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One more day

Pumpkin turns one tomorrow.  She will officially leave her status as an infant and cruise into pre-toddlerhood.  

Right now, though, at this very minute, she is asleep with her head in the crook of my arm and her hand on my chest. Usually when we get to this point, I might wait a few minutes and then put her in her crib for an afternoon nap.  But today is the day before her first birthday - which happens to fall on a busy and likely long Monday at work for me - so today I stay. And I get to hold my baby while she sleeps on a rainy Sunday afternoon.  


Nap on lap

Somehow I am sitting in a rocking chair, holding Pumpkin while she takes an afternoon nap.  

Of course I should put her down and fold some laundry or check on Bug downstairs or cook some dinners for the coming week.  

And it's hard to believe I get to hold her like  this when this past week found me working on a Sunday or coming home at 10 pm on a Monday or crying in the Mothers Room at work because I was pretty sure all of my milk was gone.  

What a gift to have a nap lap today.  


Like a cheetah

Pumpkin has tended to be a very good sleeper.  I like to joke that she understood early on that she had a choice between waking up repeatedly during the night or having a momma.  People almost never laugh at the joke - I think it might be so dark as to be unsettling.  But, frankly, those were dark days.  I can't help but believe that, on some level, Pumpkin understood how dire things were then, and she slept so that I could, too - for which I will be forever grateful.  

In the last few months, something (a million things?) changed, and Pumpkin would wake in the night.  For weeks, all we had to do was go into her room, put a paci in her mouth, and slowly back away.  Eventually, Pumpkin found the paci less soothing than the nice, warm parents who took turns coming into her room.  After one long night that involved very little sleep from 2:30 to 4 am, we let her cry it out.  It was awful.  She would cry.  I would cry.  My husband would suggest I sleep downstairs so I could get away from the trauma.  Like any self-respecting (read: self-punishing) momma, I refused.  And I might have even acted offended at the suggestion.   Because when you are sleep-deprived and your baby is crying and you are crying, of course it's offensive to be offered the opportunity to sleep.  Preposterous even.  

Everyone knows how the cry-it-out story ends though.  That's why we do it.  Because a few nights later, and for every night since, Pumpkin has slept through the night.   If she wakes and fusses, it lasts for a few minutes, we all remain in our own bedrooms (Squish and Bug excepting, of course), and we all go back to sleep.  

Last night, around 11:30 pm, Pumpkin cried a terrified-scream cry.  Not the I-just-woke-up-and-can't-find-my-paci cry.  A cry that led me to believe she would be burning up when I got to her.  Or that her crib had spontaneously fallen to pieces around her.  I threw back the covers, ran down the hallway, and picked her up.  I comforted her and rocked her until she calmed down and fell asleep again.  

I put her down in her crib.  I left the room, and she started to cry again.  I let her go for about ten minutes until she quieted and went to sleep.  

Then the scared-scream cry started again.  I went in, nursed her, and I let her reach up and pull my hair and squish my nose and my cheeks.  She fell into a deep sleep, and I was able to put her in her crib.  She stirred and fussed for a minute and then slept for the night.  

This morning, my husband and I were reliving the difficult night and talking about how awful Pumpkin's first cry was.  He gave me a hug and said, "I've never seen you run so fast - you were like a cheetah."

Like a cheetah, Pumpkin.  That's how I will always come running when you need me.  


Sorry (not sorry?)

This morning, Pumpkin had her nine-month check-up, and she wowed everyone with her smiles and babbles and curiosity. 

When we got to our car after the appointment, there was a man parking his motorcycle between the trunk of my car and the front of the car behind mine.  I thought about saying something like, "That is not a parking space - move your motorcycle."   

But then I remembered a man who yelled at me about parking a few weeks ago.  Even though I had done nothing wrong.  And I remembered how awful it felt to be yelled at by a stranger in the rain.  So when I saw that there was no other car parked in front of my car, and I could just pull forward to leave the space, I decided to give the motorcycle a break.  

Until I realized I needed to open my trunk to put away the stroller frame before we could drive away. 

I said to the parking interloper, "I need to get into my trunk.  Could you please move your motorcycle?"

He asked if I could open it without him having to move.  

I entertained his suggestion because, apparently I am very open to second-guessing.  I realized that, even if his motorcycle would not prevent me from opening my trunk, I would need to stand on his motorcycle while I placed the stroller frame into my trunk.  

I said, "I need to put my stroller away."


Then I said, "Sorry."

And he moved.  

Why on earth did I apologize?  

I know why I apologized.  I have seen enough of the research and that Pantene ad to get it.  

