One of my pet peeves involves anyone "reading" Belle's emotions. It makes me feel dis-empowered, like I don't really know Belle. It takes me back to those early weeks when Belle, a late term premature newborn wasn't thriving, presumably because I couldn't read her hunger cues. Really, I was a new mom making the proactive decision to establish a breastfeeding relationship with a preemie, with minimal hands on help. I was literally nursing Belle with one arm, running Internet searches on nursing with the other hand. So much valuable time that could have gone to breastfeeding was lost commuting to and from the doctor for useless thrice weekly weigh ins. I got to know myself and Belle very intimately in this process. I digress.
Today Belle and I trekked out late afternoon for a park trip. I knew Belle needed to play. We'd just eaten a very late lunch, well timed after Belle's nap. handed Belle her pail and shovel and set out for the park. A sudden urge for coffee took us on a different path, a path that led to us dropping in on a friend. Unfortunately, our friend, while stunning with a different hairdo, looked completely unrecognizable to Belle. To worsen matters, there was also a stranger present. Belle protested loudly, prompting the women to assume she was tired. Every cry was perceived as a "sleepy" cry. I knew Belle wasn't tired because she'd just had a nap. I knew she wanted to play. We finally left when a third crone came in, ready to misinterpret something else. Belle and I went on to the park to play, with nary a yawn or a cry. We played all night, in fact, even outside at home. Belle didn't really cry until hours later, when a tantrum in the bath proved her exhaustion.