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Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Well, I just experienced a mini-miracle. I put Riley in his crib, turned on his mobile, and ten minutes later he just...fell asleep. On his own. I didn't rock him or tell him a wandering, plot-hole-laden story about a little bear who was named Riley, and what this little bear did, is he took a nice nap whenever he was cranky, because he was soooo tired, and then there was a butterfly the end.

He just went to sleep! All by himself. Hot damn, people. Next thing you know he'll be microwaving his own formula and getting online to fuck with my Netflix queue.

Riley turned 4 months old on the 31st. (By the way, JB and I rang in the New Year by barely staying awake until midnight, then watching the Seattle fireworks on television. Yes. The only thing that would have made the evening lamer is if we had also watched, inexplicably, Mission Impossible 2 earlier. Which, uh.) I know it seems kind of obvious that a four-month old is a completely different entity than a newborn, but the changes are so sweeping I can hardly believe my own eyes. He plays with toys now, and has an utterly strange and charming little staccato heh-heh, heh-heh laugh. His neck is strong, and it's amazing to be able to pick him up under the arms and watch his head stay upright. He takes in everything with bright button eyes, and he loves to be held so his feet touch the ground or our laps. "Walky, walky, walky," we say, marching our baby up and down, and he smiles with his mouth wide open. He still loves that changing table, and has started crowing excitedly while he's on it. "Aroooooooooooooo," he'll say, furiously pumping his arms and legs, panting and grinning. God, he's such a little weirdo.

I love him so damn much.

Today JB went back to work, head hanging low. He's been so wrapped up in this construction project we've got going on (guess what? The workers found a septic tank today! Which we did not know about! Surprise, here is an old container of poop!) and enjoying spending time with Riley I think he's truly depressed about heading back to the office.

Me, I go back tomorrow. I'll be working Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and staying home the rest of the week. Sometimes I think this is the best possible compromise. Sometimes I think of being away from Riley, even that much, and my heart kind of seizes up. But that's life, right? Hard choices. Maybe you really do get to have it all, but the kicker is: not all at the same time.

The drive-through Starbucks in my neighborhood has an oddly chatty group of employees, either that or making idle conversation is a job requirement, like the Blockbuster people who shout a perfunctory "HELLO" at you when you enter the store. Anyway, the other day I was paying for my latte fix and the cashier asked me what I was up to. "Heading home," I said. He asked if I'd had a busy day, and then asked if I was off from work. This already was surpassing my small talk tolerance, but suddenly I found myself going on and on about how I'd been on maternity leave, so I'd been off work for four months now, and it was time to go back, and how it felt really weird, how I was dreading it and kind of looking forward to it all at the same time, did he know what I meant?

So embarrassing. The Starbucks guy actually had to sort of cut me off. "Well, here's your latte!" he said heartily. "Good luck!"

Later, when I recounted the story to JB, he dismissed the Starbucks Guy's response. "Dude had no game," he told me. "He should have at least said 'congratulations' on the baby. Chicks like to hear that."

Game? Ladies and gentlemen, my husband.

In preparation for re-entering the workforce, I have done the following:

• Overplucked eyebrows in failed attempt to create 'natural arch'
• Filed nails so as to improve typing ability
• Stared into closet, fell to knees and murmured prayer of thanks for working at uber-casual office
• Downloaded incredibly stupid yet awesome song called "How's Your Whole....Family" for purpose of cheering self in morning while attempting to ready child for daycare/shampoo hair/drink fifteen cups of coffee/leave house before 10 AM

Watch out, world! Uh, here I come.


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