I looked down at the heavy bundle of curtain material in my arms. Even with both boards in, my dining room table wouldn’t be long enough to lay it out. Making a snap decision, I announced to my daughter, “Let’s use the floor.”
Niki shifted Anne, my granddaughter, from one arm to the other and said, “OK, how do you want me to help?”
“I want you to take one end and hold on tight while I pull it straight.”
Little Anne smiled as Niki walked past me to put her down. Moments later my daughter and I played a gentle tug of war with the floral material. By the time we were finished, we had it stretched across the entire length of my living room floor and out into the dining room. The flowery textile path looked so beautiful that I exclaimed, “Niki, your new living room curtains are going to look so nice!”
From her blanket observation point, Anne stopped cooing. She seemed to suddenly realize that no one was holding her. With a loud, “Wah!” she announced her displeasure. Niki scooped her up, and the crying stopped.
I pulled out my measuring tape and got down on my knees. As I marked the material, Niki kept me company with pleasant, homey conversation. Anne sat on her mother’s lap happily sucking her fist, watching me stick pins into the material.
After putting the final pin in place I stood up and instructed, “These are your curtains, so you can do the cutting.” Niki positioned Anne in a sitting position on the sofa so she could watch. She used several pillows and the padded armrest as props.
Taking the scissors from my hand, my daughter nervously positioned the blades over the first mark and said, “I’m afraid I’ll cut your carpet!”
Hovering over our project, I answered, “You better not! Cut slowly, and keep a hand on the carpet beneath the material. A glance over my shoulder told me Anne was still sitting upright and appeared content. The sharp blades went ‘snip-snip’. Then Anne decided she wanted to be held. She clearly announced her wants. “Wah!”
Niki was doing fine, so my supervision wasn’t needed. I gladly turned and cuddled Anne’s three month old body against my shoulder. She sighed with satisfaction, and without taking her eyes off the action in the room leaned forward to suck on my shirt.
When it was time to use the sewing machine, I put Anne back into her mother’s arms. “I’ll set you up.” I said. “Then while you sew, maybe Anne will want to take an afternoon nap.”
Niki looked doubtful. “I doubt if Anne will nap by herself. You saw how she’s been this afternoon. She wants to be held all the time!”
As Niki went to sit at the sewing machine, I lifted Anne out of her arms. “I’ll take this sweet baby with me. She can lay on the bed in my room while I put the laundry away.”
In the bedroom Anne smiled at me from where she lay in the middle of my bed, and noisily smacked on her left fist. I talked to her, and she responded by cooing. It seemed that whatever she was saying in baby talk sounded very intelligent! Then she got sick of just lying there. Just barely three months of age, rolling away was not an option Anne could use. “Wah!”
Niki looked up from the sewing machine when I approached with Anne in my arms. She said, “I told you Anne doesn’t like to stay anywhere for long, unless she’s being held.”
Nuzzling our sweet-little-sleeper-clad infant I said, “Having Anne around is like having a new puppy. Puppies cry and cry when they are put in a box in the kitchen or entryway for the night.” Smiling down into Anne’s blue eyes I added with a chuckle, “Maybe we should treat you like a puppy!”
Niki turned to give me a funny look. “Are you suggesting that we make a bed for Anne in a box placed next to the stove?”
I laughed heartily before explaining, “Puppies don’t like being in the box alone because they miss their mommy. Some people put a hot water bottle and a loudly ticking alarm clock in the nest to trick the small dogs into thinking mother is there. Maybe we should do something like THAT for Anne!”
With a grin Niki said, “I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to try so we can finish making the curtains.”
Half an hour later I had Anne in a specially prepared nest. Under a blanket that she could lean against was a warm water bottle. Near her head was a loudly ticking travel alarm clock.
I wish I could say our “Puppy Love” nest worked, but it didn’t. We should have known, because Anne happens to be a WHOLE lot smarter than a puppy!