Day In, Day Out

I never  awaken on my own.  I’m usually smack dab in the middle of some amazing dream when a little person whose feet are in my ribs begins to stir and repeatedly request “muck”, the translation of milk in baby talk.  Staggering out of bed with my daughter in my arms, leaving my dream of lottery winning or beach lying behind forever, I put aside all my needs, never considering even a trip to the bathroom, to satisfy hers instead.  Because that’s what mothers do.

Eventually, I manage a cup of coffee or two, breakfast consists of oatmeal with brown sugar and milk, while a well-worn DVD of Sesame Street or Barney provides the background noise.   I sing along and speak the lines by memory knowing I could recite the entire episode better than a 7th grader reciting the Preamble to the Constitution in History class.  Repetition will do that.

Our outdoor surroundings are breathtakingly relaxing and outside time is a must even on cooler days.  We’re surrounded by trees, pines, hummingbirds, deer, and birds of all colors.  So Emma and I spend our time in the backyard with our dogs, chickens, slide, and sandbox soaking up Vitamin D.   My girl toddles around exploring the ins and outs of pine needles, rocks, dog water, and sticks and I use this opportunity to read a short story or a chapter in a book.   I might take my notebook and colored pen out and attempt a little short story of my own.  But my mind gets weighed down with my character or the conflict that needs to surround him, the voice of inadequateness drowns out the voice of creativeness until I seek refuge in facebook or a round of Words with Friends on my phone.   Eventually  I become distracted enough with technology that I don’t even notice when my fictional character  sneaks away and drowns in the river next to our house.

Lunchtime comes and goes, a cuisine suited to a toddler palette:  noodles, goldfish crackers, bananas and the like.  A yawn or sometimes a one year old frenzy indicates  naptime so  we shake the sand from our shoes and climb into an unmade bed for an afternoon nap.  She wallers and hums.  I pat and sing, and eventually she dozes off.  I then sneak out of bed and quietly bottle around the house doing odds and ends; housework, exercise, more reading or occasionally I may be so bold as to nap with her.

During late afternoon, we pack up and head to the Middle School to pick up my niece Ash from school, then it’s back home for more of the same.  Usually after it’s too late, I realize I didn’t plan anything for supper.  This realization throws me into a maddening search on the internet for a recipe consisting of tomato sauce and salmon.

My husband returns from work, and the evening passes as all other evenings in American households.  Supper, dishes, baths, and bed.

Once a week we join a playgroup and two days later we visit the library  where I engage in adult conversation, usually about kids.

I spend most of my day on a toddler level.  I sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider, I read Goodnight Moon, I blow bubbles, mold homemade play dough, hold hands while climbing steps, clean noses, wipe butts, give hugs and kisses and receive as many back, wash high chairs, cook spaghetti, step on hair clips abandoned on the ground, wipe crayon off the wooden floor, wash sticky hands and faces, and wipe tears.

Through it all, I dream of writing.

Some days I wonder if this is all there is.  I am in the trenches of motherhood.  Stay at home motherhood.  There are times I feel very purposeless, unimportant.  Cooking and cleaning is my existence.  But deep in my soul, I know there is no greater purpose for me than this girl named Emma, whose hair hangs in her eyes, whose nose wrinkles when she grins.  I am the most important person to her right now.  I won’t always be.  This time is numbered, and I’m doing my best to make it count.  For both of us.

 

 

 

This entry is #12 on the list of 30 things.  Describe a typical day.

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5 months

My sweet and precious Emma Kate,

Today you are 5 months old.  I’ve known this day was coming, but it just doesn’t seem possible.

I look at you and I can’t believe it.  That sweet tiny baby has morphed into a bundle of fun, with a  big grin and a bit of a mischievous nature I believe.  Your daddy keeps saying you’re turning into a little person.  A little person full of personality and curiosity.

