September 30, 2007

The Rain has arrived, the dark and penetratingly chilly variety that we’ll see off and on throughout the fall, winter, spring, and the odd day of summer when it causes you to shake your fist at the Pacific Northwest weather gods, howling that it’s July for fuck’s sake, give us a goddamned break.

The days are shorter and it’s depressingly cold and unfriendly at 6 AM, which is exactly when Riley chose to start bleating from his room this morning like a malfunctioning alarm clock. I lay there in our bedroom listening to him grouse, thinking 1) what I wouldn’t give for a shock collar about now, and 2) this second kid thing, this upcoming newborn with all the months of interrupted sleep caused by such a creature . . . my god, my god, this has all been a REALLY TERRIBLE IDEA.

I know lots of people eschew caffeine altogether during pregnancy, but as far as I’m concerned, a hot cup of coffee is often the difference between wallowing in bleakness for the entirety of the day, and deciding that ha ha, sleep is overrated, why just look at all the marvelous things a person can get done before 8 AM if they put their mind to it! Such as drinking a second cup of coffee. Mmm.

Too bad you can’t siphon off just a drop or two of toddler energy, like if they secreted a lickable stimulant similar to those poisonous frogs. As I type this, Riley is engaged with galloping back and forth in the hall, his little pajama’d feet going pah pah pah pah pah pah pah—a repetitive sort of game but one I heartily endorse as it doesn’t typically involve pelting his ball into various breakable objects—and this is after he spent a good fifteen minutes practicing various ways to violently throw his body onto the couch (current favorite: the Spawning Salmon Maneuver).

(Now he’s kicking his ball up and down the hallway. He’s pretty good at this. I feel like I can see into my future when I watch him Pelé his way around, and it involves many Saturdays standing under an umbrella at a soccer field. Clutching a latte, of course. Maybe there’s a minivan nearby. Oh, god.)

I really am looking forward to meeting the tiny person who’s been studiously engaged with kicking my various internal organs over the last few weeks, but on dark raining mornings I can’t help wondering why we haven’t biologically evolved to produce children when they’re at a more stable age. Sure, newborns are adorable and squishy and all that, but why can’t they spring forth fully-formed and ready to sleep through the night and pitch in with the housework? Come on, DARWINISM.


27 Responses to “Sunday morning: easy like”

  1. mandy on September 30th, 2007 9:00 am

    OR, one that had an “on/off” button!? ‘Cause that’d be cool. Maybe the next time.

  2. honeybecke on September 30th, 2007 9:16 am

    ha ha, I remember thinking the same thing when I was pregnant with our no. 2, Trevor. Here we had just gotten things working well with our almost two year old and now we were starting it all over. Huh?? Wha?? The first few weeks after Trevor was born (we call it the six weeks survival-mode) it was uhm, a little crazy and hard. Then the dust settled and a great sleeper emerged, thankfully!
    The second time around was a little easier in a way. I suppose it’s because you have a working product( your Riley, my Elliot) that shows all the progress you’ve worked towards and it just makes it a little easier because look! toddler who knows…stuff! It’s pretty neat to look at them side by side and know what is to come. I hope that makes some sense.

    And while yay it’s all easier now, this weekend we are in the middle of moving into a new! bigger! house and ooohmygod it’s insanity trying to do this with an almost two year old and a three month old! So, at least you won’t have to move…but, come to think of it all your remodel crap is probably just about as bad!

  3. Jenny H. on September 30th, 2007 9:41 am

    I would sell my soul for a child with an On/Off button!! Or maybe just my children! Kidding. Maybe…

    There was NO WAY IN HELL I WAS GIVING UP COFFEE DURING EITHER OF MY PREGNANCIES! Although the Coffee Police, or as I like to call her-Mom, severely limited my intake.

    The big meanie.

  4. Liz in Australia on September 30th, 2007 9:44 am

    I personally think pregnancy and child-rearing would be so much more pleasant if we’d just had the sense to descend from marsupials. When they get big enough to start getting really uncomfortable, you can just kick them out of the pouch instead of having to wait til they’re old enough to be born! Plus when they are born, of course, they’re only the size of a jellybean. See, far more intelligent.

