I sit here with my coffee, already having tended to 5 living creatures this morning— one baby, and four animals. (Forever debating whose grand idea that was.) My sweet daughter, having woken up twice before I fell asleep for the night, graciously slept until 5am. Since we stayed in pajamas all day the previous day thanks to some sort of prolonged stomach bug I’ve had, I felt the urge to dress her in “real clothes.” Because a sleeper is fake? I don’t understand the logic of that sentiment either, if we’re being honest. She plays for a bit with her piano mat, kicking and practicing her newfound skill of reaching for toys. I watch her tiny hand grasping for a ball above her with many failed attempts before she reaches success. It isn’t long before she starts grumbling, a tell tale sign that she is ready for her morning nap. Our weekend schedule has fallen into a fairly predictable pattern, and if I wanted to, I could easily go back to bed myself and catch another hour and a half of sleep before my son wakes for the day. I rarely ever do so, though. This time of day is quiet, the sun hasn’t yet risen, my coffee is hot. I can gather my thoughts or gather my laundry, whichever mood strikes me.
I think it’s clear that today I’m not folding socks, instead listening to my dogs lightly snoring and planning what today will look like. It’s tough with little kids and single digit degree days, what is worth bundling them up for? I imagine they are as bored with our beige walls as I am, at this point in the winter. I daydream about summer mornings— sun peaking through the curtains, dew on the grass, chalk creations on the sidewalk from the day before. I wishfully assume that in this scenario the baby’s sleep schedule has matched up with her brother’s, both of them waking around 7:30, a less cruel time to wake a person up on a weekend. My son was a very early riser for his first year of life, too. I would have to dust off the baby book to remember when he began sleeping past 5am.
The thought strikes me that my daughter does not yet have a baby book— a constant reminder of the vast differences between first and second children. It dawns on me that if I did buy her a baby book, would I remember all of things to jot down for the first four months? Have I missed a noteworthy milestone? When did she start smiling? She rolled over a few times, I think on accident, does that count? I can almost picture my kids at 13 and 15 arguing and hurling the insult “yeah, well at least mom made me a baby book!” Maybe I will order one today, or this will be like the time it took me over a year to finish my son’s shadowbox frame with his hospital bracelet.
The dogs bark to not so subtly let me know that they want to go outside— and my mind circles back to today. I think I hear my son playing monster trucks in his bed, his adorable way of slowly easing into the day. My daughter’s nap will be over soon, too, and the day will transition into a balancing act of snacks, playing and naps. I often joke that I feel like I’ve lived an entire life before 8am, but at least on days like today, it feels like a morning on vacation— complete with a vanilla latte.