They say a newborn can only focus on things seven to nine inches away from her little blinky everycolor eyes. In other words, her mother's face. I want it to be my face, I greedily want to be her focus for any minutes I can grab.

Can I hold her?

Anna always says yes and hands her over. She is silently smug about it. She knows all my cooing and all my nonsense is only to put myself in her baby's bleary spotlight. Pay attention to ME, Toccoa.

It's dizzying, the power I have. I am bigger and have way better muscle control. Sometimes I brag - Look, Toccoa, how finely my neck supports the weight of my head. Nary a wobble. Keep trying, limp little slug, some day you too will be a superior specimen.

The reverse of this, of course, is that when she cries it is All My Fault.   Oh, man.   Oh, honey, stop it.   It's ok.   Be cool, be cool, shhh shh shhhh dammit. I talk, I sing, I dance her around the mountains of assorted baby-related items all over the living room. I assure the baby that if there is a problem, yo, I'll solve it. I urge the baby to check out the hook while my dj revolves it. This intrigues her. Yowls turn to sobs to hiccups to little moany exhausted breaths and then there is silence and she is asleep, and I did it. There's no ego about it any more, now I'm just quiet with her. She brings that to me.

We lay back on the couch and I can smell the top of her heavy damp head and the smell is low and sweet, I breathe it in, she wraps me up in honey smells. I have helped her find sleep and now she gives it back to me, we are drifting with each other, we are vapor, we are at ease, we are smilingly gone.