We enjoy every minute of you.  Even the 3 a.m. ones.  Even the  “somebody better do something to fix my problem” crying ones.  Even the “I think I’ll go to the bathroom since you already have my diaper off” ones.

Your good moments completely outweigh the tougher times.  You play with your toys for a really long time.  Sometimes you get frustrated when you can’t reach your favorite toy, but you don’t give up easily.  You have a determined spirit about you, which I think is a good quality.  Later, we’ll likely call it stubbornness, which you’ll come by honestly since both your daddy and I possess it as well.

I quit my job so I can be a stay at home mom with you.  I don’t think we’ve been separated since the end of May.  We spend our days playing, singing, reading, eating, sleeping, and having some outside time which is your favorite.  Some days we go to town to visit or run errands, but not too much, because mama is a homebody.

You love feet, and it doesn’t really matter whose they are.  You learned how to get your piggies into your mouth this month and boy how good they must taste!  Really, it’s quite an accomplishment considering those fat rolls on your thighs.  My goodness, you’re cute!  You’re absolutely perfect.  At your last check up (when you had to get those mean shots) you weighed in at 14 pounds 10 ounces, 24 3/4 inches long, and your head was 16 inches.

You’ve got some pretty big brains in there, I think.  You’re smart Emma Kate.  There are things you do, that others may think are a fluke or accidental, but mama doesn’t think so.  I swear you know how to play peek a boo.  You pull a burp cloth or a small blanket up over your face and wait for us to say “Where’s Emma?” and then you pull it down to see us.  You do this again and again.  You give mama kisses on the cheek with that wide open mouth and you go in for Eskimo kisses with your Grandy.  You know that when you press down on that little green button the wipes will open up and you can try to eat them.

Bath time is a blast.  You’ve outgrown those little baby baths so you are a big girl in the tub these days.  And boy do you make a splash, literally.  You kick those feet like mad and splash water until it hits you in the face and slows you down a bit.

Sleeping is getting better.  This month, I’ve tried out a new method I read about on the internet called the E.A.S.Y method.  You eat, then you have activity time, and then when I notice you are getting drowsy, I’ll hold you with your binky for just a little while till your eyes are heavy, then I put you in your bed and you go right to sleep.  Usually.  You like to put a little blanket over your head.  I gave you a soft blanket to hold onto, and when I went back to check on you, you were sound asleep with it over your face.  Now, that’s just what you do.  Going to sleep works just fine, it’s just staying asleep that you don’t care for.  But you’re getting better.

You were dedicated to the Lord on June 3rd at Briarwood Church and received your very first little pink Bible and a certificate.  All the congregation reached out their hands to you as the pastor prayed God’s protection and guidance over your life.  He also made me tell the story of how a man in the church told me you were coming years ago, but I thought he was crazy.  

We had your pictures made this month with all your cousins on my side of the family.  Your aunt Jolea and your cousins Hannah and Zoie came to visit.  It was the first time H & Z had ever seen you, so we gathered up your cousins Harley and Maxx as well and went to daddy’s work to have pictures made.  They’re going to make Grandy a nice birthday present in a few days.

We also had your pictures made by yourself.

The doctor said we can start you on some rice cereal if we want, and start trying some other foods.  So mommy jumped the gun and gave you a taste of avocado instead!  You liked that for  a little bit, but not for long.  I’ve also given you tastes of strawberry, cantaloupe, and asparagus!  Mostly you shuddered and got this awful look on your face.  So we’re still waiting on the whole eating thing.

I hope I’m capturing everything I can about your little life honey.  You are our little joy. Your daddy and I want to do the best we can for you.  There will be times that we fail miserably I know.  We’re going to have bad times along with the good on this ride.  I want you to have  good memories of your childhood with us.  I want you to always know you’re loved deeply by us, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and mostly by Jesus.  It’s incomprehensible that He loves you more than I do, but He does.  My love for you pales in comparison.

I’m so happy to have you, baby of mine.

XOXO,

Mommy