Presently, Aaron is weeding and planting some Dwarf Mondo grass along the border of our fence. William is swaddled and sleeping in his bouncy, as he seems to prefer to drift to sleep in the arms of a blanket than to flail in mine. Clara, too, is napping in her “new bed.” Our naptime and bedtime routines now include “nuggle” time. “Mama, Nuggle!,” I hear before we close the curtains and climb in bed. While nuggling, we often talk about what she can and cannot hit (“Hit Dadda no. Hit Baby no. Hit wall yes. Hit pillow yes. Hit Lila no. Hit racecar yes.”, etc.). We say a thank-you for all our family and friends and for chocolate milk and puzzles and the sun. I sometimes am enlisted to mock-breastfeed her three baby dolls.
We went to a church today and had an awful time of it. No one made eye contact and as Clara screamed a loud “No!” to who-knows-what during the middle of communion, a couple ladies in the pew raised their eyebrows at my hectic life. Clara’s dress was on backwards (the buttons always go in the back, right?) and her ankles were speckled with mosquito bites from gardening with Dad yesterday. Her hair was brushed around 9:00 a.m. but by the end of the two hour service, it was quite fuzzy and unkempt. I was alternatively breastfeeding in the pew, finagling my dress so as not to be uncouth, and standing in the aisle to bounce William into quietude. The organ was daunting, the choir was powerful, there was not a single wrinkle or off-season color to be found in the congregation, the reverend went to Princeton, the perfection was overwhelming. I hate it when I’m confronted by real perfection. In my little world, I often feel darn near close to it since I manage to get dressed by 10:00 a.m., sweep the floor every other day, and fix dinner almost every night. Then I meet people whose children don’t cry or poop in public places.
But we’ve had a nice weekend. Here’s the photo shoot:
Clara has taken to brushing her teeth in William’s baby bath.
We had our first pizza and movie night on Friday. We brought home some Little Ceasar’s “Hot n’ Ready” and moved the computer into the family room to watch Rango. I mentioned to Aaron that he’s always either shirtless or wearing his boxer shorts in every picture I take and post. This may or may not be appropriate, I’m not sure (I blame my abidingly loose definition of “appropriate” on my upbringing). We watched 37:10 of Rango and hope to reach a full forty minutes on our next Movie Night.
Later that night, we sang from The Mother Goose Songbook. As I tried my best to hit the high notes in “Pop! Goes the Weasel,” Aaron informed me that often in our bedtime singing sessions, I hit the major third instead of the minor third. It’s a common mistake, he consoled. Well, I informed him that in many of his emails, he will often use a comma rather than a semi-colon to separate two short and related sentences. Another common mistake, I offered. And so this is marriage at almost ten years—where even the most petty exchanges are teasing and easy.
That is what you call a sheet. Part of our evening ritual now includes Clara’s 8:15 p.m. call for “A Sheet! A Sheet!,” which she and Aaron will fit over themselves and the air conditioner vent for a cooling parachute effect. They’ll hang out here and have their evening chat.
Which makes Clara a very happy girl.
It’s downright impossible to “googly, googly” one’s baby into a smile and then capture it with the camera. This is the closest I got.
I continue to notice how similar Clara and I can be. Clara definitely inherited or acquired along the way my propensity for a little emotional drama every now and then. She remains at once frightfully independent and desperate to do right and please. At times, to be honest, I’m just a little fearful of her spirit. It’s so strong and tender at the same time, and I want both to protect it and to parent it. But—and I know we’re talking about a six-week-old here, there seems to be so much less to fear with a boy.
Today we did what will hopefully be the first craft of many to come. Thanks to a gift from Clara’s aunt and cousin, we made our first stepping stone for the yard.
Clara was very impressed by how it turned out.