She politely asked me to bring it out, and I saw no reason not to. While enjoying my last few minutes with just one child to manage, I amusedly watched her snake through the length of it, roll around inside of it, and finally settle into a comfortable position on her tummy deep within.
Soon, the familiar sound of Mia's waking cries rang out over the monitor, so I brought her down to join her sister. I had a thought that she might just enjoy the tunnel eventually, but I was feeling winded and tired from the trip up and down two flights of stairs, and cranky as she was I didn't think exposing her to something brand-new right away would be a well-considered move.
So, I kept her on my lap for awhile, where she fussed and whined, until I heard a rustling over Michael's monitor. The last thing I wanted was over twenty pounds of extra weight while making the same trip up and down, but it seemed that a temporary change of scenery would do my fussy I-only-need-twenty-minutes-worth-of-naptime youngest some good, so I took her with. Of course, Abby wanted to tag along, too.
Up went three of us, down came four, and- happily- everyone was agreeable upon
I'd put her down on the floor near a toy she liked, rather than near the tunnel, in the hopes that I would be allowed to put her down at all. However, within minutes she'd made her way, not just over to the tunnel, but through it as well. When she came out the other side she looked at me like it was no big thing.
To her siblings, however, it was the best thing, and merriness ensued.
I considered, not for the first time, how absolutely blessed I am to be able to witness such joyful "firsts" over and over again. Michael is now the nearly two-year-old and Mia the nearly-nine-month-old (and Abby is as excitable as ever), but the dynamic is startlingly similar.
As for the laughter? No matter their ages, still the best sound there is.