My First Pancake, or The Dub to My Lub
[Throwback post from two years ago exactly.]
It is accepted fact that mothers fret. In my previous life as a non-parent, I found this amusing but bothersome, and vowed to become no such mom. And I’ve got a long way to go before I’m a real worrier — though, keep in mind, I’m not even five months in the game — but I’m well aware now that to take care of tiny offspring is to spend the majority of your time in semi-daydream, which can lead, if one is not careful, to the land of anxiety. This is partially due to a (hopefully occasional) night of sleep punctured repeatedly by piercing wail-fests followed by nosh-fests followed by vain attempts to recapture slumber [and repeat.] but this land of daydreams mostly owes its existence to the non-stop simplicity of a baby’s daily life. Owlet’s log book would look like this:
“Had a great night’s sleep with many delicious midnight snacks, and even wormed my way into the Big Bed with the friendly giants. Got a prompt response this morning to my request for immediate swaddle removal, after which I lifted my arms over my head to make sure they were still in good working condition, and then played for awhile with those wiggly things at the end of my arms. Had breakfast. Then I remembered a neat squealing sound I discovered the other day, so I practiced it in different registers. Peed, had a snack, and peed again, followed by some good times keeping my balance while sitting and reaching for my favorite cup to play with. Lost my balance, but slowly, so that I gradually slid down, first onto my side, and then onto my stomach. Wrestled with gravity, squawked, experimented with scooting backward. Peed, then pooped, then had lunch. Got burped, swaddled, and abandoned in the little wooden crate but was too tired to protest. Napped. Awoke with alarming urge to simultaneously pee and eat. After agonizing seconds, the lovely milk giant rescued me. Ate while peeing. Rolled around on my back awhile, then tried to hold a block. Nabbed a cat tail in passing. Waited to spit up until a giant was holding me, for comic effect. Peed, ate, peed, and took a brief nap, then summoned the fuzzy faced giant, who spent awhile making me laugh. Sat in a wooden tower and decided whether or not to grant some bizarre new orange mush entrance to my mouth. Snuggled up against milk giant to veg while she moved around outside for awhile, possibly conducting a feline census? Peed, then snacked. Upon our return, I was taken to the Place of the Blue Plastic Cup during the Time of Great Splashing to commune with that beautiful blue vessel. Peed, watched the giants flip pages and talk in exaggerated cadence, then enjoyed allowing my eyelids to droop as they sang, only to pop them right open and let out a howl whenever they dared stop. Eventually took pity on them and slept.”
Which is all very exciting, both as a baby and often as a parent… however, it is a schedule with room for many stray wisps of contemplation even as it leaves very little time for dish washing. These daydreams usually tend in one of two directions: what Owlet will be like in the future, as an older child/adolescent/adult, or how what I’m doing now will affect what Owlet will be like in the future. The latter tends toward the worrywart side of the coin, of course, especially when accompanied by crying at a sizable volume. I’ve learned to search myself, when I fail to stop the bawling, to see if there is a way to calm her that I am resisting. There very often is. If I’ve just fed her, for example, I don’t very much want to try again because I know she’s not really hungry, even though it will stop the deluge, at least briefly. I also still have weakling arms from limiting heavy lifting while pregnant and am reluctant to carry her around for 15-20 minutes as Thor does to effectively tear-block and sleep-induce. Not wanting to do these things makes me want to cry along with her. Sometimes I do. Because as it is I could be ruining her in that accidental way that always sabotages the first pancake. What business have I making that first pancake more of a sure thing? So eventually I do whatever it is I’m trying not to (or Thor gets home in time to step in and close the deal) and against all odds, a baby is finally sleeping. And then — ?
The daydream fog parts… and then I miss her. Instantly I miss her. I miss her with a physical ache that is not diminished by my very strong desire to sprawl out on the bed and be left entirely alone for the rest of my days. No matter what chaos reigns, together, we are a heart in perfect rhythm. Even a room apart and I am instantly, bewilderingly reduced to half a heartbeat.
“Lub,” I thump to myself. “Lub?”
“Dub,” she plunks expectantly, right on the coattails of my every Lub, waiting for me to reappear.
It is such an alien sort of love from any I have experienced. Yes, mine with Thor has the same depth, sure, but ours is a relationship of equals and he and I have a full heartbeat each, drumming in lockstep.
I expect Owlet’s heart, as she grows, will strum both beats increasingly on its own, too. Maybe even with me.
Just as I am sure that mine will always just Lub for her.
[p.s. With Platypup, I almost never resist an opportunity to stop crying with milk. It is my greatest weapon against his discomfort as well as the easiest one to wield!]