Bread and butter
New bears/monkeys to hug (see also here)
Sometimes people ask about Malachi, "Is he always this happy?" To which I usually reply, "Yes. He is a very happy baby."
And it's true. He is. But babies, as a class, are not the happiest of people. When I say, "He is happy all the time," what I mean is, he cries for an average of 2 hours a day. But I'm not being facetious---that really IS an exceptionally happy baby. Isn't it? I suppose I have no comparison except my other two boys. I know Sebby cried MUCH more than that. (6+ hours a day)
In my experience, this is when a happy baby cries: when he's left alone in a room, a while before each meal (as he wants to let you know he is getting hungry), a while before each nap (as he is getting tired), when he's been in the car too long, when someone steps on him, when you don't give him his next bite fast enough, when his diaper is bothering him, when he slams his finger in a drawer, when he wants you to pick him up, when you take away some piece of lint he was trying to eat, when he wants to go up or downstairs (he can't do it himself yet), when you wipe his nose, and when he thinks someone is mad at someone else.
He also occasionally cries for secret baby reasons and no one but him knows why.
A happy baby occasionally continues to cry after he's been fed, changed, hugged, played with, and had a recent nap. But only occasionally.
The difference is that a sad baby cries all of the above times, plus others. And it is for secret inexplicable baby reasons more frequently.
The editor of the newspaper I write for wanted all the writers to share a Christmas memory for the paper. This was mine:
When I was at BYU, I took a semester of carillon lessons. BYU’s carillon bells are the ones in the Bell Tower (the ones that play "Come, Come Ye Saints" on the hour). You play the bells with a keyboard that’s set up like a piano keyboard, but with much bigger keys, and you hit the keys with your fists.
We had a practice keyboard downstairs in the Bell Tower, but those keys felt different (lighter), so when you really wanted to practice, you went all the way up the tower to the real bells. It’s simultaneously the most public and the most anonymous of forums: everyone can hear you, your hesitations and your mistakes—but no one knows it’s you, and most people are on their way elsewhere, and not really listening anyway.
At the end of that semester I took it into my head that the perfect thing to do on a Christmas Eve would be to play Christmas Carols on the carillon. I took my family over to the Bell Tower and we climbed up the hundred and ten steps until we were in the keyboard room, overlooking the snowy, moonlit world. Then I played through every Christmas song I knew: O Come, O Come Emmanuel; Silent Night; We Three Kings; O Little Town of Bethlehem; I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. Emboldened by the knowledge that most of the students were home for the holidays (and therefore not lying awake in their nearby beds, cursing the noisy skies), I kept playing for over an hour, enjoying the sound of the echoing bells and the feeling of being back in time, somewhere the church bells still rang out on Christmas Eve over silent, moonlit fields.
I felt like we were the only ones in the world that night, high up in our cold tower like angels. But sometimes I want to know if anyone else was listening, wondering who was playing those Christmas Bells.
Back to your Christmas shopping, everyone.