A new and exciting side effect of depression for me these days is insomnia and the general screwing-up of my diurnal cycle, i.e., I don't have one. That isn't helped by the fact that the last part of Herself's bedtime routine is mommy or daddy staying to cuddle for the first story on her If You Give A Mouse A Cookie CD. My problem is that I get so warm, content, and comfy that I fall asleep, sometimes for a few hours. This, as you can guess, helps my own sleeping situation not at all. So I promised The Therapist and The Shrink that I would work harder to stay for just the first story, and then leave and go to bed at a decent hour for me (ideally, 2200 - 2300).1
Our house has been in some emotional upheaval the past week or so. We got some scary news about family on the other side of the country, and it wasn't helped by medical information, once we got it, being less than complete. So, things have been a little rough round these parts. Tonight, I gave in and was in there for about three hours with The Girl.
The thing is, it's more than just the warmth that comforts me. (And those of you who know me and know how I feel about cold will recognize the enormity of that statement.) I remember, when Herself was a tiny infant, noticing that the smell of her dirty diapers actually didn't disgust or otherwise upset me in any way. In fact, at the time, I could feel something primal, maybe even feral, being tapped when the scent hit me. So I did what any good geek does: research. It turns out that, no, to many parents, mothers in particular, their kids' poop doesn't smell. At least not to them. There's too much information being transmitted in that scent, and the parent's subconscious is too busy registering "MINE MINE MINE" to register "EW." Nice trick on Mother Nature's part, huh?
Even today, when I bury my nose into my darling cyclone's neck as she finally settles for sleep and snuggles under the covers, I can still catch that scent (minus the fecal overtones, of course, we haven't become that undomesticated), and it comforts me like nothing else. My Girl. Right here. Where's she's supposed to be. Ahh.
1. I use 24-hour time, yes.