When babies are little, whenever they make noise, you rush to them to figure out what’s wrong. As they get older and their repertoire of sounds increases, things become trickier.
Take Liza. She laughs. She coos. She makes this creaky sound that makes you wonder if her parents were a pteradon and an unoiled hinge. Most notably, she sings herself to sleep. She sings arpeggios of “Ooo hoo, hoo oooooo hooooo ooo” on her way to sleepyland. We want to encourage this behavior, since I don’t want to have to visit her in college to rock her back to sleep.
All of this makes nighttime a game show where we try to guess if she’s making noise because she’s going back to sleep or because she’s waking up. She’ll cry and I’ll jump up, reflexes yanking me out of bed. Then I stand still, listening for the next minute and guessing which way she’s going: into or out of sleep. These days my default guess is that she’s going back to sleep, since that lets me lie back down for a bit.
It’s a shame this game show’s prizes are all dirty diapers and drool.