I just want to remember this evening. An ordinary Monday.
I hopped on the wrong bus after work–an express bus that was headed for the ocean, way beyond where I get off to pick up E. When I realized it, I ran to the front to plead with the driver to let me off. He was not cheerful about it but didn’t say no. I stood next to him quietly for about ten blocks until he said, “Ready?” and I jumped out at a stop light, navigating across the median to circle back to E.
It was a cool, foggy evening, with brief moments of sun. The breeze felt good on my bare legs.
I walked into the house and, rather than greeting me or raising up his arms to be picked up, E immediately wanted to show me everything in the room, pointing at one thing after another and saying, “deh? deh? deh???” He wanted to keep playing too, which I always love to see.
He was not thrilled to be put back in the stroller, and V (his nanny) told me that he would probably be going to bed early because he’d only slept 45 minutes all day.
The tears stopped as soon as we walked outside. I kept popping my face around to the front and saying “boop!” until he smiled and laughed at me. Then he started telling me about his day, “digadigadiga.” On the way home, I thought about getting him out of his stroller to walk part of the way home (now that he’s walking!), and then decided that would be a terrible idea considering his pace and propensity to get distracted.
We arrived home, and I put his stroller in its convenient storage spot on the ground floor and then hoisted E, my purse, and my backpack (some days I also have the diaper bag too but not today). When we got to the bottom of the stairs, I let him climb up himself, positioning myself behind him to catch him if needed. He was very irritated with me that I didn’t want to let him go back down once he got to the top.
We walked in and he stood in one place and cried until I got everything set down and got out of my dress to nurse him. He now enthusiastically gives the sign for nursing with both hands.
After nursing, I pulled out a frozen dinner from a meal exchange I did last month (made by a mom friend) and put it in the microwave. E wanted to open, shut, open, shut the microwave and I only let him do it a limited number of times so I could keep dinner moving forward. While it was defrosting, I sat down and played with E and his blue car. I perceived a poopy diaper and changed him. At one point, he let out a scream just to hear himself do it. I tickled his belly with my nose while he giggled. I tried to imagine what his older-boy laugh would be like someday.
Before dinner, I put on Ben Webster to remind us of our old friend, Herb. I got out a beer and served quinoa and the defrosted garbanzo beans with veggies, and the requisite container of berries (probably $17 worth from the farmer’s market–we are helping keep berry farmers in business). E was uninterested in the garbanzo beans and carrots, which were thrown unceremoniously to the floor. He did take a few bites of the soup with quinoa. Mostly, though, he jammed a whole wheat tortilla in his mouth. When it was berry time, he eschewed the blueberries and requested more raspberries. I agree, they were delicious.
I cleaned up (not much of a job thanks to the frozen meal) and got the bath running. He had quinoa in his hair and dirt under his fingernails. I got him in the tub and he clanged a plastic comb on the bath faucet while I washed his hair and dabbed him with the washcloth. We read each of his three bath books, which are getting a little old. (“Splish, splash, little duck! Time to wash, says fish! Bathtime friends are fun!” Who writes this stuff??? Of course, he loves it though.)
He didn’t want to get out of the tub after pulling the plug and replugging it several times, so I finally insisted. He’s very consistent about hating the transition from tub to jammies, like he doesn’t want the day to end. I wrapped him in a towel and picked out his jams and a diaper. While I towel-dried his hair, he wanted to nurse, sitting in a little ball in my lap. I held him there in the towel.
After a while, I had to insist on a diaper before I got peed on. I distracted him with his favorite animal book. Then I got the coconut oil and we took three deep breaths and I did a little massage on his arms, belly, legs, and face. Jams on, and we did songs. He liked them so much that he signed for “more!” So we did one more (Old MacDonald) and then I nursed him to sleep and he went down easily.
Now it’s 8:20pm and I’ve already cleaned up and started a load of laundry and made tea. And written a post. What a luxury–not all evenings are so smooth.
I know that I’m going to blink and he won’t be a baby anymore!