Baby StepsYour eyes roll back into your head like an addict nodding out. I hold you close. You throw up. A milky stream trickles down my back. Like a punch-drunk boxer, your tiny arms swing jerkily. Fists clenched, eyes suddenly screwed shut, cheeks puffed; you gulp for air before releasing the ear-piercing scream. I’d heard it before, but this time it was different. Desperate. The hours passed. The screaming didn’t. It was an unusual sound. A shrill high-pitched note followed by a hoarse whine, like an old cam belt on a sick engine. My eyes sore and red, I try for what feels like the hundredth time to hold you close. Your little head nestles into the crook of my arm, your ear placed on my heart. You give a final, forlorn yelp and drift off into a deep and blissful sleep. Day breaks. Our journey together has only just begun.
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