Curtain games.

Come, let me put you in your green stroller, and let's stroll around your house. While we go, I will sing you a song. Now we're rolling through the living room, I'll sing. Now we're rolling through the dining room. Do you have your caterpillar rattle with the funny nodules that crinkle or squeak? By the end of the night, you'll know how to put it on your wrist and wave it around. You'll spend our dinnertime pulling it up and up your arm, trying to get it closer to your mouth. You will find this experience of gripping something and pulling it novel, and intoxicating. We will watch you through the voile as your eyelids sink so low that we're not even sure you're still awake, and yet your hands will be busy tugging and tugging. You will pull the rattle onto your arm and then somehow pull it off--a thing you couldn't do a few hours ago--and you will be busy, or asleep, or both.

Did I mention that you will be behind the voile curtain by this time? How is it possible that your favorite toy might be the dining room curtains your parents picked out? I will roll the stroller up beside the windows and waft the curtain out so that it settles down over the stroller's side and makes you a little tent within the dining room. And then I will join you under there, and we will play games while your parents cook dinner in the kitchen. Whoo! I will say as I give the curtain a toss and let it fall back down again. Whoo! I will say again and again, making the curtain drift. After awhile, I will play another game. Now I'm inside your curtain tent, I will tell you, ducking in. Now I'm outside your curtain tent, I'll say after I duck out. Now I'm inside your curtain tent. Now I'm outside your curtain tent.

And you will look up with your blue eyes wide, and you will open your mouth in the loose pucker and then the gummy grin you make when delight bubbles in you. The curtains have you fixed and fastened just as surely as your inability to go anwhere does. You will wave your arms and curl and kick your legs until your purple burping cloth has crumpled under your foot. When we need a new game momentarily, I will play where's the baby? ... there she is! by covering your face and uncovering it, over and over, alternating up your face and down your face so that your hair is always correcting its direction.

When it's time for dinner, it will seem like almost the most natural of things to drape the curtain over your stroller and leave you to your own devices for a little while. When I peek in at you, I will disguise it as another game: now I'm inside your curtain tent. Whoo!

At the end of the night, I will realize that I smell like you.