Ode to Sunday mornings of the past. Waking up at 10:35a.m. for 11 o’clock church used to seem like a feat, a feat that made me feel worthy enough to sit in the pews despite the smell of gin and sodas still on my breath. Now, rain or shine, one cocktail or ten cocktails, we are up before 6:45a.m…and my breath smells of coffee and cereal and oh.my.God i’ve been up for 4 hours rather than juniper.
Sunday mornings used to be easy. Getting home from the grocery store before the Panthers’ game started was, by all accounts, a raging success. Now that Jackson is here though, the simplicity that used to be Sunday is no longer. When that 16 lb. human alarm clock goes off, we better be ready to play with toys come hell or high water. As for our afternoon naps of the past, no matter how times we try to get him to snuggle with us–even after darkening the room to the point that he can’t see his toys–he just won’t. It’s a lost cause.
It’s not only Sundays that are harder. It’s showering. And cooking. And cleaning. And going to the bathroom in public bathrooms(I look like Michael Jackson dangling a child over the railing as I hold him out and squat, i assume this is normal?).
Luckily, I have a few things that make my days easier.
- Baby Breeza: A Keurig for baby bottles, a lifesaver for all. When Starvin’ Marvin wakes up, that bottle better be ready within negative 85 seconds. We used to mix the bottle, brew an empty cup of water from the coffee keurig, set the bottle in the hot water and let it warm up. Marvin immediately let us know this was unacceptable parenting. With the press of a button, what used to take 5 minutes now takes 19 seconds. The sheer happiness in his eyes when he hears the machine start lets me know that he forgives me for letting a side table fall on him last week.
- Baby Bjorn bib: The thought of even putting a dirty cloth bib in my washing machine makes me want to buy a new washing machine. The thought is about as repulsive as not having a “feet” end of the blanket. How people gamble and snuggle their faces on what may or may not have been the “feet end” last time is just, well, about as nasty as a dirty cloth bib. Enter the Baby Bjorn plastic bib. It not only catches food that falls (which is close to 46%), but it is plastic. After each meal, I rinse it out in the sink and use a clorox wipe on it. Cleaned and Cloroxed, done and done.
- Doorway Jumper: Without this contraption, there’s a good chance my hair would not have been washed since about April 6th when he outgrew the rock-and-play. I hang it from the doorframe next to the shower. I’m genuinely intrigued what other people do who don’t have this–not shower? Strap them to the toilet? I also use it in the kitchen to cook dinner, unload groceries, load the car, and count my freckles/do anything and everything as long as this monkey is happy being strapped into something.
Besides those three things (and a “feet end” end of the blanket), the only other thing that makes my days easier is the smile on his face when he wakes up. No matter how many times I want to cut off the monitor and swear I didn’t hear anything, the second I walk in and see that smile, it’s the best day of my life all over again. I may not be ready to play “find the instrument that this sound makes” on the learning cube at 6 a.m., but at least I know I can shower, have a clean bib, successfully make bottles, and spend the day with my best friend.
There hasn’t been a day since Jackson was born that he hasn’t been called a girl–despite wearing all blue and despite me telling people that he is a boy. It goes like this every. single. time: Fellow Harris Teeter grocery shopper: “She’s beautiful.” Me: “Oh, it’s actually a boy, but thanks” And then, as if I’m in denial about my own child’s gender, the response is always, “well, she’s just adorable.” I smile, knowing that my frustration is better spent on the incompetency of the deli meat counter.
The goal was to wait until he was a year old for his first hair cut. Despite him being called a girl. Despite the mullet. Despite the fact that his view of the world was limited to seeing his own bangs. Despite needing anti-frizz products after being outside for 30 seconds of our city’s raging humidity.
But on a sad, sad day this past Saturday, I caved. Ninety seconds was all it took. Bye bye mullet. Bye bye bangs. Bye bye baby Jackson.
I will admit that, unlike getting to the end of a bag of white cheddar popcorn, it’s not all bad. Now I can see his beautiful eyes and his too-cute smile, and there is remarkably less hair for smashed avocado to get stuck in. His hair will grow back, the number of times he is called a she will diminish (hopefully before he is potty-trained and using public bathrooms in this state), and it likely won’t be the last thing I cave on.
All of a sudden, my eight-month-old newborn can crawl. And eat. And pull up. I clearly did a horrendous job of posting since he was born, so ill fill you in pretty fast: he ate, he spit up, and he slept. (And in between, he had his first smile, first babble, and first laugh. He rolled over, sat up, and stole our hearts forever. There were trips to the beach and the mountains and outings to grandparents’ houses. Simply put, the best 8 months of my life.) But the fact that i can now run multiple errands a day is FASCINATING. I truly thought it would never happen. But I also thought that it would never happen that I would miss those cyclical days of nothings. Some days I just force his head on my chest as if he is going to magically fall asleep like he used to rather than push off like Buzz Light Year for the remote control or cell phone nearby.
Now that he crawls, I feel like I have a best friend–and a dog. The best and only type of dog I will ever have. My favorite thing to do is to leave the room and hear him start crying. I immediately say his name repeatedly–and maybe throw in a few snaps and “here boys”–and make him come find me. The pride in his eyes and the smile on his face when he finds me is what I can only imagine first-generation college graduates feel on graduation day. I clap and sing and let him bathe in first-born pride. Other times, I let him explore. I genuinely love letting him explore. Not so that I can finish the chapter of the book I’m on, but to see what he finds interesting. Ninety-nine percent of the time, he will find shoes to suck on. If it’s not shoes, then it’s cell phone chargers–or cords. It’s quite baffling why they make toys in every combination of the rainbow when all they want is black remotes and dirty shoes.
I know I glossed over a lot, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I even felt like I had a free second to do anything other than sneeze one day, shave my legs the next, and maybe clean a toilet the next. We are finally getting our nap times figured out, and I hope to use that time to write more frequently. Until then, I’ll be singing Raffi and talking in high-pitched voices way too often.