My Mommy friends and I love to reminisce about those halcyon days when we only had one little baby to look after. At the time, of course, it seemed like a bomb had gone off in our house and were struggling to survive and rebuild. But looking back, we can see how laughably easy it was to care for just one kid. During the four or five naps they took each day, we’d have plenty of time to check our email or call our mothers or get caught up on last night’s episode of Buffy. Once the baby woke up, a quick feed and diaper change were all that we needed to dash off to meet up with a friend for a coffee, or hit Toddler Swim at the pool, or even take in a movie at the Mommy And Me film events. Those were the days, my friend.
One big indulgence I had in those days was that I rocked Captain Jelly Belly to sleep for all his naps. And when I say, “to sleep,” I mean totally zoned out, mouth gaping open, arms and legs like rubber, asleep. That took a really, really long time, but I just couldn’t stand to hear him cry or fuss. Sometimes when he was have especial trouble settling down, I’d even hold him for the entire duration of his nap. Let me tell you, spending a couple of hours trapped and mute under a sleeping baby is just NOT an option when you have some other preschoolers to take care of. Sorry, Gal Smiley and Wee One!
All those hours spent sitting in my nursing chair, trying not to disturb the Captain’s catnaps, were put to pretty good use; I soon learned how to read with just one hand. At the time I had an unbelievable five magazine subscriptions — two weeklies and three monthlies — and I was able to keep on top of all of them. And when I ran out of magazines — impossibly, this happened every week — I went to the library and took out novel after novel. I’m so good at turning pages silently, while supporting the weight of the book at the same time, that I wish it were an Olympic sport. I’m that good.
Needless to say, most of the reading I’m doing these days involves Dora The Explorer or Curious George. The pile of novels on my bedside table is getting taller and taller. There’s a big stack of magazines on the corner of the desk. I sometimes squeeze in a little Entertainment Weekly while I’m cooking dinner, and if I’m feeling really energetic, I get a chance to read a few pages of a book in the 15 minutes between the end of Prison Break and flopping into bed. My one-handed reading skills are being wasted, wasted I tell you! Maybe I’ll find a way to add it into the circus act the kids and I are working on. One-handed reading! You’d pay to see it! Wouldn’t you?