Sophie has been sick the last few days. While I hate to see her so miserable, I have taken no small amount of joy from all of the extra hugs and cuddles. Having my baby fall asleep in my arms, on my chest, is a familiar and missed sensation.
She hasn't eaten much since she's been sick, and that worries me more than I want to talk about. We've never had any serious illnesses here. We've been very lucky. Of course, there have been colds and ear infections, but if I'm being honest, even the worst of those wasn't all that bad. I have a healthy child. I mostly attribute her strong immune system to the large quantity of unidentified foodlike items she eats off of the ground.
At the dinner table, after little more than a few nibbles, she laid her head down on her arms and closed her eyes. Alarm bells go off. While she could hardly be called a good eater, she generally at least eats some of whats on her plate. It is a rare day that she sits still for more than a few minutes and rarer still are the days when she is falling asleep before her head hits the pillow. Just one more reminder that not all is right here.
We carry her, half asleep, up to her room, and after a halfhearted attempt at brushing her teeth and a quick change into her new Dora sleepers, we put her to bed. With a kiss on her forehead, we leave her curled up in her bed asleep.
Twenty minutes later, Neil and I are down in the basement TV room when we hear a thumping noise. We look at each other but dismiss it as one of the cats or a noise from outside. After a few minutes, we hear the noise again. This time, it is definitely from inside and both of the cats are with us. My mind immediately goes to intruders, but Neil, the more rational of us, says that Sophie must be on a walkabout. A peek at the video monitor reveals an empty bed.
I lose at rock/paper/scissors and I set out for upstairs. As I hit the first floor, I call out to Sophie and I hear rapid footsteps on the second floor, a door closing and a couple more footsteps before it goes quiet. I look up the stairs and see her door is closed. When I open it, I find her curled up as though asleep. I say, chuckling, "you little faker." And she raises her head with a smile.
On the surface, this is a nothing experience. Except that it isn't. This is the first time she has shown a capacity for deception. Everything has changed.
A slice of innocence gone. My baby is growing up.