Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dawning

Phoebe's been learning the days of the week at school and that means several conversations in my day look a lot like this:

P: Today is .....
Me: ... is?
P: WEDNESDAY!
Me: Yes! Today is Wednesday!
P: Tomorrow is ...
Me: ... tomorrow is ... ?
P: Tomorrow is THURSDAY!

... you can imagine where it goes from there.

If I had to ballpark, I'd say that conversation annoys the living hell out of me at least 90% of the time.  Yes, yes, I'm proud she is learning the days of the week, but a mildly neurotic 4 year old WHO LOVES ROUTINE becoming obsessed with the days of the week can get old.  Fast.

Just like she's gotten old.  Fast.

Tomorrow afternoon sometime, UPS will be dropping off a new carseat at my house because Raef is now too big for the infant seat.

The same infant seat I spent hours researching (on the clock at my old job, pregnant with Phoebe), meticulously reading Consumer Reports reviews and then exchanging several emails back and forth with (fellow) childless friends debating gender-neutral color schemes.

I used that infant seat for all three of our babies.

And on Friday, when I take Phoebe to school, Raef will be in his new seat.

I look at that seat in my living room (battered, covered with In N Out stickers) and remember unpacking it from the box.  And how Geoff and I fumbled with the locks putting our delicate floppy baby in it for the first time.  Proudly carrying her to the car.

I remember her screaming the entire drive home from the hospital, her first experience in the seat, our first car ride as a family of 3, life changing, road passing, time pushing forth, unrelenting in its movement.  Forward.

Phoebe got the most use out of the carseat since she was still 20 lbs at a year old.  Jack got his new seat around 8 months, and now Raefy the giant monster baby will get his new seat at 6 months.

And time pushes forward.

And tomorrow is Thursday.

And you can imagine where it goes from there.

I honestly can't say why I paid $4 extra for the overnight shipping.  One extra day in the infant seat probably wouldn't have harmed anyone.  But I got excited.

I vacillate between excitement and nostalgia when I look at our children.  The single thought that launches 1000 more: "Look how big they're getting".

Raef still likes napping in the carseat (haven't put up blackout curtains in their room yet), so it will probably stick around a little while, but it will get too small eventually and I'll have to just ... put it in the garbage, I guess.  It's just ... expired.  It's served its purpose and now it's ... done.

Phoebe keeps talking about how on her birthday she'll turn 5 years old.  She has recently discovered birthdays.  And she excitedly talks about Kindergarten because she knows she will go to Kindergarten when she turns 5.

I remember Kindergarten.

And, I'm telling you people, it was, like, last week.

Except it wasn't.

And I start to think down the road, about all the things she'll outgrow and the birthday presents she'll ask about and the school pictures and the clothes she'll love.

Her school pictures are Friday and the new shirt I bought her on Sunday was received with such joy, it has been worn to sleep and to school once already.  I have been hiding it in the dryer (on purpose, I assure you) until Friday morning. 

And I swear, I was just putting that floppy baby in that brand new carseat that sits -- sweat-stained from a sweaty Raef -- in my living room, soon to have no babe to cradle.

And time presses onward.

As Phoebe reminds me daily.
"After Thursday is ... Friday!  And on Friday is get your picture at school!  Is wear your neeeeeeeew shirt."
"Yes, Phoebe.  Picture day is Friday.  You'll wear your new shirt."

So, I pick them up by the scruffs of their necks and kiss their little fuzzy heads, putting them in their beds at night with favorite blankets, stuffed animals, prayers. 

"Tomorrow is Thursday and after that is Friday, mommy!"

And when I wake up on Friday, I won't have an infant seat in my car anymore.

And the steamroller of time will pass once more over my chest, crushing my heart.

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