Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"Parenting is the long goodbye."

The title of my post - that quotation - was written by a pediatrician commenting on the NYT blog, Motherlode, and it made sit back and swallow.  Even though I was reading it when Annie was napping - and thinking, "Thank god that kid is down for a bit," and even when I groan when we hear her cries in the morning.  This morning - although going to bed late - her soft but escalating cries started at 6:20 am.  "Oh god, " I mumbled.  "Mmmrghf," replied Matt.  "You go get her - you went to bed before me, " I said.  No response.  Poking him, he mumbles.  Getting out of bed and bringing her into our bed, putting a pacifier in her mouth, soothing words - "Good morning, little one.  Let's all go back to sleep," followed by her reaching for my eyes, my nose.  Pulling my nose.  Even with all of that - and even when 7:30 pm (her bedtime) cannot come soon enough, and even when I'm loving, loving, loving every new milestone (she's walking!  she can ask for bananas and her milk and is twaddling behind us, between our legs, loves banding on the door to go outside to her swing, is making friends at daycare and sits in the corner with one of the girls and giggles!), and Matt and I are wholly, truly taking delight in the little girl - charming and mischievous - she's becoming, I cried.

It's all just a big pot of contradictions, but I suppose that's natural.  We love our kids to death, but they drive us crazy.  Matt and I love what daycare does for us - gives us that break, that breathing room - to be better parents when we're home with her.  Making those moments count.  I relish picking her up at the end of the day, but I love putting her down in her crib, too.  That balance makes our world go round.

Take my birthday.  Although it's over a month away, Matt keeps asking what I want.  Other than a Subaru (ha!), I need nothing.  And then it came to me: a clean house, some trashy magazines and some trashy television,  some Oreos for good measure, and a quiet afternoon alone.  Nothing sounds sweeter.

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