Bayboh has suddenly realized that he can grab anything he can see. Plates, bowls, hair, the paper I'm trying to cut neatly while also holding him. But his feet may be the favorite. He especially loves to grab the free one while nursing and absentmindedly do yoga stretches with it.
I'm ashamed to admit (though I comfort myself by doing things like adding up the number of addresses we've had since then as an excuse) that in the seven years since my father died, the only photo we've had regularly visible of him is a fairly random snapshot stuck to the fridge. One that we stuck to the fridge when we got it, years before he died, and which comes off the fridge with every moving out and goes back on the fridge with every moving in, just like everything else.
He himself was more than averagely committed to family archives. We used to have evenings when the slide projector came out of its crumbling box in the closet (I remember the acrid smell of the cardboard and the hot smell of dust on the bulb) and the organized cases would be looked over, each of us having some say in which tiny acrylic box of the past should be opened next, to see if we could recognize the younger faces of our loved ones, ourselves, our never-met long-buried relatives (except now I realize they weren't so long-buried, really; less long than seven years, anyway, but when you're 5, anything that happened "before you were born" belongs to the realm of myth). To hear again a few tiny snippets of stories, fairly dull ones, mostly, except that they had happened to us or to the people that were our parents. (And there were some exciting stories, too, to be fair, like the one that went with the photo of a bowl full of crawling caterpillars and with its successor, the photo of a bowl full of charred caterpillars, ready to be served. My parents admitted they hadn't actually eaten those horrible-looking things, but that they had been in the presence of people cooking and eating caterpillars was quite exciting enough.)
For that and other reasons, I regret that we don't have my favorite photos of him out where we can see them. So yesterday, I finally opened up the digital folder of pictures we'd selected for the memorial service and started to think about which ones I might want to print. The kids came in and looked over my shoulder, asking, "Who is that?" Shocked to see photographic evidence that I was once a child, that their grandparents were once quite young, they soon accepted that time is strange and photographs make it stranger. That baby in the black and white picture - was that Mr. P? No? Shmoogie? No. Mommy?
Before you were born, I say, before I was born, even, echoing the warm voices that swell over the remembered sound of the projector fan, the shush-chunk of the advancing slides, and the irritated mumbling of my father as he cleared the inevitable jam so the show could go on.
Two photos from now, for the sake of the archives...
Not sleeping much, on account of two seemingly giant teeth trying to erupt, but his evening cereal (with prunes, for reasons) always makes Bayboh very happy. He is bouncing and flapping his arms, alternately laughing and singing out, "Uh-hah! Uh-hah! Uh! Uh! Huh-AH!!"
A new tiny fig tree is making me very happy. It's been a long time since we had a houseplant (to be fair, there is a lovely little cactus on the kitchen windowsill that survived the road trip and my poor plant keeping skills).
Until recently, I was carefully recording exactly how much milk I pumped each time. There's a pretty nice little app for that(there are probably several, but that's the one I used). I can't say it wasn't interesting to see how time between pumpings or time of the month or who knows what else affected the amount pumped, but it was also a little anxiety producing. And I finally realized I had probably learned what I was going to learn from it and that, really, I was never going to go and export the logs to make fancy graphs to cull more detailed correlations than my gut was already aware of. So I stopped keeping track.
It's a pretty nice feeling, letting go of a little thing like that. What's the most surprisingly freeing little thing you've ever let go of?
In the current moment, there is time for being in the current moment. There is time for creativity of various sorts. There is time for nursing and pumping and, when that's not enough, ordering UK-made formula because someone told me it's better than the American kind. It smells better, so I believe them. There is time for handwriting practice and math homework checking and taking the dictation of spelling-word-bespangled stories. There is time for teacher conferences. There is time for Lego princess projects and watching over bubble baths. There is time for packing lunches and eating dinner and taking showers (almost daily!) and giving baths (weekly) and clipping many, many nails. There is time for listening and talking and time for worrying and time for dreaming and time for sleeping. There is time for laughing (every day, laughing with our silly Bayboh; just once, a real date to see John Oliver live when we would normally be sleeping). There is time for knitting. There is time for loving and living and wishing there was more time and knowing there always and never is.
An hour in to our whole-family visit to the doctor's for a checkup for Baybo and flu shots for everyone else, I decided I would not purposely schedule something like that early in the week again while we are a two-full-time-job family.
That was Monday night at 6pm. We wouldn't actually get home until almost 8. I can only hypothesize that it was the tech's first day on the job. If this were my first baby, I probably would have cried.
A day later, thinking ahead to another long day on Thursday due to a morning conference with Mr. P's teacher, I decided I would never purposely schedule two things in one week, either.
With nothing profound to say, I will distract you instead with a photo of cuteness at 4 months.