Some days, the day gets away from you. I don’t know how it happens, but some days, you wake up with a bunch of things you want to get done, and when you turn around, the day is gone.
I have a lot of those days nowadays.
That Baby gets busier, and I get less so. My days are full of clapping chubby hands. Tentative little steps. Cuddles. Kisses. Tears.
We explore the world around us. We pick up schmutz on the carpet and examine it. We sing and dance our way through the lunch hour. We round up toys, and then redistribute them. We watch our favourite movies. We sit together and share jello. We babble. We snuggle.
It’s a full day.
The days of getting all the laundry done in one day are long gone. Meals are sometimes a last-minute thing. If I can, I wedge in some paid work here, some tidying up there. I hope to leave the house a little cleaner than I found it when I woke up, but it’s not always possible. And a day that allows for some exercise and a shower is a really good day.
It takes awhile to let yourself get into the mindset of “it’s okay”. You have to learn to let go of a lot of things. You learn to let go of the drive to stick to a plan. You let go of the need to worry about the things that can wait, like cleaning and housework. And you leave yourself in the little hands of the Person In Charge. And it’s okay.
It’s hard to do. It means letting go of a lot of years’ worth of control and planning and organization and schedules. It’s really hard to let go of the notion that you can do it all. That you can have a clean house and organized closets and a lovely garden and good hair. All while raising a growing, learning little child.
Bigger kids, maybe. I don’t know. But when they are little, there’s too much going on.
It’s not like a baby is a Tasmanian Devil of activity. It’s not like they are running about the place, reciting Dostoyevsky and doing calculus while juggling plates. Well, maybe YOUR baby is. Not mine.
Right now? Mine has discovered the ceiling. One hand on the side of her head, the other holding her toes, and she’s gazing up at the ceiling.
Not exactly a cat rodeo, I grant you. Well, not now, anyway.
But then, if you don’t look closely, you don’t see what’s going on. You miss out on moments of discovery and learning that can sometimes happen minute to minute in the day of a very small child. You don’t notice the little ways she is learning to communicate, that an urgent “mmmm” sound means she wants something or that “ba ba ba” is becoming more and more a sign she wants her bottle. You don’t see the new little tasks she has learned to accomplish, how the two little hands that could not find each other last week are now coming together and making perfect little clapping noises. You miss when she learns to put one cup inside the other, or a ring on the stack. You don’t see that she has learned to get up on her knees and waggle her bum. You don’t get to cry at the very first time she is able to pull up and stand. And who wants to miss that?
If you are not careful, your day gets away from you, but not how you would expect. Your moments of perfect joy at her learning and growing get away from you. Your opportunities to rock a tired baby to sleep get away from you. Your baby gets away from you, and before you know it she’s growing up.
It suddenly becomes a clear choice.
Your house is messy, the dishes are waiting, and there’s soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for supper. And it’s okay.