Saturday, May 19, 2012

Second breakfast

By a quarter after midnight the three of us found ourselves around the kitchen table eating Cheerios (or Ciambelline, as they call them here). Rewind 45 minutes and you would have seen me walk into the bedroom where a sleeping Michael laid a few feet away from a sleeping Ada in her crib. Just 5 minutes past that, and the whole scene would have been thrown into chaos.

I felt heavy and tired from a day of not being my best self. Despite my efforts to start anew with the determination to make the best of a so-far not-so-good day, my positivity lasted as long as Ada's afternoon nap—and it was pitifully brief. By 5:30 that evening, Ada was in the tub sink and I was ready to throw in the towel.

Ada went down a bit early, and so did Mike. Shortly after 9 I was alone in the kitchen with a few hours to think about how crappy my day was and how poorly I handled it. At 11:30, as I crawled into bed and cozied up to Mike I started crying. My tears woke him up, and minutes later my sniffles woke up the baby.

Pull it together, Paige.

I moved the crib out, then swept Ada up in my arms. I closed the bedroom door quietly behind me and softly sat on the couch. I sang to her as sweetly as I could, stroked her cheek and rocked her gently— the actions imbued with regret and apology. Repentance for a day where her mama couldn't hold her face to the stone. So I thought I would indulge her with lullaby upon lullaby and as much time as she needed before falling limp and sleepy into bed.

Every time I tried to lay what I thought was deeply sleeping Ada in her crib, I felt her grip my arm or my neck before writhing in protest. After nearly 40 minutes I laid her down, and this time, she was quiet for a few moments after I closed my bedroom door.

The shock of a cry cutting through the dead night air still surprises me. I don't think I'll ever get used to the change in volume, mood and motion that ensues after it breaks. I let her cry for a few minutes before Mike rumbled something about being hungry and getting up. So I got up, brought Ada to bed with me, but the sound of Cheerios bouncing off a cereal bowl sent her into a hunting-dog like frenzy.

So there we were, 12:15 AM, eating an unreasonably early breakfast, and not all too happy about it. My exhaustion gave way to punchiness and the scene struck me as so funny, though being the culprit of bringing us all to that point, I did my best to hide my smiles and muffle my giggles.

None of it was funny when Ada was up for the day at 5:15. But by 7:30 Mikey was up, and there we were again, having breakfast together, this time with the sun shining. We went for a walk and pushed Ada in the swings. I took a morning nap (and hallelujah so did Ada) and when we left for an afternoon of swings, slides, the carousel and gelato, the memory of the night before landed back in the funny category. I think it's there to stay for a while.

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