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Babies, is it natural for them to have so much time to kill?
At any rate, it feels so idle that this life as Leaf seems to have been born in a peaceful place during a peaceful era.
I have too much free time, and I want to read something, but lying on my back makes reading books difficult. If only they could paste something on the ceiling for me to pass the time… I had this thought while gazing upwards when one day, Rudra began to hang toys from the ceiling.
Using strings and something like small branches combined together, plush toys resembling colorful fabric animals dangle down. Drifting winds inside the room make them spin and change their movement irregularly.
It might be entertaining to turn these complex movements into mathematical formulas. It seemed like it could become a good pastime.
“… How is it? Fun?”
While contemplating how to formulate the equations, Rudra peered into my face, perhaps thinking I was deeply interested. Instead of answering the question, I decided to meet his eyes and attempt a smile.
“Look, Natal! Leaf is smiling!”
Seemingly pleased with my smile, Rudra’s eyes widened and he raised his voice excitedly.
“How wonderful, Leaf. Can you smile for mama too?”
Soon after, Natal rushed over, smiling at me. I tried to emulate that expression, working my facial muscles to form a semblance of a smile.
With a high-pitched voice mingled with surprise and joy, mother lifted me from the bed and embraced me tightly.
I was contemplating the formula derived from the movements of the ceiling toy, but it seems better to postpone it for now. Abandoning the thoughts I had in my mind, I surrendered to my mother’s arms, and soon sleepiness enveloped me.
When I woke up, it was the middle of the night.
It was dark and I couldn’t see anything, but I could hear the breaths of two people from somewhere. My diaper was uncomfortable, but I chose to silently endure it, not wanting to bother them at this hour.
However, a creeping cold and itchiness slowly spread across my buttocks. It was indeed painful to remain still, so as I squirmed, my mother noticed and quickly changed me into a new one.
“… Sorry, I didn’t notice.”
Although I intended to be considerate, both of my parents woke up to tend to me. Rudra prepared some warmed milk, and I drank a little.
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I felt like drinking more, but considering the late hour, it seemed better to finish quickly. After taking about three sips and sticking out my tongue, my father brought his face closer and spoke.
“You seem to have a small appetite, Leaf. How about drinking a bit more?”
I felt seen, but to show that I didn’t want any more, I pursed my lips.
“Rudra, let’s leave it at that. If we force her, she might vomit.”
My mother gently restrained my seemingly unsatisfied father, and she lifted me from my father’s arms.
“Leaf, if you’re hungry, wake us up right away, okay?”
Being told this kindly felt like a warm light flickered in my chest. Instead of replying, I uttered an “ah-” and returned a smile.
“…She really is a calm child. I wonder if babies usually cry more…?”
I have no idea what a “typical” baby is like, but perhaps I’m not acting “as expected.” As I wondered what I should do, my father brightly dispelled mother’s worries.
“She must be intelligent like you. See, it seems like she’s listening to our conversation.”
My mother agreed, stroking my cheek with the back of her hand and smiling gently.
“Hey, Leaf. While it’s very helpful that you’re calm, we want you to let us know without holding back when your diaper is wet or when you’re hungry. Can you do that?”
I intended to respond, but only a pitiful sound escaped.
“Hahaha. Incredible, Leaf. Do you understand what mama is asking?”
Giving up on vocalizing, I tried to communicate by blinking slowly, but it didn’t seem to convey well. Apparently, smiling is the best strategy for now as a baby.