Thursday, April 26, 2018

Trader Joes: Now with 20% More Naps

So I had a throw-back moment of bliss yesterday afternoon. Not pre-baby, but mannnnnn. The briefest of recaps: my daughter is three. That's it. Now all those who were silent when the "OH MY GOD the TWOs" were having their say, they have now stepped up to say, "Okay the TWO's? They don't know what they were talking about it, because it's three that's the nightmare, it's fshhhhhhhewwwooo, it will knock you on your ass, seriously." I am in agreement, because about two weeks before the 3rd birthday, all the crazy-ass supreme leader tendencies jacked up ten levels, and we were, indeed, all fshhhhhhhewwwooo. As your little one grows, the frequency with which very earnest loved ones and strangers admonish you to "CHERISH EVERY MOMENT" decreases, which --lovely intent aside --  also decreases overall cortisol levels and lowers the probability of seemingly random punches.

So the 3.0 child is 20% more awesome and nth% more trying, so it all depends on the moment over here. She talks/sings/demands through the one naptime, is exceedingly vocal about all her caprices; and is adept at trying to shift the daily narratives ("MOMMY, YOU are not COOPERATING with ME!").  It could be said I exist in parallel: I'm variously vocal about my caprices, am also crafting the daily narrative, but here we diverge -- I long for the shutdown, the quiet renewal. Would that I had a calm nap time, I would gloriously bask. The closest we ever get to naps these days are sporadic car naps, with those figuring in once every three weeks or so. I'd say the last two minutes of our ten minute drive to Trader Joe's she succumbed. Out like a light: I lifted her out of the car seat, with no stirring. Experimentally, I sat us down on a bench by the entrance and she snored softly. Her weight eased against me, her legs dangling on either side of my hips.  I closed my eyes, felt the warm spring breeze and the sun on my face, heard grocery cart clangs and people on their phones. Pat Benatar gave way to "Sussudio" to T'Pau to Soft Cell and I felt mildly shamed to fall so clearly into a target demographic -- I was alternately appalled by the cheese and delighted by old favorites, but I knew every song from its first sound.

Better than sleep? Total relaxation, without oblivion.  And this child, sleeping on me, with the freedom to just sit and feel it. I don't remember when this last occurred. And how often will it happen in the future? She woke up a couple times, looked in my face, frowned, and plunked her head back down on my chest. She was determined not to go anywhere. I caught up on bookmarked articles on my phone, nodded at passersby. We started our shopping trip after an hour, while she was still woozy with sleep, and disinclined to engage with random shoppers who wanted the boost of momentary kid time. By the time we reached the nearest park, however, she was full of vim and vinegar. She noted the park was filled with people. "I will tell them about my scooter," she said before bellowing: "KIDS!!! I HAVE...A SCOOTER!!!" The 7 year olds on the soccer field took no notice. She pursed her lips and gazed around, before spying a brother and sister at a nearby play structure. I unbuckled her scooter helmet and off she ran.

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