Monday, March 24, 2014


The middle of our days are always a little different. But we begin and end the same way everyday. Just the two of us. At the beginning, there is the sleepy nursing session in the dim morning light of the bedroom, cuddled close. I reflect on how our night went, make a mental to do list for the day--laundry, pump, trip to Target for diapers, address birth announcements. All things that work best with two hands but I've learned that if necessary, I can get by with just one. I wonder when or if all these activities will get checked off the list. The list never includes a nap. I've learned that unlike death and taxes naptime is uncertain. Sleep when the baby sleeps is really sleep if the baby sleeps. I follow this advice fifty percent of the time because I personally find it impossible to ignore the to do list that is waiting in the wings for me.

Our middle sometimes includes visitors or errands. The errands are carefully planned between feedings. I take care to try to time the moment of drowsiness to coincide with the moment that we start down the driveway. It's my weapon to help ensure a smoother, quieter run to the store. A trip where the sleeping baby is precious and the mother doesn't look harried.

If we are at home for the day, I leave the TV on for both entertainment and for white noise. Embarrassing to admit but I can mark the time based on the show that's on. If it's Loralei and Rory, it's mid-morning. Dwight and Jim means only a few more hours until everyone gets home for the day. We move from room to room. A little light housework here and another feeding there. We dance, twirl, sway and bounce. We negotiate with one other. If I rock you for five more minutes, will you give me five more minutes in your bassinet? If not your bassinet, then in the swing? If not the swing, then in my arms on the couch? If not on the couch, then shall we dance again?

I am exhausted and energized. I bounce between doubting myself and feeling confident in my ability to mother. I look around and see dirty dishes in the sink, toys strewn about and laundry to be folded. I look down and see that you've fallen asleep in my arms. This is a glimpse of our middle. Simultaneously hard and easy. Six weeks moving slow and fast.

At the end of our day, there is the wondering of what kind of night lies ahead. There is the one last sleepy nursing session cuddled close in the dark of the bedroom. And we end our day as we began, just the two of us.

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