Three years ago this Sunday, I called Phyllis to wish her a Happy Momz Day. Also, to mention that she was going to be a grandma — “Oh, I didn’t tell you I was dating? Here, talk to my fetusdaddy” — and goodgod I was going to be someone’s MOTHER.
Which meant that once a year, in recognition of all the thankless toil and resultant “self-medicating,” I’d get a holiday! A day in which I would be celebrated by Captain Powerjizz and our adoring love-fruit, and the only demands on me would be sleeping in, skimming Elle, and obeying Mike’s admonishments to take more from the vodka-and-caviar sampler “because a girl needs some fuel between all these punishing orgasms.”
This Sunday, I’ll be expecting all of the above, and also an hour to myself in which Eliot is not screamingly imploring me for “Juuuuuuuice??! Baaaaah-baaaaaaah??” (and Michael isn’t outshouting her with “Fellaaaaaatiooohhhh??!”) and Nola isn’t cramming her giant baby-cranium into that SAME DAMN SPOT between the fireplace and the club chair then wailing because this time it was supposed to feel awesome.
And in my magical hour, I will reflect that parenting isn’t always going to be like this, and I will CRY BUCKETS.
The hardwoods are dirty. I know this because Nola has mastered her wounded-soldier crawl, and the front of her clothes look like she just got off a shift at the brake shop. But because I refuse to mop every day and haven’t yet sewn her Coat of a Thousand Swiffers, we have to settle for good old-fashioned baths.
And given her propensity to crap over onto her face — yeah, you try balancing a 14-pound head over a 2-pound ass — it’s a good idea for Mama to share the tub.
And for a solid five or ten minutes, she’s a slippery lap-load of splashes and squeals, arms and legs slapping at the water, bubbles disappearing into her dimpled fists. It’s the purest kind of joy, and I find myself trying to hold on to it, because in a day or three she won’t need me to hold her up, to wash her toes, to sprinkle her wet neck with kisses.
And then there’s my little superhero. Eliot’s got a rep for fearlessness, so when she recently started getting shy around people, I figured it’d last a day before she was back to doing backflips and bootyquakes for total strangers. No dice. The mere presence of someone she doesn’t know, or just doesn’t know well, and she’s slithering between my legs like a neurotic ferret and glaring out at the offending interloper from the safety of Castle Mama and the Thighs of Fortitude.
Also? I LOVE IT. Because how long will I get to be a human security blanket? How long before she’s hurt and doesn’t immediately run to me? Before she no longer wants to wade into my lap and bury her silken face under my jaw?
In the end, trying to hold on to these moments is as wishful and futile as Nola trying to capture a bubble. So I’ll be needing a good, long, goddamn cry this Mother’s Day; these babies may drive me to drink, but please Ketel One, stop them from growing up for just one more night.
(And also, Mike, with the vodka-and-caviar sampler proffered between thunderous orgasms. Because the lady may be a sentimental crybaby, but she DO like some tasty sustenance.)