This morning she woke with the intensity of a firecracker. There was no adorable baby babble or sweet calls for mama coming from down the hall; she simply screamed and yelled, moving me into her room much earlier than I'd expected. Usually, the moment I enter her room and rescue her, she moves seamlessly from gloom and doom to bright and sunny. As if she forgot she was howling like an animal caught in a trap just seconds before.
But today, she had her angry eyebrows affixed permanently onto her little face. (Thank you, Toy Story.) Upon lifting her out of her crib, I realized the diaper had leaked through and her red footie pajamas were now soaked. Immediately, I laid her down in front of my kneeling form to change her into something fresh and clean. But she resisted, coming completely unglued.
She tried to twist and turn every which way to get out of my grasp. But since I'm a mama who is not about let a child win a battle of the wills, I persisted. Rolling her back over again and again, keeping my heart set on what was best for her. Until finally, I stood her twenty-one pound body up so she was eye to eye with me and said,
"Emmalie, Mama needs to change you. I know you don't want to be changed, but you'll feel so much better when I'm done. I need you to be still for me."
And she did. She kept her brow furrowed, and gave me a bit of a stink eye, but didn't move or make a noise while I cleaned her up.
The words I said to my crabby baby replayed over and over in my mind. Then He spoke into my thoughts. Those words are for you, Amanda.
"I need to change you. I know you don't want to be changed, but you'll feel so much better when I'm done. I need you to be still for me."