    As for the early mornings, just don’t ask why I’m awake when it’s currently 2:45am over here. The baby hasn’t even been born yet and I’m already seriously sleep-deprived. Why my body thinks I need extra practice at that in preparation, I really don’t know…

  5. Alyson on September 30th, 2007 9:52 am

    Never, NEVER give in to the urge to buy a minivan! I raised three boys, and the closest I ever came to a minivan was a GMC Envoy and that was jettisoned when our oldest was in his second year of college for a smaller, sportier yet still very functional car. The proliferation of Honda Odyssey Minivans must be stopped!

  6. shy Victoria on September 30th, 2007 10:27 am

    I like the idea of harnessing toddler energy… Those things never stop!

  7. Eric's Mommy on September 30th, 2007 10:45 am

    No Minivan! We did rent one when we went to Disney and it was very practicle, but it was still a minivan!

    I love the “spawning salmon maneuver”

  8. Melissa on September 30th, 2007 10:45 am

    Ah – I’m feeling the same. I’ve got my toddler running around like crazy, the house is a disaster and I have “morning” sickness day and night. I’m scared of having a new baby added to the mix myself. Just assuming that other people do it and we’ll manage. In no time, the kids will be 5 or 6 and the newborn toddler time will seem so far off that we’ll probably look back with longing – in some ways. Funny how that works. :)

  9. Swistle on September 30th, 2007 10:46 am

    This post had so much yummy goodness in it. “Give us a goddamned break.” “Bleating…like a malfunctioning alarm clock.” “What I wouldn’t give for a shock collar.” “Lickable stimulant similar to those poisonous frogs.” Etc.

  10. andrea on September 30th, 2007 11:21 am

    I refused to give up my morning coffee during pregnancy and I wasn’t even trying to chase after a wild toddler at the time. Especially around these gloomy parts, it is the only thing that gets me out of the house some mornings.

    I think an on/off switch is a brilliant idea. I’d love to make sure version 2.0 comes out with one of those already installed.

  11. Katie on September 30th, 2007 12:31 pm

    “malfunctioning alarm clock!” YOU ARE SO RIGHT. That is what I have living in the bedroom next to mine as well. Why don’t they have any snooze buttons on them?

    I am choosing to think that it will be “better” with the second one, because we will know that it is only temporary and it goes by way too quickly and soon they will both be sleeping through the night and we’ll be crying silent tears over their baby photos. Right? Right? Oh I hope I’m right because I am already dreading number 2 and he isn’t even conceived yet!

  12. ShannonJ on September 30th, 2007 1:40 pm

    I am “blessed” with a 3-year old who considers 7 am to be sleeping in. Most mornings we’re up between 5:30 and 6. Her little brother is slightly better, he’ll go til 6:30 and sometimes close to 7.

    Speaking of the little brother, it truly is amazing how different you think and act with the second. Sometimes I’ll be washing dishes while he’s toddling about, and I’ll just stand there and watch him climb his way up on top of the kitchen table, thinking, “just let me finish this one dish”. Good thing I’m not planning a third – that one would get to help me wash them.

    Oh, and half-caff is always a nice option if you want TWO cups of coffee! :) Starbucks has recently shipped bags of it to my local grocer.

  13. Jennifer on September 30th, 2007 2:16 pm

    We got the rain up north in B’Ham also, and it was accompanied by 45-mph wind gusts, which translated into “sound of firehose blasting the bedroom windows all night.” No kids bleating, but one very frightened cat spent the night alternating between howling in panic and vomiting (having gotten herself into a hyperventilative state by all the howling).

    Sooooo… yep, welcome to the beginning of the winter and “let’s find indoor activities to do.” Definitely accompanied by coffee. Even decaf if we must, since a mere one cup in the morning won’t get us through the dark days of winter.

    I’m hoping for a reprieve after this system goes through… nicer days will still be ours in October.

  14. omu on September 30th, 2007 3:23 pm

    Oh god… winter is coming, and with it is a toddler stuck in the house! Eeeekkk!! Hopefully he’ll be content padding up and down the hallway to burn his effervescent energy. Well, and maybe chasing the dogs around the basement. (Poor dogs!)

    I saw a little one at my horse show today that was just cute enough to almost make me want a second… and then I remembered I think I’d die with a second. Still, it was pretty fun flirting with the idea for a while.

  15. Claire on September 30th, 2007 3:25 pm

    Being a first time mom, I sometimes think the exact same thing at 3 AM, when he’s so wide awake and eager to eat, while I am using every ounce of my being to keep from falling asleep and falling right out of the chair.

    And I drank a soda probably every other day during pregnancy, and a latte here and there, because most doctors say under 300 mg a day won’t really hurt a fetus. And besides, my baby came out just fine!

