Because there is a baby at that end of the state!
Yes. In the photo above is my adorable great-niece, who makes me a great-aunt and makes me remember that all of my great-aunts were incredibly ancient and just a little funny-smelling albeit witty and delightful. This baby was in attendance with her mom and dad, her aunt and uncles, and her grandmother (also known as my Much Younger Sister).
This baby puts the "great" in the relational description. (And disclaimer to my other great-nieces and great-nephews--you're just as swell, but I don't get to see you nearly enough. You need to move to Small Town.)
Anyway, back to this particular great-niece, who is named after an herb so I'm going to call her Thyme for the purposes of this post.
Thyme is probably the most amenable baby I have ever known, and I've known a passel of babies. My own babies, for example, were amenable up to when it was time to sleep but then they found much to do. They fidgeted. They whined. They rubbed their sleepy eyes. They bounced up and down. They wailed. Oh, my, how they wailed. And they did this for what seemed like an eternity. I could not even number the hours I have spent gently rubbing a Boy's back to the point of baby-hypnotism, then gradually rubbing the air above the back, then slowing the rubbing motion...stay asleep, little baby...sleeeeep...DANG! (That last would always be uttered as the Boy sensed a rearrangement in the air molecules in Siberia and lifted his head to check out what was going on.)
Thyme, on the other hand, is 14 pounds of pure activity and delight until she decides she is ready to sleep. Then she screws up her face and makes a sound--it isn't a whine, exactly, and definitely not a wail. It's more like an "ehhh."
I got to babysit Thyme while her parents went to Dairy Queen Saturday night, and while I didn't think her mother was an out-and-out liar when she described this sleep ritual to me, I was preparing to rub-rub-rub-rub that little back for an hour or so until she settled down. Instead, after a lengthy game of Peek-a-boo (which I won, of course; I knew where Baby was and Thyme was fooled EVERY TIME), I saw the face and heard the "ehhh." I flipped her onto my shoulder, she grabbed a handful of the sagging skin on my neck, and BOOM! She was asleep.
It was a miracle.
And it's even more a miracle when you consider this picture of Thyme on my lap at Thanksgiving:
If she could talk, the cartoon bubble over her head would read "MOM! DAD! HELP! This lady is incredibly ancient and just a little funny-smelling!"
It was before she discovered that I'm witty and delightful. As is she.