The public health nurse came to weigh Ben yesterday, a bi-weekly date in addition to our visits to perinatal followup at the hospital. And — prepare yourself — he is now, at his first birthday past the zero mark:
NINE AND A HALF POUNDS.
I am mama: hear me rowrrr.
I want brendam docks, mama?
Mama, brendam docks. Preeze?
I want brendam docks mama.
Mama, brendam docks.
Brendam docks preeze mama now.
Mama do brendam docks.
Brendam docks preeze.
I want brendam docks, mama!
Mama, brendam docks?
Brendam docks preeze mama?
Mama, brendam docks now.
Brendam docks preeze.
I push the anciently secondhand Thomas Tank Engine tape into the ancient VCR. “Evan, when will you ever learn that asking for things relentlessly ... gets you whatever you want?”
I read somewhere that god pressed in the eyes of the Irish—those gorgeous, freckled, raven-haired, silky-lashed types—with a sooty thumb. I’ve since concluded that God pressed in the eyes of the new mother with a sandy thumb, a thumb first swished in vinegar and then poked into the guts of an urban beach littered with e.coli and cigarette butts and shades of last night’s kegger-barf.
Such is how it feels to stumble out of bed at 7 AM after being bolt upright since 3 AM, pat-pat-patting. Rewind: you finish nursing in the breeze of the window, burp and such, place beastfeeder in bassinette, tuck, pat, back away slowly. Then climb back into bed, pull the duvet up around your chilled shoulders, wiggle feet and swish legs back and forth, almost giddy with the feel of it. Your limbs and head and whole self sinks into the mattress with that tingly, going-to-be-asleep-in-thirty-seconds-flat- and-it’s-going-to-be-like-totally-AWESOME feeling but then in twenty-nine seconds he squawks, needing to be UPRIGHT, NOW. Repeat: 3:30. Repeat: 4:45. Repeat: 5:30.
Piping hot shower, piping hot tea and I’m fine. It’s not knocking me off my feet as it did with Evan, this 24-hour unschedule. Maybe because I know from experience that it doesn’t last forever. Still, I catch myself whisper-whining into the darkness GAWD will you PLEASE just button yourself, please so I can sink into this bed and not get up again?
And then, NICU. Oh, yes, right. I remember.
And then he spurts a stream of hot, runny yogurt that trickles down my back and I think Oh sweets, I know it’s not easy, being a baby. You tell me all about it. Sit here with mama and you go to sleep in thirty seconds flat. I don’t mind that it’s at my expense. Truly, madly, deeply.