When I pictured mornings with a baby, I envisioned waking a peacefully sleeping infant from his crib and dressing him in an adorable outfit. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to fit waking him into my morning routine, but surely I could sandwich it in somewhere between recording my daily television shows and straightening my hair for the second time.
Fast forward three months into life with William, and the idea that I would work him into my schedule never fails to provide me with a good laugh at his 3 a.m. first breakfast. Not only did I overlook the well-known fact that the only place an infant peacefully sleeps is in someone’s arms, but I also severely underestimated a newborn’s power. Gone are the days when my husband and I were in charge of our lives. Clearly a new ruler has arrived, and his name is William.
As I frequently tell William, I’m not in the habit of picking just anyone’s nose, but my devotion to his bodily fluids fails to impress him, no matter how much I wear them. I was never much of a perfume girl, but he prefers me in eau de spit up. For those of you with less sophisticated palettes, it’s spoiled milk with a light hint of stomach acid. You can find it in fifty percent of all babies. If your baby is one of the lucky half, you can also find a higher water bill.
Clearing his mucus and changing his diaper only goes so far, however. William also likes to eat, and although Zack and I painstakingly try to anticipate his next feeding with the earnestness of high dealing Wall Street analysts, occasionally he suddenly wakes from an hour’s nap and is shocked to discover that a bottle has not already been prepared.
The outrage and disappointment in his parents cuts through our home alongside his screams. You can see in his eyes that our nursing home just went from five stars to two. If we pause to heat a bottle up, we better hope that Social Security is still around in fifty years because how can we expect our precious son to take care of us after such treatment?
William graciously allows us to live in his world, but we must remember at all times that we are simply his subjects. He often bestows a smile upon us lowly creatures, which we greedily live for, but just so we remember our place he’ll constantly change his demands. Just because the bouncy chair was the best thing in the world last minute does not mean that it is even remotely tolerable this minute.
I should have known. After all, my own mother simply requests my schedules in writing now before holidays or vacations. I like to think that it’s because of my superb planning and organizational skills, but perhaps it’s possible that there once was a ginger princess? Surely not. My parents just need my help in running their lives.
I already don’t know how I would run mine without William. (Although I suspect it would include more free time and straighter hair.)