My baby’s feet #babies #memoir

 

image by Deanna Schrayer
image by Deanna Schrayer
When I held my babies, whether to please them or to please me – usually both – I was fascinated with their feet. Not only were they tiny enough to hold in the palm of my hand, they were also tattooed with lines that I read like a fortune teller would read your palm to determine your future.
I could barely see the creases in my youngest son, Noah’s, feet, so faint were they, and I knew they’d never touch the ground.
I couldn’t keep Noah’s feet covered for anything in the world. Shoes? No – no matter how many times I picked them up off the floor and put them tightly back on his feet, off they’d come again in a giggling rage of escape. Covering his feet with a blanket was just as difficult.
My husband and I took turns walking Noah around the block in the middle of the night to get him to go to sleep. I always put socks on him, knowing the blanket we’d swaddled him in would be unwound and flapping in the wind with the first punch of his strong little fists. Still, wide awake and squawking, he knocked the blanket off his feet and for a moment all was quiet. Oh, yes! He’s finally asleep! I thought, careful not to announce it. But no, the moment he realized his feet were not bare his scream grew louder than ever.
Attempting to cover him back up, I rocked and rocked and rocked Noah as I walked like a drunk down the street. His red face hit my shoulder in rhythm to the beat of my heavy footsteps as he bashed his little legs together, rubbing at his ankles in an attempt to free himself of the socks.
For fifteen, twenty minutes the furious fit jarred the entire neighborhood until I’d reached our house for the twelfth time and, seeing our front door wide open at two AM, and plum exhausted, I imagined the ecstasy of the bed I desperately needed to be in. Noah’s temper finally beat out my patience and, back in the house, standing by our bed, I held on to my screaming son as tightly as he’d allow, kicked off my own shoes, laid down with him on my chest, took a deep breath and rolled over to lay him beside me.
But it wasn’t until I reached down and pulled his socks off that Noah stopped crying. Relieved, I pulled the covers up to my chest and, consequently, to Noah’s. The warning sob reached my ears quicker than it could leave his little mouth. Before the sob became a scream I jerked the blanket back off both of us. A heavy contented sigh escaped my son’s mouth.
As I lay my head on the pillow and tucked my baby into the crook of my arm, his free feet kicking at thin air, he laughed, a great baby belly laugh. In the next second he was sound asleep.
*
I came across this snippet, (when gathering stories for memoirs I’m working on), and wanted to share, in the hopes it brings the same smile to you that it brought to me.

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6 thoughts on “My baby’s feet #babies #memoir”

  1. I really liked this! My only complaint would be that I kept waiting for you to get back to talking about your eldest, because you mentioned him also in the beginning. I really liked the idea of reading a baby’s feet like a palmreader reads palms. Just lovely. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Catherine! I did wonder about taking that paragraph out, or rewriting it, for that very reason, so thank you for the feedback, much appreciated. I’m glad you enjoyed this.

  2. Love it Deanna. And yes, it brought a smile to my face. I can’t stand having my feet covered either! LOL. Bet you wish you’d realized the simple solution at the beginning of your journey with Noah. 🙂 All those sleepless nights roaming the neighborhood could have been avoided if you’d have just listened to what your uber intelligent little one was trying so hard to tell you. 🙂 Lovely post.

    1. Yes, Elizabeth, I sure do wish I’d wizened up before all those walks! But I suppose I should be grateful for that helped take off the “baby belly”. 🙂
      I’m so glad you enjoyed this!

  3. I had the same fight with my son. He’s now 29 and still hates shoes and socks. And my new granddaughter? Same thing. As a mother, I was convinced that my son would catch pneumonia, athlete’s foot, have deformed toes, step on a nail…I was worried sick. But as a Grandma, I just don’t worry about it. Wanna go barefoot? Sure, as long as it’s not in the snow or below freezing. I loved being a Mom…but I think I love being a Grandma even more. I’m much more relaxed and able to appreciate the babies without getting worked up when they eat a bug or run around naked. Thanks for the memories, this was a fun post!

    1. I’m so glad it took you down memory lane, Li. Oddly enough Noah still doesn’t like shoes and socks (at 15) but he is forever hurting his feet so it’s a must, which of course makes me feel smug. 😉

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