It’s three in the afternoon and they’re down for the count, in the bedroom, with the lights out, the blinds closed and the rain and chill outside. Before she zonked, she told me what a great afternoon this would be for a nap. I said, ‘So take a nap then.’ She said, ‘Sounds like a good idea.’ That was just past two. Almost an hour ago.
I almost woke them up when I barged in there to ask her a question cause I didn’t know she was asleep. I thought she was still feeding. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have barged in there to ask her a question to which I already knew the answer. (Q: Where’s the dish soap? A: We’re out cause yours truly forgot to pick some up this morning.) I almost woke them up with the first half of the question. They both flinched and winced, I thought for sure I had woken them up but they both just … fell back, just … settled back, into-onto the mattress.
Glad I didn’t wake them up. Glad I get to see this. Glad I’m here.
She lies on her side, facing the wall. He’s on his back, spread-eagled in that baby way, with legs kinda twisted to the right a bit, both hands up around his ears. (He’s got my ears. Which is too bad. My ears, well, there’s something fucked up bout ‘em. They don’t look quite right, even though no one can exactly say why. They’re just … not quite right. He’s got ‘em. Everyone in the damn hospital said, yep, he’s got your ears, all right. Everything else on him seems to be her side of the family. If all he gets from me is my ears, he’ll be one lucky sonofabitch. I called him that once, til she told me what I was doing was calling her a bitch. I couldn’t argue with that, so that’s the last time I called him sonofabitch. Now I call him sonofagun. She can’t object to being called a gun.)
This is me, tired, by the way. This is how I am on too many hours of being awake. It’s kinda in the same neck of the woods as a hangover only without the hangover. Just … out of it and rambling and who knows what the hell’s going through my brain at any given moment.
I was like this the last few weeks fore the restaurant opened. I was like this when dad was sick and then dying. I was like this the first few weeks after she told me she was preggo. I got the worries real bad. They’ve gone away. I’m not worried, per se, anymore. I just wanna make sure nothing bad happens to them.
But yeah. This is me, tired. If I had the energy, I spose I could do some laundry or those dishes in the sink. The living room’s a disaster area and could do with a good picking-up. The changing table’s all higgledy-piggledy. Grocery list to finish cause I forgot half of it this morning, bills to pay, fantasy teams to check, emails to answer. Things to do, I got things to do. I just feel like standing here, though. Looking at them.
He just yawned real wide, then smacked his lips. He had this eye crud thing happening a few days ago. Seems to be gone now, thank god. First time we noticed that, noticed that his eyes had more or less glued shut with eye crud we both kinda …
Hah. Wow. Cool.
He just moved closer to her. He nestled into her crook and she (I’m pretty sure unawares, in her sleep) dropped her right arm down so as to shield or cradle. He did the contented-baby grumble-growl, smacked his lips again, and turned his head over to the other side. Now he’s facing her, and no longer the wall. Glad I was here to see it. (He also farted, but I’m getting used to that.)
Other things I’m getting used to are, in no particular order: getting peed on, getting pooped on, the smell of baby poop, the look of baby poop, the feel of baby poop, examining baby poop to see if it’s like the baby books say it’s sposed to be like (mustard-y), getting spit up on, getting burped on, the mouth he makes when he wants a boob and he wants a boob now, applying butt cream to someone else’s butt not just my own, what it feels like to anticipate a solid two hours of sleep, bouncing him on my lap at four in the morning hoping it’ll settle him the fuck down, seeing her, me, her parents and/or my parents in him every so often, just catching a long enough glimpse of someone else to …
She flinched. (If she was Fleegle, which she’s not, I would say she was dreaming of chasing rabbits. It was one of those flinches.) She flinched but now she’s back still again. She’s sleeping so deep, and I’d bet you dollars to donuts, it’s cause she had a nice long hot shower right after lunch. Her first shower in a couple days, and the before and after of her before and after the shower was night and day. Makes you realize showers are something one tends to take for granted even though you shouldn’t cause the recuperative, restorative qualities of a shower are …
I stayed in England for a bit.
Yep. I did. A friend in England, the countryside, and I went to stay with him for a short while. This was way back in …
At the time, his kids were like two and one. One day, his wife realized she had just enough time to squeeze in a long hot shower, and the look on her face. The look on her face. After she had gone upstairs, I turned to my friend and told him something long the lines of ‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone so happy at just the realization of a shower. Must be rough, huh. Running round after two kids. Must really cut into one’s shower time.’ I think he looked at me like he thought I was mocking her, but I wasn’t. I swear to god I wasn’t. Mighta had a mocking tone, but my intent was not to mock. I liked her a lot, and was always impressed by how she held up.
Once he figured out I was being genuine for a change, he said ‘Just you wait, my son. Just you wait.’ We were in his garden, with pints of bitter. He called me ‘my son.’ I called him ‘duchess.’ It was a thing we did, but this was … years ago. This was … at least eight years ago. Prolly longer. He still lives there, the English countryside. Dorset. Jimmy just went to visit him. Had a grand old time, by all accounts. Jimmy’s life’s still like that. Just pick up and go at a moment’s notice. Specially with all those miles he’s got. He’s got like four hundred thousand miles.