  16. Deanna on October 1st, 2007 4:26 am

    I made a deal with hubby when preggers w/ baby number 2. I’d cut back to 1 can of tuna a week but I get 1 cup of coffee and all the coke and iced tea I want.

    Sidenote: have you ever thought about the evolution of the coffee cup. Those tiny little things held- what? 4 ounces or 6 maybe? Quite refined. Ours- I think hold 16-20?? We have big jumbo lattee bowl cups around here. When did that start? And does anyone still use those delicate little cups -other than to hold hairpins or jewelry on a dresser or to make into bird feeders on a pike??

  17. Kaire on October 1st, 2007 5:37 am

    What is it with the free form couch diving of kids his age? “Watch!” is my great nephew’s mantra as he finds different ways to hurl his whole body forcefully into the cushions!

  18. Pam on October 1st, 2007 5:46 am

    My monday morning mental image is of you licking Riley’s cheeks trying to extract some toddler energy, while I sip my hot coffee and cream.
    Early morning rain sounds lovely for snuggling in forgetting the day’s routine.

  19. Barb on October 1st, 2007 5:49 am

    You mean you aren’t supposed to have coffee when pregnant? Damn, and I smoked, too. Of course that was 25 and 30 years ago when nobody knew better. And my doctor didn’t even care.

    Maybe that’s why one of my kids is so screwed up. Can I blame it on that please?

  20. ang on October 1st, 2007 6:37 am

    Don’t you Dare do the minivan thing! I’m unashamedly a soccer mom and I totally rock it out with a convertible. Because I’m cool like ‘dat. Also, I only have one rugrat.

  21. superblondgirl on October 1st, 2007 7:35 am

    I second the on-off switch. I would heartily endorse THAT genetic engineering.

    God, Linda, you write so freaking well. The part about 6 am, the kid as alarm clock, you and your coffee and the ball in the hall (I am Dr. Seuss!!)? Reads like a good novel, and I can totally picture all of it. You are going to write a book someday, right?

  22. Kristin on October 1st, 2007 7:40 am

    I’ve actually missed the dark, gray rains — it feels so cozy inside the house, and to hear the rain pelting the ferns through the open window. I’m sure that will be short-lived, though, and soon I’ll be cursing the rain clouds like all good North-Westerners.

    (Nolan slept in till 6:04 this morning. I think that marks the first time he’s slept later than Riley!)

  23. Brooke on October 1st, 2007 10:39 am

    I love the rain, although it makes my commute hell. ‘Course I live in SoCal, where we get precious little of it, and certainly not enough to tire of it (at least lately). Last night was our first night with the flannel sheets on the bed, mmmmm. Getting up was very hard this morning.

    I’d love a mute button on our kids. Or maybe a Shut Up and Git’cher Homework Done Already button.

    Oh, and I am a weak soul who cannot give up caffeine while pregnant. I do cut back, but I still drink about 20 oz. of soda at lunch every day.

  24. LauraH on October 1st, 2007 1:53 pm

    Sometimes, and I say somtimes, so you don’t come after me if I’m wrong, the second one is the exact opposite of the first…sometimes they sleep through the night, wake with a gurgly smile every morning and hare content to spend the day (or most of it) in their bouncy chair. My children were opposites like that.

  25. Amy M. on October 1st, 2007 2:43 pm

    Hmmm, I didn’t get an email when this posted . . .

    I definitely didn’t give up my coffee. I did end up going 1/2 caf, though, so I could have the same # of cups each morning.

    I don’t understand the animosity toward minivans! I have an Element (boxy small SUV), but I would love the extra seating capacity & various accoutrements minivans provide. Especially when the grandparents visit & we can’t all fit in 1 car.

  26. lee on October 1st, 2007 3:06 pm

    can you imagine the pain of birth if the child came out fully formed and ready to do housework? especially when they come out dragging that pink dyson vacuum behind them!

  27. serror on October 1st, 2007 4:10 pm

    I also don’t understand the aversion to mini-vans, if they are useful to your situation. They get better gas milage (better for the enviro and wallet) than those giant suburban type things that have as many seats, but also have better safety ratings. I know they aren’t the most “cool” car on the road, but also one doesn’t really need a mini-van if you family totals 4, right? I have all these friends who ran out and bought a mini-van when they found out they were going to have a second child. I guess I don’t see the point.
    Besides, I think Sundry won’t be giving up her beloved car VW anytime soon!

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