I was awoken well before the sun decided it was morning. From the other room, Rohan fussed a little and called out for me. This is a 'thing' he's doing now, the waking early and whining for me. I hauled myself out of bed, lifted him from his crib and brought him in to my room, where he collapsed into a warm pile of butter skin and whisper-soft hair on top of my torso. His body was heavy, but he fell immediately into a content sleep, and together we ignored the alarm three times, me contorting one arm over my head and to the right a bit while trying to keep the rest of my body still as a stone so I could smash the snooze button and steal a few more minutes with my boy. His head burrowed into my collarbone, his drool dripping down to wet my shoulder and my pillow below it.
I stood barefoot and still in jammies in the kitchen, prepping the coffee maker, washing dishes to load the dishwasher, and making lunch all at once. Suddenly, a blonde fairy came around the corner, sleepy eyes bright and green and cheeks flushed and rosy. She smiled at me and then turned to show me her naked bum, laughed, and ran away. A few minutes later she was fully dressed and I suddenly found myself with this thought: I wish I had my daughter's wardrobe.
Later, I brushed her hair and let it run through my fingers, feeling like silk and smelling like sweet dreams. She is very into long hair right now ("Just like yours, Mama!") and I confess that I dread the day she wants it cut. Sometimes I admire other little girls with their perfect smooth bobs and bangs or their short beautiful curls. And I laugh at her hair and it's indecisiveness, with the smooth and straight top layer falling smooth from the crown and the underlayer of perfect Shirley Temple curls. Poor girl got her daddy's good looks and her mommy's schizophrenic hair.
He wanted to be held, as usual, and followed me around with one hand tugging at my jammies and the other clutching blankie to his side. What started as protesting how rude I was being by trying to get ready for work soon turned into frantic crying and big, fat tears rolling down his delicious little cheeks. I bent and picked him up, sitting him on my hip and attempting to get the diaper bag and my work bag packed while also reminding Luca to get her shoes on. Suddenly, I remmebered I was still in my jammies and I needed to get dressed for work, but before I could move up the stairs he dug his toes into me and buried his head under my chin. This is new, and it makes me laugh because every time he does it I feel as though he's trying to bury himself in me and become one person all over again. I stop and rock him for a moment, patting his bum and running fingers over his peachy skin. "Are you my monkey baby?" I tease, and he smiles big, nods emphatically while saying, "Yeah." and then shyly buries his face in my shoulder again.
He called me Mommy for the first time, which made me swoon like crazy, but also made me wish I could freeze the world because these new language skills are a very blatant reminder of just how big he's getting.
Before we could leave the house, I had to get dressed upstairs and both kids followed me. Luca shut the bedroom door from the hallway and decided to tease Rohan by pulling hard on the handle without turning it. After I asked her twice to stop, she did it again and I had A Moment. So I raised my voice to Scary Mom level (not quite a yell, but you know the voice, right?) and made my daughter cry. Awesome. I immediately felt like shit for losing my cool, and sat on the steps with her so we could talk. I feel bad every blasted time Scary Mom comes out of her hovel, and for some reason she's been making more appearances lately. I'm not sure what it's about, but I do know it's not about them as much as it is about me. I think I need more zen in my life.
I offered to drop both kids off even though usually Darrick takes Luca since her preschool is on his campus. I knew it would make me late to work, but I also know that I love how Rohan plays peek-a-boo behind his blanket in the car, cracking up every time he pulls down the blanket and catches my eye in the rearview mirror. And I love how Luca tells me stories about all her new friends the whole drive and asks me to play "I spy" and then breaks the rules by telling me what color she spies and immediately following it up by telling me what item she spied. They make me laugh in the morning, which in itself is a grand feat.
When I got to Luca's preschool, she wanted to show me where the naptime 'things' go, so while she left her blanket in her backpack she took her stuffed toy over to the 'rest time basket'. Two other preschoolers followed us, and one of them looked me square in the eye and said, "Can I come play at Luca's house?" I laughed out loud without realizing what I was doing, mostly because I loved how she knew what she wanted and just threw it out there. I wondered, for a second, if the world would be a better place or a worse one if everyone was just upfront with what they wanted out of life. And I felt that mom burst of pride when I realized how much Luca loves school. She has new friends. She is learning and her confidence is growing. Even on the days when she's a bit too precocious for my taste and the days when it's almost painful for me to see her growing in such huge leaps and bounds, it's beautiful to see the person she's becoming.
I got into work late, ignored my sack lunch so I could go out with co-workers, and realized at 2 pm that I had never put on mascara so I ended up using my cell phone camera as a mock-mirror with which to apply it. Which somehow morphed into cleaning out my work bag and throwing away an obscene amount of trash. Like, embarassing piles of trash.
While Darrick was at the gym tonight, we ran to Target for diapers and wipes, which of course ended up meaning we got those plus 3 bags of 'stuff'. While in the food area looking for string cheese, an older woman pushed her shopping cart past ours and stopped to admire Luca and say hi. Not to be outdone, Rohan waved manically and called out, "Hi! Hi! Hi!" from his seat in the cart. She mooned over both kids, then turned to me and said, "You sure have your hands full, don't you?". Immediately I replied, "I do, but I'm blessed to have them so full."
And then, I felt like an ass.
She meant it in a kind way, I knew. And my response came off bitter and curt and possibly in a way that made her believe these were some miracle kids. And they are MY miracle kids, but not your traditional miracle kids and there I was, wondering how to backpedal. And apparently she was too, because she quickly replied, "Oh yes. They are the best blessings."
We walked away to finish shopping. And it nagged at me. If I had the chance, I thought I would go back up to that lady and tell her this: "My hands are full, and there are times I want to shut myself in a room with a hot bath and a book and no recollection of ever having created life in the first place. Sometimes, I look forward to work. Sometimes, I take my sweet time in the shower or tune out the whining and read a magazine. And once in a great while, I cannot help but daydream of a shopping trip void of whining kids begging to get in the stroller...no out now...no back in, and complete with a wad of cash in my wallet because in this alternate universe? The IS no preschool and no daycare, and thus I never have to worry about money. But more than anything, my life is full with her artwork and giggles and funny stories and his contagious smile and sweet kisses and warm cuddles in the morning."
But probably I would have just smiled, if I could do it over again, and went on shopping.