So, I am actually sorry Pumpkin had to witness my apology.  Pumpkin, do not apologize for some one else's error.  Do not apologize for pointing out the error so that you can use space in this world.  You and I are entitled to as much space - parking or not - as anyone else.  


Freezing Day at the Museum of Science

Yesterday morning it was -8 degrees when we woke up. The windchill was -29.  

But don't worry, we had a plan: spend most of the day at the Museum of Science. 

I got us tickets to a 4D movie _and_ the planetarium.  

I even managed to get all of us fed before our shows so that we didn't turn on each other in a hunger-induced meltdown about sugar-free jello.  Not that that has ever happened.  What hangry adult would insist her equally hangry six-year-old put down the sugar-free jello in favor of cookies and try explaining that "chemicals are worse than sugar!"?  Who would do that?

So, bellies full and meltdowns averted, we went to the 4D movie.  Bug chose his own seat in his own row, preferring to enjoy the movie alone perched on the edge of his seat, reaching out to touch vines and butterflies and turtles in the movie.  Meanwhile, Squish chose to sit on my husband's lap, leaning back and holding his 3D glasses on his face as if their magical powers warranted a little hand to remind them not to get too wild.  And my mom, Pumpkin, and I sat at the end of a row so that I could make a quick getaway if Pumpkin hated the experience (which she didn't because she is the world's best trooper). 

After the 4D show, we made our way toward the planetarium.  We were walking down a big, crowded corridor with the gift shop on one side and the entrance to the cafe area on the other when my mom asked, "Where is [Bug]?"

"He's up ahead.  I see him," I answered as I watched Bug zoom through all of the other families who had made similar Freezing Day plans.  I looked at my husband and said, "He wants nothing to do with us - haha."

My husband, Squish, Cora (in her stroller),  my mom, and I got to the end of the corridor, and we did not see Bug.  

Any parent reading this knows what happened next.  Time expanded and got really effing big and really effing slow.  My heartbeat got really effing loud.  

My husband calmly said he was going to look for Bug in the live animal area because we had mentioned it to the boys earlier in the day.  

I [pretend] calmly said, "Okay.  Good. Give me a call when you find him.  I will go back down the hall here [with the gift shop and cafe area]."

My mom asked what she could do to help, and I asked her to go with my husband. 

I pushed Cora in the stroller and held Squish's hand, and we retraced our steps as if we had dropped a toy.  

When we were going past the gift shop, Squish said, "I want a treat!!"

I told him no, and he asked why not.  "Because I have to find [Bug]," I said as we stopped to look around from the middle of the hall.  

I realized I didn't know what shirt Bug was wearing.  I wondered if I would even be able to pick him out of the crowd at this point because I was a dummy mom who didn't know what her kid looked like and (more to the point) because I was in a full blown panic.   

My phone buzzed, and I could see my husband at one end of the hall.   I thought he might be calling to say he had Bug.  But he shook his head when he saw me, and I looked at my phone to find  a random number was calling.  


"Hi, [Momma]?"


"Hi - this is [a fellow momma].  My son [Little Buddy] is in [Bug's] class - "

"Do you have Bug?!?!!"

"Yes! We are right by member services!"

And that is how I found Bug.  Safe and sound playing with his little buddy and his little buddy's twin brother.  

I wanted to fall into the arms of Little Buddy's parents and cry and cry and cry.  And thank them.  And cry.  And thank them some more.  

We have taught Bug and Squish that if they ever end up losing their grown-up and can't find them, then they should look for a grown-up with kids to ask for help.  Somehow Bug found a grown-up with kids who also happened to have my phone number.  



Rainbow dash

"I want to whisper something in your ear," Squish told me as Bug and my husband were leaving for Kindergarten this morning.

I bent down to listen.

"I am going to squish Rainbow Dash," Squish whispered.

I suggested that it wasn't very nice to squish people.  Squish corrected me on two points: (1) Rainbow Dash is not a person - she is a pony; and (2) she is not real.

Fair enough.  I decided to let his imagination work its magic while I nursed Pumpkin before taking them both to school today.

The three of us made our way upstairs so I could nurse and rock Pumpkin, and I had suggested that Squish look at books on my bed.

When I checked on Squish before I settled in with Pumpkin, I saw him sitting on my bed, criss-cross-applesauce, staring at the wall ahead of him.

"[Squish], you don't want to read books this morning?"



Proud to report that Pumpkin, who discovered her feet a mere ten days ago, can now put them in her mouth.  

Also, trying to blog daily this month is crazy difficult.