Monday, January 2, 2012

In The Moment

Every January I welcome the new year with open arms...
I embrace the change. I look forward to seeking new horizons.
But when the clock struck midnight to give birth to 2012, my heart skipped a beat.
Holy crap. We're having a baby. Another one.
In just three months.
Where has the time gone?
My first pregnancy seemed to progress at a snail's pace. As each week passed, all I thought was, "When the heck is this going to be over?"
Now I feel like I'm in a race against time. And as the arrival of Baby Number Two looms, I can't help but freak out... even more than I normally do.

Part of that is due to the fact that Mackenzie -- sensing that she's not going to be the only child stealing my heart each and every day -- is on a nap strike in an attempt to spend even MORE time with mommy and to subsequently suck every last ounce of energy and patience out of me.
What's worse is that I feel guilty for not giving her my undivided attention 24/7. But no nap means I have to do the laundry and clean the dishes and take out the trash while Mackenzie is climbing on the bed and jumping off the coffee table and sliding down the stairs.
You'd think I'd have no time to worry about when the nursery will be painted or how long before the crib is delivered. No time to think about all the baby gear that has to come out of storage, or the pile of clothes that has mounted in Baby B's closet.
But the truth is, I've always managed to find time to worry.
For me, a new year always meant a fresh start. A clean diet, a new workout schedule, more ambitious goals at work, a promise to quit smoking. You know, the typical resolutions that we make as adults at the beginning of January.
Now I'm just trying to get through a single day without losing my patience when Mackenzie asks, "Mommy? Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?" and there's no follow up question. No, "Mommy, why is the sky blue?" or "Mommy, can I have some lunch money?"
It's like, "Yeah, I'm here. What's up?" and there's nothing more than, "Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?"
Instead, I'M the one with all the questions.
How do you dress a newborn? (Yes, I've already forgotten.)
When should I seriously start potty training?
How have I managed to collect so much crap over the last few years?
Why is it that I have four sets of bath towels and only one descent bra?
Should I just purge my closet and start anew after Baby Number Two?
Why do I still have honeymoon clothes hanging in there?
Will I ever wear those J. Lo booty shorts again? J. Lo booty shorts couldn't even save J. Lo's marriage.
Is that a gray hair?
Am I drinking enough water?
Have I felt the baby move in the last few hours?
Did Mackenzie really just poop AGAIN? Did Mackenzie really just stick that fruit snack up her nose?
Did Mackenzie really just plant herself on the floor in the middle of REI, refusing to move or be moved?
How much longer will I be able to bend over the tub to give her a bath?
Why do I even bother trying to care for house plants? I haven't even showered in two days.
Will Mackenzie think I love the baby more than I love her?
Do I need a second Diaper Genie?
Is it weird that Mackenzie is obsessed with the mailman?
Why am I putting away dirty plates? I swear I ran the dishwasher.
Will I ever sleep again?
All these questions, swimming through my head. In between errands and mealtimes and playtimes and bedtimes.
So what did I do? I went out and bought myself a tub of eucalyptus spearmint body scrub. For $16.
The last time I did that was about ten years ago, no joke. I used to use it religiously in the shower before applying self-tanner and painting my toe nails.
Today, my skin is a pasty white and I can't even SEE my own feet, let alone reach down comfortably to tie my laces. But there's something about this invigorating beauty practice -- sloughing off dead skin, essentially -- that makes me feel like a whole new woman. The stress just seems to disappear down the drain. So that once again I can exhale long enough to realize that the dishes will get done. The bed will get made. The nursery will get decorated. And in the end, what matters most is living in the moment. And enjoying each day while it lasts.  Getting caught up in reading the same book to your child over, and over, and over.  Singing along to Sesame Street and giggling together for no apparent reason.  Because before you know it... it's a new year... and a new year... and a new year.

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