Thursday, November 1, 2012

this is our life: on improvising

Emerson is going through a new phase. She now fusses and cries from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. every night, making dinnertime….challenging.  Most nights I'm not even sure what I ate, because this time has become a chaotic blur of try-to-distract-Emerson tactics. Our first attempt is Emerson's little tabletop seat with her tray piled high with toys. Emerson violently bangs said toys against the tray (and her head) and whirls them in every direction while blowing angry raspberries. Last night a rattle ended up on my plate. This situation quickly becomes unmanageable (and quite frankly, unsafe) for all involved. The next step is mama holding Emerson. Emerson digs her head into my shoulder, intermittently biting me (and occasionally giving me hickeys) and blowing slimy raspberries all over my neck. She pulls my hair. Attempts to detach my nose from my face. Grabs at my fork or smacks her hand down right in the middle of my rice. I tell Alex to eat faster, I give him looks of disbelief when he stops shoveling his food into his mouth for even a second. Emerson has had enough of sitting down. I stand up, press her cheek against mine, and ballroom dance with her (she loves this). After a few spins and dips, I toss her across the table into Alex's lap. He pretends she's flying, he stands her up on the table and makes her put on shows for me. I'm 3/4 of the way through my meal, but I can't handle the fussing (or at times, all out sobbing). I put down my fork. 

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."

[So, I didn't quite demonstrate the art of brevity here, but you get the gist of this new series, right?]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.