Friday, March 04, 2016

1,000,000 Minutes of AX

Having a child is one of the most ego driven, vain, and selfish decisions one can make. Maybe you're doing it because you want a challenge, or because you think your genes are amazing and want to pass them on, or because your friends are doing it and you don't want to feel insecure around them, or because you want to make sure that your 70's and 80's don't suck and that someone is there to take care of you.

Regardless, you're doing it for you. . . .  until the day your kid is actually born. After your child is born, the entire paragraph above flips, and you realize that taking care of your child will be, by far, the most selfless thing you will do in your life for the rest of your life (for the next 60 years).

We all (meaning people w/sisters who like musicals) know that there are 525,600 minutes in a year.  That means at just under 2 years, you're 1,000,000 minutes old.

Therefore AX, Happy Birth Minute!

Let's discuss your first 1,000,000 minutes (and a few ways our lives have changed):

One of the first words you learned was "Out!" At 10 months old, you'd wake up at 6am or 11am after your first nap, or 3pm after your second nap, you'd cry for a few minutes and point to the door and say "Out!" You just had no interest in hanging out in our one bedroom apartment (not surprising). - At 13 months we were in contract on a house and at 16 months, we moved to the burbs. 

I love having a house, and the space, and seclusion, and the storage ... but having a house sucks!  Taxes suck, energy costs suck, BUT most importantly, I MISS MY SUPER.  There are soooo many small (and kinda large) things I need fixed. I can do most, but who has time?  During the week, I'm only home when you’re awake for 30 minutes in the morning and 60 minutes in the evening... I'm not installing a new staircase railing, or fixing the deck, or changing that 16 foot light bulb at 7am. On weekends, I could, but of course we have activities and I want to play w/you b/c most of the time we're in the house together, you're asleep! 

So if I'm only home with you for 1.5 hours a day, your mom is with you for the other 11.5 (and 10 that you're awake, yay naps!).  Not that having a 1,000,000 minute old kid isn't great, it's just exhausting. I'm surprised doctors don't think every 2 year old has some form of ADHD, it's non-stop action.  But it isn't ADHD or ADD, it's called being a toddler.  And the 45 books your mom and I have read about it say that you're basically a caveman.  Your moods can swing in seconds, for no particular reason, or for the stupidest reasons (like if I don't let you put the tray table down while we're landing at Laguardia on a windy night - God Forbid!). So as a caveman, I'm not surprised that you'll be eating one thing, see something else, and take that first thing out of your mouth to make room... or see all your toys for the first time in...I don't know... 3 days...and need to play with each one for 30 seconds until the entire room is a tornado zone by 8:30am.

Here’s a little meme that accurately describes your caveman tendencies: 

 

To continue, you sleep a lot.  Maybe not as much as you are supposed to, but I couldn't dream of sleeping as much as you do (your mom on the other hand, she'd have no problem matching you REM for REM).  You're in bed at 8, and sleep until 7, and you take a 2 hour nap!  No wonder I can't keep up with you during the other 11 hours of the day. 

However, the scariest thing that happens every day (or weekend day) is NOT when you're climbing something you shouldn't be climbing, or pulling on something you shouldn't be pulling, or opening something you shouldn't be opening, or walking somewhere you shouldn't be walking, or accidentally grabbing a knife you shouldn't be grabbing, or when you lose your motor skills later in the evenings and are walking into things... No, it's when you're about 45 minutes into your mid-day nap.  You've gone through one REM cycle and there's a chance you'll wake up way too soon. Your mom and I stare at the baby monitor, hold our breaths, look at each other in fear, and try not to make a sound...   Sometimes you sit up and look around, or make some noise, or even cry before going back to sleep for another 45 or 90 minutes.  But on those days when you don't sleep... well... I feel bad for your mother, as you turn into this (you’ll get the reference in 13 years)…

 
Of course, when the baby sitter is here, you always sleep 2+ hours, no problem.  Either you hate us...or you love us so much you don't want to sleep but want to hang out instead (One of your parents believes it's the former, one the latter).  

Some days, I'll get home, go to the bathroom, and see that your mom has taken a shower that day.  It makes me happy... like I'm happy because I know the day was good enough that she could get a 15 minute break to take a shower.... and you didn't turn into the above monster... It's the little things.

So with only 27 hours a week to hang out (compared to 77 for your mom), I try to maximize my time a bit.  Daddy duty starts most weekend mornings so mommy can try to beat your sleep record from the night before.  We'll go out, watch trains, get breakfast, watch trains and run errands. Sometimes we watch trains too.  The biggest impact this has had on my life is Facebook birthdays.  Basically, if your birthday falls on the weekend, you're unlikely to get a Facebook shout out from me.  And I don't do that whole "happy belated" crap.  So basically my friends are shit out of luck. (yes, this is all in jest....but also so true).  i rarely open my computer on the weekends (or ever at home anymore) ... which is why I haven't written a blog post in a YEAR.  Thankfully, you turned 1,000,000 and changed all that.
I used to count for everything...as you took your bottle, as I rocked you, as I changed you, as I timed your naps. I no longer count anymore... (Who are we kidding, I count everything).  Counting never disappears, it just changes. Instead of  naps and poops and diapers and bottles and ounces, it's and cookies and blocks and cars and trains and leaves and rocks.   On a recent flight, I was counting minutes/checking the time constantly, the flight couldn't end fast enough...I had to pee!  Do you know how hard it is to use a public restroom w/a mobile, curious toddler?

One great thing about having a silly, fun 2-year-old is that your mom and I get to be Peter Pan all the time.  I get to kick and throw balls, run, sled, and build with blocks!  Your mom gets to do arts and crafts, take music classes, and run around in gym class.  Looking back at the last 1,000,000 minutes, fulfilling a Peter Pan complex is one of the best superficial reasons to have a kid. Maybe it’s the only reason to have a kid… Maybe having a kid isn’t so selfless after all.  Regardless, it's been a 1,000,000 minutes of selfish selflessness. 

PS:  On Monday you turn 100 weeks old!  What should I write about?