Friday, September 13, 2013

on baby time

babies are mindboggling timekeepers. they divide life into bite-sized increments of time: 2 x 2 hours of awake time, plus 2 x 2 hours of nap, plus 4 hours until bedtime = a day. somehow.

and then it gets even further divided: 30 minute car rides (max!), 5 minutes of tummy time, 1 hour of yoga, 10 minutes of tummy tickles, 2 minutes of hello texas!, 15 minutes of cleaning the bathroom...and so on. i find myself not really aware of the time of day; however, i am always aware of the exact clock time, inasmuch as it pertains to the baby schedule, which supersedes all other schedules. so time has totally different meanings for me now. as i was driving home from a book store this afternoon, i looked at the clock and calculated that by the time we got home it would be time for nap number 2. (i am always glancing at the clock and calculating. this is motherhood.) and i realized suddenly how much things have changed. how different time feels to me now.

afternoon no longer feels like afternoon — that slow mixture of the anxious restlessness of the unsatisfied closing of another day mixed with the impatience for the day's work to be at an end. the ends of days were for so long bittersweet to me. i wanted it to be over. i didn't want another day to end. does that make any sense? i didn't want time to move forward and i didn't want to be where i was. 

afternoon used to be the beginning of the end. the sun was harsher, not as welcoming. the day had lost its freshness, its capacity for possibility. it was too late to start anything, but too early to call it a day.

but now? afternoon is just the two hours between naps. two hours for lunch and playtime and a quick jaunt to the bookstore. you can only do so much in two hours. you have to choose carefully. maybe you will spend it reading books and rolling over and chewing on things. maybe you will take 10 minutes out to fold some laundry. maybe you will take another 10 to make lunch and eat it for your captivated audience. 

sometimes, an afternoon is this: a baby asleep in his carseat. (for two minutes.)


i'm very conscious that life is really sweet right now. these are good days. maybe the best. 

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