Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Living in the Moment: The Quest For Tight Diaper Packages

I gave Avery very, very, very diluted apple juice and she sucked it down, all six ounces, in about two minutes, then turned to me with the biggest smile on her face, as if to thank me. She was so excited to have this new taste. It must be such a welcomed change from all the formula she drinks. It made me feel like a success today. That I did something that made her happy.

Avery and Madeline are both crawling like champs. By “champs” I don’t mean we will be entering them in any crawling contests anytime soon, I mean it in the way that for two people who have only been on this planet (on the outside) for only seven months they are getting around splendidly. Maddie’s crawl is poetic: She uses her arms to drag her lower body around, legs together like a mermaid. When she feels like it, she does the all-fours thing too, and when she does her movements are so lithe and tender and fluid that I can’t imagine her being anything but a ballerina.

Avery is the break-dancer on the street who jams to a plastic-bucket beat. She slowly raises her body up, jerks one arm forward, stares at in amazement, mouth open, unibrow knitted (yes, it’s possible), drooling, as if to ask “How the hell did that happen?” then she jerks the second hand forward, followed by more staring. And then, the best part, her lower body pops up, a little hop/jump, and she lunges forward ever so slightly.

Today I asked Nicole when Avery started this whole crawling thing (she was first to crawl), and she couldn’t remember. I can’t remember either. With two babies, you spend so much time trying to keep your head above water that when milestone happens, it isn’t always convenient to get out the camera and snap a picture, then pull the Memory Book off the shelf to update it in perfect, neat calligraphy. I’m pretty sure this is difficult even with one baby, but I would have no way of knowing.

The thing that disturbs me is that I can’t even really remember her starting to crawl. Every day I feel like the babies were plopped into my world, in that size, with that hair and that stomach girth and those little scratches from their own nails on their faces. I can barley remember what they were like the day before or week before or month before. This twenty pound turkey used to weigh 6 pounds six ounces? I don’t believe it.

You think something like crawling would be etched in your memory for all time, the day your daughter takes her first tentative slither on the floor in the name of progress. Maybe it is because this new crawling movement is so gradual. Basically she just evolved from laying on the floor and rolling about to actually moving in a forward fashion intentionally. But where did it happen, this new crawling thing? What was I doing? I think I called Nicole at work to tell her this exciting news, but neither of us can quite remember if this did or didn’t happen.

I think this goes back to that whole needing-to-be-in-the-moment thing. I spend so much time worrying about the future and obsessing over the past that I forget to live in these moments. Lately the moments I tend to live in are the exciting moments when I create an especially tight diaper package, when you wrap those Velcro pieces around the diaper to create a nice, neat square of pee or poop to throw away in the ridiculous, stinky diaper pail. So satisfying.

I took the girls to the playground today, since it was spring-like in January here in the city (does this frighten and confuse anyone other than me?). Madeline fell asleep in the stroller so she missed the festivities. Avery was sporting and let me swing her in the baby seat for a while. She surveyed her surroundings like a mini queen on a throne, with her eyes heavy lidded, eyebrow slightly arched and a slight frown.

Before I left, a mom with twins came over and talked to me. She had two little girls, about a year older than mine. They were half Asian, like Leif and Skye, and just beautiful. She asked for my phone number so we could have play dates. I obliged, and took hers, and on the way out, she asked innocently “Where did your babies get their dark, exotic looks?” Avery is pretty dark, darker than me, since I am of the pale skin, blue eye, brownish hair variety. But we are all in the same area in the box of crayons, I’d say. “Well,” I said, “from an anonymous sperm donor. I have a girlfriend.” She didn’t flinch, I mean, this IS New York, but let’s see if I will get that phone call. I am such a pessimist.

Pictured above, Her Royal Highness Avery, officially, Avery the First, by the Grace of God of the United Household of Nicole, Jennifer and Madeline.


Anonymous said...

Would you check in with Thwarted Repeatedly? Sounds like you are the perfect one to offer reassurance re. brain cyst.

K J and the kids said...

I HATE that...things are casual..no need to bring anything up...getting along swell...and then...bam. Are you married ? What does your husband do ?....and your hand is forced.
It is NY so she'll call. If she doesn't it is ONLY because she wasn't really going to call you before. :)

Cute baby !

Nana said...

Oops, meant to sign the first comment. Sorry.

Shelli said...

Seriously? Narda and I CONSTANTLY ask one another when Malka did stuff.

ALL the time.

I'm just grateful that flickr at least remembers when I took the damn pictures, because I sure as hell don't.

And she will probably call. Moms like to meet other moms in the neighborhood.

And yes, I'm a bit wigged by the weather, too.

Michelle said...

Straight, married reader here, de-lurking. I found your blog through ... ? Bri, I think? Anyway, that last part about whether the playground mom will call made me go "ohhhhh." I mean, I find it hard enough to make new mom friends these days (will she like me????) without the added worry of whether said mom will reject me because of my sexual orientation. Shitty. But can I just say how psyched I am that the lesbian couple on the next street is having a baby next month and our daughters will play and grow up together? It's really important to me that my kid(s) know that families come in all different shapes and sizes. I'm sure I can't be alone in feeling that way - ? BTW, I live in Portland, OR, and love, love, love it here (moved from the East Coast 3+ yrs ago). And housing is still somewhat affordable, though it would be a bitch of a commute to NYC.

Anonymous said...

tight diaper packages give me ridiculous satisfaction every day too, but i have been too afraid to admit it.