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This afternoon, Becca needed a nap but Ashira wasn't the least bit tired. So the bat-signal strobed across the sky and I swooped in to save the day. Boobalah greeted me with her usual beaming smiles. I can't help but get the impression of Avraham's face when looking at Ashira smile, which is weird because I can't consciously see it when I look at Avraham himself. It could be the beard getting in the way. I'll have to dig up and scrutinize some of his old baby pictures.

Anyway, we swept out of the bedroom to find what adventures we could. We grabbed the coffee mug on the table and twisted it every possible angle (with resultant coffee drips on the table-top), played peek-a-boo in the playpen, snatched and clanged utensils in the kitchen, fiercely sucked on a bottle of water (she practically insists on holding it all by herself), strolled in the garden to caress the leaves on the trees, and chased all sorts of interesting toys across the floor. Sweet pie really can zoom around on the floor with her belly crawl, just like Becca claims. She's earnestly trying to learn to crawl on her hands and knees instead of inch-worming on her belly. It's a bit frustrating for her. She gets herself perched on her knees and palms and seems to intuit that she could more a lot faster if she could somehow move forward from this position, but as soon as she pushes forward, she flops right back onto her belly. I think the secret she needs to learn is how to put one knee in front of the other in an orderly sequence instead of relying on semi-random thrashing.

Eventually, Ashira reached the kind of fussy that indicates that she's getting really tired. But this energetic, wide-eyed baby can't seem to latch on to the idea of voluntarily resting. So the secret is food. I really didn't want to wake Becca any sooner than necessary, so I decided to be a little naughty. Knowing full well that Becca prefers to keep close track of Ashira's diet, I sliced off a chunk of apple and used it as a pacifier. I left the skin on since I didn't have enough time or skill to peel it one-handed (even if I could find a peeler), but I think this worked out for the best since it kept Ashira from liberating very much solid pulp from the apple chunk with her vigorous gumming, while still letting her taste a steady flow of juice. Again, she assertively fed herself as I cradled her in one arm, pausing briefly to retrieve the piece of fruit whenever she decided to toss it into space. As Ashira's eyelids ever so slowly became heavier, I read the book that I had wisely brought along, The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt. At long last, those big blue eyes closed as much as they ever do, although the first time she slipped into sleep I accidentally flustered her for a few seconds with a bit of irrepressible laughter that was triggered by the hilarious way in which her eyes rolled back into her head as the drool-soaked apple drooped from her slack jaw.

This blissful nap lasted for a good while until I innocently leaned back in my chair, which creaked loudly in response, breaking the spell. As usual, Ashira was groggy after a midday nap, and the apple snack had only whetted her appetite. I was late enough for work anyway, so I relinquished sweet cheeks into the arms of her mommy, no doubt also into the arms of Morpheus again, given that nursing was imminent.

P.S. Huge congratulations to Patrick Lenz (creator of and his wife Alice.