We all head upstairs—I go into the bathroom to brush my teeth while Alex takes Emerson into her room to change her diaper and put on her pajamas. This is the apex of the madness. Emerson wails as Alex tries to negotiate four flying limbs and somehow diaper a baby who is spinning over and over like a cyclone on the changing table. I cannot stand the tortuous cries of my baby for long so I decide to brush my teeth while standing next to her. The sight of mama calms her a bit, the fact that I'm brushing my teeth distracts her. She stares at me in silence for a moment, enormous tears painting her face, her eyelashes wet and matted together. Then she remembers she is being tortured and proceeds to sob. I cannot pick her up, because Alex is currently wiping her bum and she still has no pajamas on. And I need to brush my teeth so I can get in bed with her. She is bright red, I can see all the way down her throat as she cries a cry so mighty I wonder if she's in some sort of physical pain. On other nights, I've tried picking her up, calming her down, and then resuming the diapering/pajama-ing again. It doesn't work.
Panic. Panic. Panic.
And then. With one hand I continue to brush my teeth. With the other hand, I free my right boob from my shirt, bend over the changing table and stick it in her mouth. Silence. Happiness. Emerson looks up at me with a surprised, but pleased look on her face as to say, "genius mom, pure genius." And there we are—a butt naked Emerson holding my boob with both hands and both her feet (yes, for real), Alex trying to get a diaper around a curled up baby body, me in some strange, downward dog type position with my boob dangling over my child's face….while I brush my teeth. I look at Alex, and mumble with a mouth full of foamy toothpaste, "annnnd, this is our life."