This is just the cliffsnotes

I haven't slept more than four hours in a row since February 8, 2010. That's when the first contractions started. Even though, here I am up with the first ray of sunlight watching Eli try to eat through the bedroom door to get out. Once I finally get down the hall with him, change a diaper and hail-mary a sippie cup of grape juice to the Dragon Boy, I'm already being yelled at for breakfast.

I used to have coffee..




Today he decides to spit out each bite of oatmeal after he appears to take it so well, but smiles sweetly as he does so.  Such a little trickster already.  I growl through my grin and practice mom threats.

Ha..  like he cares.. all that consumes his interest is Jack's Big Music Show and emptying the bookshelf.

Between singing along to obnoxious children's songs and yelling "no" in seventeen different ways, I manage to put my kitchen back together just in time to have to tear it apart again to make lunch. Amazingly, even something quick requires too much work anymore. I remember making hippie-chic salads with dried cranberries, candied walnuts, granny smith slices and goat cheese cubes.. now I'm so frazzled around lunchtime that I actually mix up my spoon of soup with Eli's spoon of mush and rarely know the difference.

Any errands that I choose to run by this time have rendered me the village idiot. I'm returning home with just as much stuff as I left with.. and then some.  I shamefully admit that I've left him locked in the car sleeping while I wrestle with bags all the way up to the door.  This time, however, Eli wins the coinflip since he's awake.  Half way through walking the block from the frozen parking lot to the frozen front door, I forget what fingers have a grip on the baby and which fingers are holding the bag of groceries. If I trip and fall, it's curtains. Thank God Eli has such a squishy bum.

By the time the groceries make it into the fridge, and dinner is somewhat going, I've lost Eli and realize that I haven't used the bathroom since I woke up. No wonder my bladder is screaming at me. Amidst the quick dash into the bathroom (so that he doesn't see me and try to follow), I catch a glimpse in the mirror of what used to be a ponytail and (half) laugh to myself.. "..and my purse used to match my shoes!"

As I nearly burn dinner (again) I find that Eli is enjoying an appetizer of receipts from my purse and has made a nest of the brand new skein of lace-weight cashmere that I pulled out of the stash to hopefully distract me from pulling out my own hair.
I somehow manage to talk myself out of opening the bottle of red that is a gift for the neighbor.

When Thomas gets home I've got my Betty Crocker face on and the baby is not-so-clean but he sure is happy to see Ahppa. The evening concludes with dinner cleaned up, Daddy and Eli hanging in their secret hideout, and later, a naked baby being tackled at the 10 yard line, doused in Aveeno and kisses, and rocked to sleep with my bleeding heart as his teddy bear.

I sigh

The kid literally stole the youth and life right out of me. I was a lively young woman and now I'm a mother, scared shitless half of the time and more delirious with every breath I am given. I wonder what I used to do with all of the time in the world. I'm jealous of my own facebook photos.  I sit next to Thomas as he passes out watching the State game and rub some Mama Bees Peppermint Lotion on my legs and feet, remembering how these stems used to dance ridiculously after just the right concoction of vodka and olive juice. I remember matinees on cold afternoons with my favorite blanket, and going to Target just to buy seasonal salt and pepper shakers.

I review the blur of the day, which blurs into yesterday, and the day before, and most likely will roll right into tomorrow without much of a break. Just the thought of it makes me wince. As much as I know I should sleep, I can't. I need the K time, the alone time.. I need the time to reconnect with me. I need to fill up on lemon tea and Jesus, and maybe catch a Seinfeld episode. Everytime I look at the clock, I count how long before Eli wakes up and wonder if I can get him to go right back to sleep so I get to enjoy this vacation a little longer.

And just like that, I hear the cry..

Night wakings make or break me.
There are nights when I'm so selfish that I want him to magically turn off.  Maybe if I flip him upside down three times and rub his belly.. I mean, it worked for a Furby.  Sometimes I just want to pretend that he didn't wake up and hope he goes back out on his own.  I've let him stay in bed and toss and turn.  I've let him cry.  I've woken up and had a slumber party with him in the living room until he passed back out.  There are nights where I'm bad mommy and we straight up argue. But this night is not like that.

This is one of the good nights. I know it by the way he lets me pick him up. It takes that first time getting him out of bed to turn me right around. The way he stands there waiting for me to get down the hall. The way his head has molded to fit right into my neck and shoulder. The little binky noises he makes and the way he breathes when he's relieved by my hugs and starts getting tired again. If I'm tired enough to lay down, he snuggles me and puts his hand on my face and we sleep like that. If I lay him back down, he often nods back off, but I hover over him and smile and tell him how much I love him. He's the most perfect thing I've ever accomplished. He is the most beautiful creation I've ever witnessed. He's the product of everything I've done, good or bad, and he's amazing.

Thomas is still snoring on the couch and I don't think I'll wake him up this time. Lights are on, the tv is noisy, the pots from dinner are still soaking. Even though Eli fell back to dreams so easily, I scoop him up and sneak under the comforter with him, propping his legs up on mine and rubbing his belly. He has no idea that my heart breaks just looking at him right now. He melts the coldest parts of me. I can't imagine the day he chooses to move to California and do life on his own. I can't imagine losing him for even one moment. I just look at him and wonder what I used to do with all of the time in the world.

I mean, I used to care about whether my purse matched my shoes...

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