There’s not enough sleep in the world, but thank god there is enough coffee. I’m on my second cup today already. The night before last, still not finished with my work deadline, I scrambled for bed like the opposing lip of a quicksand pit and eked out three pale hours before I had to wake to nurse a crying babe, throw on whatever clothes were on the floor by the bed, and get D. to work by 8:30am. When Waika wanted to share a nap later that morning—fell sweetly into snoozing at the breast—I steeled my heart and carried him to his crib so I could rush through more of the deadline. I finally finished it last night around 1am, and this time sleep reached for and held me like a long-lost lover—that kind of yearning. But then it was a babe whimpering, and a shower needing to be had, and coffee that wouldn’t make itself, and a husband who had to be at work by 8am on this of all days. Waika did not offer a co-nap today—I’m a big boy, mom, I want to sleep alone—and I am so sad I couldn’t take in the proffered sweet napiness yesterday. Very sad. Waika went down into the crib grumbly at 9:40am, batted at the toy mirror, padded around a little bit, pulled himself up a few times and yelled just to show how NOT tired he was, and was deep in sleep on his tummy and tucked-under knees—as if he’d been crawling and simply paused for a quick nap—by 9:48am.
Obviously, I am stupidly not taking the most-known, sage advice for new parents and napping when he naps. No. I am sitting at the dining room table with my journal and my Mac and a hot mug of coffee.
The day is spread before me like a large patchwork quilt of possibility. I could make us a vegetable omelette for breakfast or we could eat some fruit and cottage cheese. We could hit open gym at Gymboree or go to SBBFS class or, hell, go play at IKEA. I could do the laundry or clean the bathrooms or replant my plants or bathe the dog or the baby or both. I could set up more playdates for us. We could go to the library, the park, the beach. We could play iTunes or ukulele, we could sing and dance, we could make paintings from food-colored water or food. I could (should!) pay bills or prepare our taxes or start packing for Hawaii. I absolutely SHOULD call my therapist and make fucking sure to see her before I head into the fray of home and all that tangled love. Together, we could read another book.
It is such a different realm of possibilities than a year ago, or two, or five.
One year ago, I would have been walking the dog and my very pregnant self down the hill of Brisbane, perhaps for groceries and the treat of a salted-caramel hot chocolate. I would’ve been packing our boxes and preparing to uproot our lives to southern California. I would’ve been stressing out about finding a new doctor to deliver me in April, a new hospital, birthing classes, a doula. I would have been going nearly blind with my long-postponed nesting, that fevered need to make Waika’s nursery.
Two years ago, I would’ve been editing with a good mixture of blogging, Facebooking, and surreptitious googling about fertility-boosting measures. I would’ve been walking the dog around where we’d recently moved to Redwood City, which I called "RedCity" to make it sound cooler than it was, to dam up the longing for Brooklyn and all of my New Yorkers. I would’ve been pretty much clinically depressed—wearing pajamas in public, writing bad poetry, the whole bit--feeling like I was sitting around waiting for the next chapter of life to begin, for we had moved to California partially to afford to make a family, but now the little one that would make us a family refused to form a self.
Five years ago was January 2007, and I have such mamabrain that I can’t remember where and who I was—especially because that time was pre-iPhoto and pre-May in the Bay. Let’s see, I had left New York in December 2005, my heart aching for a first pregnancy ended and profound friendships left behind. I spent 2006 totally depressed in Pacifica--ed. note: I guess I spend a lot of time depressed--which was not quite as “sunny California” as it sounds; I mean, when it was nice, it was gorgeous, but that happened once a year—and that year, the once happened the day we went to view the neighborhood and decided to live there. (FAIL.) By 2007, we had relocated to Burlingame, and I was stretching my legs into it, the first northern California stint—calming myself down into suburban living, resigning myself to that feeling of reduced relevance and importance that comes of moving from New York city to anywhere when you are still in your twenties. I was not quite 27, I was engaged but not yet married, and I was about to start blogging.
I used to think I knew myself and that there was some static quality to me that could be known, but recalling any of this is like a trip to a non-English-speaking country. I need a passport, I need a clue.
I could go on and on along this odyssey of memory lane, but Waika’s already been down almost an hour. My minutes are numbered so obviously I should throw up all over the Internet and then get to making that omelette.