baby?” he asked.

“Oh, well, like a colicky baby. One that cries for three hours straight and is inconsolable.” I answered.

“So you mean is he an “easy” baby, not a “good” baby?”

Huh, I thought to myself. He was right. I was confusing ease with greatness. I was thinking that if he slept a lot and never cried and I always knew what he wanted, that made him “good” and anything other than that made him a not so good baby.

And that was total crap.

My baby is good because he talks to a particular shelf on the wall above his changing table. Like, literally chats it up and laughs and often gazes at it from afar when he’s not having his diaper changed. My partner calls him Shelfie. (We’re Booby and Blobby)

He burps like a grown man and lets out long farts while he eats without interrupting a gulp.

He knows how to make a real fist (with his thumbs out) and when upset, flails his little arms as if he’s intentionally trying to swing at you.

He is totally calm during bath time and lets you scrub his endless thigh and arm rolls and wash his hair with bubbles on his face.

He is already in size six months clothes and his feet seem too big no matter how long the sleeper is.

So the next time someone asks if my baby is good I’m not going to have to think about it. I’m just going to say “yes”. Because he is easy and he’s my baby.

Of course I think he’s “good”.

-Carly

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