What’s that saying “the bloom is off the rose?” It means that the thrill is gone. The newness has worn off. There is no longer new car smell.
Lucy still smells like a baby. At least once a week as I close my eyes to fall asleep there are tears on my cheeks. My nose is pressed against the top of her head, inhaling. And at least once a month MQD will ask “Are you okay?”
Always my answer is the same. “She’s getting so big.” She just walked by me now with the television remote control in her hand. Great. I can add Lucy to the reasons I can never find it.
My baby is almost ten months old. Ten months. For ten months she has slept next to me at night. She has napped in my lap in “our chair.” She nurses on demand and she is not shy in her demanding. She will not take a bottle. And I haven’t really tried all that hard to convince her. This is exactly what I had hoped for when I made the decision to stay at home with her.
I do not long for nights out on the town. I am not craving an evening alone with my husband. We carve out time. It works for us. She will be little for such a short time.
She used to nap for an hour a few times a day. I needed the rest, too. It was Lucy Enforced down time for me. As she nears a year old her naps are growing less frequent. But they are growing longer. I’d like very much to put her down for one of them. I have tears on my keyboard while I type that. Jeez, I am not shipping her off to boarding school. I am just considering putting her down while she takes a nap. I’m not even talking the “It’s 10 am, put the baby in the crib and close the door until 11” naptime. I am thinking maybe we both lie down on the floor in the living room so that when she falls asleep I can roll away from her and stand up and empty the dishwasher without “help.” (I like to dream big, remember.)
The baby smell is not gone. But perhaps the bloom is off the rose. I am not sure if I am holding on to her for me or for her. And when I start to feel like I am making choices for my children based on my needs and not theirs it is time to examine those choices. She is my last baby. Remember when you came home with a newborn and they slept on your chest? I don’t want to let that go.
Em came in to our bedroom the other night with a wicked cough. I got her some cough medicine and checked her for a temperature. I was preparing to make her a spot in our bed when she said “I can just sleep on the couch with Fisher, Mom.”
“Are you sure? I mean, you have a cough,” I said. I could hear how ridiculous it sounded when it came out of my mouth. It was a cough. Not meningitis. She slept that night on the couch. And soon Lucy will take a nap without my boob in her face. And she will be just fine. But I don’t have to like it.
This afternoon I made the decision to Keep the flowers on my kitchen table and to Donate a few of those crummy vases from the florist that you keep stashed behind your wine glasses. And for the Trash?
Just like I can’t figure out a way to make my baby stay a baby – I also can’t seem to figure out how to get an orchid to bloom again. In the coming weeks while I adjust to the idea that Lucy needs to start napping on her own I am going to pretend I am crying over this orchid. Yup. I sure am. Because what is more sad than an orchid without a single bloom?
*Can you name the novel the title for this post comes from?! Bonus points if you saw this play with me a hundred years ago.