I Miss That Baby

I had a lot of errands to do today and the day is only half over. This morning, I went to the PO to pick up a package and realized they didn’t open for 40 minutes, so I went to a grocery nearby to see what cheap things I could buy to put together some food for me and this kid for the coming week. My thoughts were focused on him as I selected each item – what could I make that we would both enjoy, that doesn’t cost too much, that’s flavorful and healthy. Organic was out this week, just not in the budget, so I shopped the “clean 15” as best I could and made some compromises on some other stuff – cheap bacon, cheap ham. Sometimes you have to make the hard choices. The factory farmed ham is marginally better than pesticide-laden produce, so that was this week’s choice.

Then to the PO and then home, where I cooked a bunch of stuff for the week ahead. It’s going to have to be breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day for us both all week as there is no money leftover to go out. If I forget my lunch this week, I’ll be skipping a meal as punishment. I had hoped to make bread and avoid buying it, but my arms are still so sore from my arm workout earlier this week, where I overdid it and woke up my tennis elbow, so no kneading today, had to buy bread too. I don’t eat bread very much, but D likes it for his lunches or for toast or whatever. And I can stretch a meal by giving him a butter sandwich on the side, instead of him eating an entire pound of meat and all the produce I have.

As I cook, I listen to an app that plays various songs along whatever theme or sample song I enter (I Heart Radio). Suddenly, Christopher Cross’ “Sailing” came on. This isn’t a terribly exciting song, and while it’s a nice song, it never impacted me in any way until I had a baby. At a certain age, we found that playing music and standing up rocking him was the only way to get him to sleep. Sitting and rocking didn’t work. Nothing worked, for a while. And not all music worked either. By process of elimination, we discovered that “light rock” type songs worked best to soothe him. We made a CD of the songs that worked best, a strange combination of things like “Right Time of the Night” by Reba McIntyre and “Let Your Love Flow” by the Bellamy Brothers and of course “Sweet Baby James” by JT. But it was Sailing that seemed to have almost a magic effect. As soon as it started, he would instantly calm down and remain that way during the entire song. We experimented with it and it seemed to work every time, better than any other song. I must have listened to that song 300 times during his infancy, if not more. I never tired of it. It’s a pleasant song and it meant a happy baby.

When the song came on today while I was in the middle of cooking, it caught me in my tracks and I just sat down at the table and started crying. My son has grown up so much since he started kindergarten, he almost seems like a different person. Gone is the gentle boy, and now there is this roaring child, who got a “sad point” from the teacher last week because he was screaming at the top of his lungs in class during someone’s birthday party. He’s got my loudness, unfortunately, and will always get notes home about being too loud. It’s almost impossible to keep a lid on. I get it.

I remembered rocking and rocking that kid until I thought my back would break. How his eyes would get all glassy and tired and unable to focus so I knew he was finally getting drowsy. And I’d lay him down gently in his little crib, with it’s crisp white sheet with the teeny little cars on it, and tiptoe out of the room, hoping for at least a couple of hours of peace. I’d welcome that crying right about now, I can tell you. I miss the shit out of it. I miss that sweet baby, who was always smiling and being silly when he wasn’t crying and upset that he couldn’t sleep. Latched on and snoozing in the bed beside me. Wrapped in my moby wrap and browsing the farmer’s market with me. Stuck into my Ergo carrier and checking out the woods on a hike. His soft little hands and his tiny little toenails. I miss him.

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